We are looking for papers for our session Breaking the Bronze Ceiling: Memorials and Gender at the upcoming Society of Architectural Historians Conference in Seatlle, Washington April 29 - May 3, 2020.
The deadline to submit a 300-word abstract is June 5, 2019. To apply please use the SAH application portal: https://www.sah.org/2020/call-for-papers
The recent tumult over Confederate monuments has shined a bright light on race and memorialization, yet gender in its broadest sense remains relatively neglected in the literature. To be sure, there are prominent “great woman” monuments, including those to Maria Theresa and Queen Victoria. But these are exceptions in a world of great man monuments. Less than 7% of the 5,193 monuments in the United States recognize women. Newly founded organizations such as “Monumental Women” and “Breaking the Bronze Ceiling” are responding to this dilemma. Indeed, a new generation of memorials to women is taking shape including those that commemorate women’s role in war, the plight of Korean comfort women, and a variety of cultural contributions. This session aims to historicize and conceptualize gender and memorialization in a global context.
Efforts to break the bronze ceiling dovetail with feminism and most recently the MeToo Movement, but they are also historical, being deeply ingrained in the gender inequalities structured into public space. The session seeks to historicize the contemporary effort to build monuments to women or consider it within a broader history of gendered planning and design. How have women been memorialized throughout history? Why have women been relegated to allegorical roles, rather than historical ones? What role have women played in the creation of public monuments? Or, moving beyond the object, how have practices of commemoration encouraged the performance of particular gender roles? We welcome papers across historical eras and geographical contexts that place male and female memorial representation into tension, address female visibility and invisibility in the built environment, explore spaces and practices of gender inclusion and exclusion, or investigate battles over memorial representation.
Session Co-Chairs: Valentina Rozas-Krause, University of California, Berkeley, and Andrew M. Shanken, University of California, Berkeley
Valentina Rozas-Krause, University of California, Berkeley