Call for Papers: Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India Research Symposium

Kush Patel's picture
Call for Papers
March 21, 2020 to March 22, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Humanities, Geography, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sexuality Studies

The research symposium on Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India will examine the engagement of women and persons of minoritized 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, an almost feminized alternative to practicing 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 invisibilized or violently erased), academic leadership roles have not always been accessible. Whilst 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 be in preparation for the next generation of academic leaders; and add focus to the importance of mentoring and reflective praxis.

We invite 300-word abstracts that are critical, honest, and fearless inquiries and/or disclosures of your anti-patriarchal experiences in architecture academia. Submissions could take the form of a polemical piece, a poem, a professional and personal story, or an academic paper and each mode 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/argumentation/position.

Scope of Scholarship: While the symposium is in India, we are not drawing a hard line around the practice and discourse on this topic as many of us work across national boundaries, but we are focusing on academia and barriers to leadership in India. We are interested in international perspectives in so far as it deepens the conversation. We are looking at academic careers in architecture, but also those intersecting with architecture to help us advance strategic cross-disciplinary collaborations. Queers, trans, enby, and individuals navigating academic visibility are encouraged to apply.

Symposium Dates: 21-22 March 2020

Abstract Deadline: Monday, 16 December 2019 at 5:00 PM

Announcement of Abstract Acceptance: 13 January 2020

Abstract Length: 300 words

Bio Length: 100 words

Submission Format: Please submit your abstract as a Word document to Dr. Anuradha Chatterjee at with cc to Professor Madhavi Desai at and Dr. Kush Patel (they/he) at


Contact Info: 

Dr. Kush Patel, Associate Professor of Architecture and the Humanities

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