FNAR 311/611: Don’t Forget-Inclusion, Exclusion, and Memory in the Contemporary City

Spring 2022


What role do history and memory play in processes of community building? Do they promote solidarity, inflame division, or both? What are the relationships between a city’s built environment, commemorative landscape, and the circumstances that stimulate, or hinder, the growth of community? In this seminar students will tackle these questions in an effort to uncover some of the ways in which public space, memory, and community intersect. Through a series of case studies and texts we will examine the controversies, challenges, and community impact of commemorative projects in cities both in the U.S. and abroad. Each week we will focus on one city/region, theme, or commemorative project, and students will study design strategies, processes of development and construction, and theoretical concerns surrounding the role of memory and history in the public space. Drawing on discourse from art, architecture, urbanism, history, and preservation studies, this course brings these fields together in an effort to understand how communities can be strengthened through an engagement with, and examination of the past. For the final project, students will research a commemorative dilemma in a city of their choice, engaging with real-life debates and procedural processes to develop a more inclusive alternative to the status quo.


Dr. Ewa Matyczyk, Mellon Junior Fellow in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design