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Field as Archive / Archive as Field

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Abstract

This article introduces the special issue 'Field as Archive / Archive as Field': a set of critical reflections on archival research and fieldwork in academic studies focused on space. The special issue asks, how might the experience of carrying out research in the archive and the field, with all its contingencies and errancies, be taken seriously as empirical material in its own right? In other words, rather than reducing the research process to an empirically insignificant instrument through which to access useable data, how could scholars and practitioners of architecture treat this work as the very stuff of the histories, theories, criticisms, and/or practices they produce? In raising these questions that remain relatively underexplored, especially in architectural research, this special issue works from the contemporary historical juncture that is marked by an increasing visibility of rhetorical and physical hostility throughout social and political affairs. Probing how this historical juncture might impact and be impacted by spatial research, contributors to the special issue explore these impacts through the markedly urban and architectural registers in which they take place, including heritage, infrastructure, displacement, housing, and protest. They, moreover, do so through a variety of contexts relevant to the journal's scope: Egypt, Zanzibar, Turkey, Greece, Iran, and Israel/Palestine.
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Keywords: colonialism; displacement; gatekeeping; heritage; nation-state-building; protest

Document Type: Editorial

Affiliations: 0000000459033130 London School of Economics and Political Science

Publication date: July 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) is intended for those interested in urban design and planning, architecture, and landscape design in the historic Islamic world, encompassing the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, but also the more recent geographies of Islam in its global dimensions. The main emphasis is on detailed analysis of the practical, historical and theoretical aspects of architecture, with a focus on both design and its reception. The journal is also specifically interested in contemporary architecture and urban design in relation to social and cultural history, geography, politics, aesthetics, technology, and conservation. Spanning across cultures and disciplines, IJIA seeks to analyze and explain issues related to the built environment throughout the regions covered. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary nature of this journal will significantly contribute to the knowledge in this field.

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