11.244J / STS.424J
Race, History, and the Built Environment

Enrollment: 
Limited to 14

Examines how the development of the built environment produces and reproduces conceptions of race - sociobiological theories of human difference. Using historical and cross-cultural cases, tracks the social and political lives of material objects, infrastructures, technologies, and architectures during projects of settler colonialism, nation-building, community development and planning, and in post-conflict and post-disaster settings. Analyzes social theories of race, place, space, and materiality; power, identity, and embodiment; and memory, death, and haunting. Explores how conceptions of belonging, citizenship, and exclusion are represented and designed spatially through analysis of examples, such as the appropriation of land for infrastructure programs, the erasure and commemoration of heritage in public spaces, and the use of the built environment to impose colonial ideologies.