Centre for Architecture Theory Criticism History
School of Architecture

CALL FOR PAPERS - Liberalism and the Built Environment – Then and Now

Liberalism and the Built Environment – Then and Now

University of Queensland, Brisbane

17-18 May 2018

Conference convenors: Janina Gosseye, Helena Mattsson, John Macarthur, Deborah van der Plaat

This conference seeks to explore how concepts of freedom and liberal political and economic theories have intersected with architecture and the built environment from the 19th century to the present day.  The popular reaction against ‘neoliberalism’ understood as an economic structure has reignited academic debate as to whether architecture, bound up as it is in real estate speculation and the financing of building, has a capacity for critique. The present socio-political circumstances of architecture, however, ought to be understood in the longer and more varied history of liberalism and architecture’s imbrication with political and economic thought on freedom and the subjects of freedom. We seek contributions that might address, but need not be limited to:

  • 19th century constructions of citizenship in civic institutions
  • colonialism, anti-colonialism and cosmopolitanism in the 19th and 20th century
  • social liberalism of the early 20th century and critiques of utopianism
  • the positive freedoms sought by substantive liberals in the welfare state
  • the return of classical economic liberalism and its relation with postmodernism
  • the role of cultural policy, cultural industries and governmentality in the liberal state
  • the relation of theories of the aesthetic autonomy of art to personal freedom
  • the biopolitics of urban and architectural conditions and projects

This conference is hosted by the Architecture Criticism Theory and History (ATCH) Centre at the University of Queensland, and seeks contributions from both inside and outside the discipline of architecture. We seek papers of 20 minutes length, proposals for panel discussions, and scholars interested in active involvement as respondents and chairs.

Abstract of no more than 300 words should be submitted to atch@architecture.uq.edu.au, with subject line: ‘liberalism_abstract_surname

Submission deadline: 5 February 2018

Notification of acceptance: 5 March 2018