The convenors of a research symposium on Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India seek papers, with abstracts due by 16 December.

The research symposium, held from 21–22 March 2020 at the Avani Institute of Design in Calicut, will be convened by Transformations’ recent guest speaker Madhavi Desai, Anuradha Chatterjee, and Kush Patel. It will examine the engagement of women and persons of minoritised genders and sexualities in the construction of the academy, architectural knowledge, professional identity, and academic practice.

While the academy in India is often viewed as a softer, more flexible and almost feminised alternative to practising professionally for women (who have the culturally pre-ordained role of being the primary carer for the family), or a possible safe space for queer persons (whose bodies and knowledges are otherwise invisibilised or violently erased), academic leadership roles have not always been accessible. While this is now changing, a vast majority of these positions are still being held either by men, or by privileged savarna academics and those with access to intergenerational wealth and social networks.

The symposium is interested in feminist forms of leadership. Even though we will be looking for alternatives to patriarchal conventions of leadership, we will not ignore the positions of power sanctified by institutional designations. The intent of the symposium is to bring recognition to teaching and research as practice; highlight and discuss structural changes needed to empower co-faculty and students to prepare for the next generation of academic leaders; and add focus to the importance of mentoring and reflective praxis.

The convenors invite 300-word abstracts that are critical, honest, fearless inquiries and/or disclosures of your anti-patriarchal experiences in architecture academia. Submissions should take the form of a polemical piece, a poem, a professional and personal story, or an academic paper. Each modality of inquiry should be developed as a form of scholarship. Presentations can be 20-minute papers or 10-minute lightning talks. The evaluation criteria will be 1) relevance to the symposium premise; 2) positioning in contemporary, global scholarship on the topic; and 3) originality, criticality and integrity of the account/story/argument/position.

Symposium: 21–22 March 2020
Abstract Deadline: Monday, 16 December 2019 at 5pm
Announcement of Abstract Acceptance: 13 January 2020

Abstract Length: 300 words
Bio Length: 100 words

Please submit the abstract as a Word Document to Dr. Anuradha Chatterjee with cc to Prof Madhavi Desai and Dr. Kush Patel (they/he).