ERC Project - Women Writing Architecture 1700-1900
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Situating Her: Why Women Wrote Architecture 1700-1900

Date: Friday, 30 September 2022
Location: Siemens Auditorium (HIT E51)

Time: 14.00-18.00

In this workshop and colloquium, we situate women writing architecture in the 18th and 19th centuries. We explore where she wrote architecture, how she assumed a position of rhetorical authority, and why she wrote on and around the subject. In turn, we situate ourselves as her readers, reading with her and with each other, to find new ways of writing situated histories. 

After a private reading workshop in the morning, in which the WoWA team and guests will perform a close reading (and listening) of a historical text authored by a woman, the afternoon will open to the public with a colloquium presenting three speakers and two respondents. Talks revolve around knowledge making both through travel and in the academy as well as the social and political conditions of architectural experience. 

Also join us at @ercwowa via Twitter and Instagram.

Reading Her:
Introducing Women Writing Architecture c.1800

Date: Thursday, 8 September 2022
Location: Zoom recording
Password: WOWA
Time: 18.00-19.00

As part of the second WoWA* Event, we are inviting 9 researchers to introduce a Woman Writing Architecture between 1700 and 1900. Reading Her presents 9 short portraits of women and their writings that we conceive as relevant to architectural histories.

Join us for an hour of inspiration to expand our references, influences, and reading lists. Each woman will be introduced with one image, one quote, one publication, and one architectural topic, widely conceived.

Who are you reading this summer?

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Listen to Her!
Female Experiences of the Built 1700-1900

Date: Tuesday, 24 May 2022
Location: ETH Zürich Hönggerberg
Room: HIB Open Space

This is the first of a series of workshops and colloquia organised by the ERC-funded project Women Writing Architecture: Female Experiences of the Built 1700-1900 (WoWA), based at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta) of ETH Zurich. Following an internal morning workshop for Group Hultzsch and invited guests, a public colloquium will be held in the afternoon.

Talks by Christina Contandriopoulos (Montréal), Christian Parreno (Quito), Sigrid de Jong (Zurich), and Anne Hultzsch (Zurich) will explore female discursive spaces in France, Ecuador, Italy, and Great Britain around 1800.

Together, we will ponder how women ascribed meaning to buildings and landscapes through their writings. As a research group, we propose that by exploring women’s writing we can uncover female agency within architecture in a period commonly considered as male governed. Further, we argue that architectural history as a discipline, now more than ever, can and must look beyond the production of buildings to processes of reception and appropriation to fully understand the past of the built environment as experienced and shaped by marginalised groups.

About WoWA

Source: Eugène Delacroix. July 28: Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Oil on canvas, 8'6¼" x 10'8" (2.60 x 3.25 m). Musée du Louvre, Paris. 
Women Writing Architecture: Female Experiences of the Built 1700-1900*, short WoWA, studies female experiences of architecture as recorded in documentary writing drawn from specific regions in South America and Europe between 1700 and 1900. While architectural histories often focus on male-dominated processes of design and production, this project takes a new stance by unearthing women’s contributions to the architectural sphere through writing and editing.
While not part of the canon, articles, travelogues, domestic manuals, or pamphlets authored by women in the period consistently featured descriptions of or commentary on buildings and cities, but these have never been examined collectively by architectural historians. Through a combination of macro and micro research, close and distant reading, geographical mapping and tracing of experience, WoWA addresses this gap opening up a new corpus and presenting architecture’s past through the female eye.

*This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No.949525).

Group Anne Hultzsch
Department of Architecture / gta
ETH Zurich

HIL D 72.2
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zurich