Gender and Infrastructure: Intersections between Postsocialist and Postcolonial Geographies
04 March 2021–05 March 2021, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm
This event is free.
Dr Iulia Statica with Professor Barbara Penner
This event will take place on Zoom.
Gender and Infrastructure: Intersections between Postsocialist and Postcolonial Geographies investigates the relationship between gender, subjectivity and space, specifically the ways in which this is experienced and theorised in postsocialist and postcolonial contexts.
In the socialist context, theorists have emphasised the links between infrastructure, in particular mass housing and ideology. Scholars of postcolonial geographies have in turn interrogated the relationship between technologies of governance and the infrastructural transformation of colonial territories. In both cases, infrastructure functions to effect the realisation of social, political and cultural projects and represents one of the most significant and long-lasting legacies that shapes postsocialist and postcolonial experience. In spite of the interwoven complexity of infrastructures, political, and social transformations, the question of gender remains neglected.
Acknowledging epistemological differences and differentiated historical contexts that determine these intricate and often contradictory discourses, the colloquium aims to reassess the role of infrastructure in mediating the interaction between postsocialist and/or postcolonial spaces and varying conceptions of gendered subjectivities and agency.
Drawing on contemporary theoretical and spatial perspectives to investigate these specific contexts, the colloquium addresses three major themes.
- Intersections I and II
The theme of intersections is approached from a double perspective: one epistemological, the other material.
Intersections I will bring to light epistemological overlaps and differences between postsocialist and postcolonial contexts, focusing on the ways in which the encounter between gender and infrastructure is articulated.
Intersections II will emphasise the encounter — both material and ideological — between Eastern Europe and Africa, focusing on the role of architecture in global discourses of socialism.
This panel investigates discourses of the body and their role in the transformation of the spatialisation of political paradigms, discussing intergenerational social reproduction through mechanisms that point to the biopolitical role of infrastructure.
This panel focuses particularly on one type of infrastructure – mass housing – and on the role of the domestic space as an aspect of governance that mediates political and social conditions and imaginaries. It investigates the ways in which housing functions in the production of human subjectivities, and explores its role in shaping particular hierarchies, habits and gender relations.
Schedule and participants
- Thursday 4 March
15:00 - 15:15: Introduction
- Barbara Penner, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
- Iulia Statica, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
15:15 -16:30: Panel 1: Intersections I
- Sharad Chari, University of California at Berkeley
Postsocialism Without Socialism: Prefigurations of the Postcolonial Predicament in an Anti-Apartheid City
- Madina Tlostanova, Linköping University
The Darker Colonial Side of the (Post)Soviet Project, or Why the Postcolonial and the Postsoviet Rarely Hear Each Other?
- Respondent: Michał Murawski, SEES UCL
17:00 - 18:30: Panel 2: Infrastructures
- Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Barnard College
Domesticity in Emergency: Infrastructures of Solidarity and Intimacy
- Anna Puigjaner, GSAPP Columbia
- António Tomás, GSA Johannesburg University
Fitting the Family Within: Housing, Urban Transformation and the Formation of the Postsocialist Order in Postcolonial Luanda
- Respondent: Tania Sengupta, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
- Friday 5 March
13:30 - 15:00: Panel 3: Bodies
- Kristen Ghodsee, University of Pennsylvania
Infrastructures of Solidarity: East-South Alliances During the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985
- Iulia Statica, The Bartlett UCL
Infrastructure and Natality: Gender, Reproduction and the Domestic Space of Socialist Bucharest
- Lilian Chee, National University of Singapore
The Go-between: Embodying Affect in Architecture
- Respondent: Jane Rendell, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
15:30 - 16:45: Panel 4 : Intersections II
- Łukasz Stanek, University of Manchester
From Eastern Europe to Africa: Women Architects in the Global Cold War
- Agnieszka Kościańska, University of Warsaw//University of Oxford with Jill Owczarzak, John Hopkins University
From “The East Speaks Back” to Postcolonialism, Intersectionality, and Gender in Eastern Europe
- Respondent: Peg Rawes, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
- Kristen Ghodsee, University of Pennsylvania
- Sharad Chari
Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of California at Berkeley
View Sharad Chari's profile
- Lilian Chee
Associate Professor, Department of Architecture School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore
View Lilian Chee's profile
- Kristen Ghodsee
Professor, Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania
View Kristen Ghodsee's profile
- Agnieszka Kościańska
Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw/University of Oxford
View Agnieszka Kościańska's profile
- Michał Murawski
Lecturer School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL
View Michał Murawski's profile
- Jill Owczarzak
Associate Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University
View Jill Owczarzak's profile
- Barbara Penner
Professor of Architectural Humanities, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
View Barbara Penner's profile
- Anna Puigjaner
Associate Professor of Professional Practice, GSAPP Columbia University
View Anna Puigjaner's profile
- Peg Rawes
Professor of Architecture and Philosophy, The Bartlett, UCL
View Peg Rawes' profile
- Jane Rendell
Professor in Critical Spatial Practice, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
View Jane Rendell's profile
- Tania Sengupta
Associate Professor, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
View Tania Sengupta's profile
- Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi
Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Barnard College
View Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi's profile
- Łukasz Stanek
Senior Lecturer, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester
View Łukasz Stanek's profile
- Iulia Statica
Marie Curie Research Fellow, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
View Iullia Statica's profile
- Madina Tlostanova
Professor of Postcolonial Feminisms, Linköping University
View Madina Tlostanova's profile
- António Tomás
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Johannesburg
View António Tomás's profile
- Sharad Chari
Image: Still from My Socialist Home, Iulia Statica and Adrian Câtu, 2021