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Common Threads: Intersectional Methods of Architectural History celebrates the diverse positionality, voices and writing of the 2021 Architectural History cohort of The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. As a cohort we formed community amid an open-ended pandemic, researching and writing across continents and countries, regions and cities, forming community across geographic, spatial and temporal localities. The cohort is truly diverse, comprising a representational membership reflected in the subjects and subjectivities formed. Each of our dissertation studies developed specific situated archives, exploring architectural bodies and events through which these materials played out, in varying degrees of attentive lived experience, cadence or representation.

This publication gathers together a series of written pieces from the cohort, remaking and remarking upon a diverse set of dissertation studies in the field of architectural history. The work is organised as four intertextual threads that recognise and juxtapose commonality and specificity: The Intersectional and the Everyday; Material Memory; Processes and Practices; Citizenship and Transit. These historiographic processes and practices speak to intersectionality through a-canonical subjects and objects, critical methodologies, and writerly modes: each coming to our subjects and objects of study so as to also reflect on our agency and experience.

The Intersectional and the Everyday speaks directly to lived experience in the margins through intersectional feminism and critical race theory and historical narratives. In Material Memory the matter of the archive and its spatial organisation, distribution, form, culture and care are visited, studied and interpreted. Processes and Practices investigates a range of methodological and ideological concerns of and for architectural history, from the curatorial to representational space and the spaces of representation. Finally, Citizenship and Transit examines subjects and themes of transit and transition, infrastructure and network, border crossings and cultural exchange, liminal and infrastructural spatio-temporality.

Our individual threads collectively employ a variety of historical and critical methodologies – moving our objects of study across empiricism, iconography and iconology, social history, politicized history and theory, intersectional, feminist and queer, operative history, theory and criticism, site-writing and auto-theory. Our threads form provisional, situated knowledges[1] of the objects of study, and the subjects and subjectivities of diverse architectural histories. These collected, common threads represent synoptic, reflective fragments, vignettes, and glimpses of far larger, dissertation-based research and writing: historiographic processes which were so carefully nurtured, guided, and fed back upon, that we only hope this publication speaks to this care in some way.


Toby Blackman and Harry Lewis





[1] Donna Haraway, ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,’ in Feminist Studies, v.14, n.3. (Autumn, 1988), pp. 575-599, (p. 583).

A collection of abstracts offering an overview of this cohort's final dissertations, introducing the themes of 'COMMON THREADS.'

This is a student-led live-streamed event. It celebrates the diverse voices and words of the 2020/21 student cohort from UCL’s Masters in Architectural History programme, directed by Professor Peg Rawes. The symposium is an annual event in the Bartlett’s calendar featuring international practitioners from a range of disciplines whose work the cohort find engaging and pertinent to their own collective interests as well as to the major events and concerns of today.

Read the collation of the cohort's abstracts for 'COMMON THREADS' in book form.

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