ARCH 409 - Special Topics in Architecture
Section: 003 Building Black Bondage
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Architecture (ARCH)
Department: CAUP Taubman College of Arch + Urban Planning
1 - 3 (Non-LSA credit).
Enforced Prerequisites:
Advisory Prerequisites:
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Building Black Bondage is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on social constructions and structures that mentally and physically contain/ed African ethnicities for the sake of power and control. Specifically, we will research the implications of the castles and forts that held slaves prior to being shipped abroad during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The course will also look at the legacy of these spaces from the slave ship, to Jim Crow, to the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s Negro removal plans in the urban settings in the United States. Comparisons and contrast will be used by investigating the death camps created by the Nazi’s, such as Auschwitz in Poland.

Architecture thus defined is a record of deeds done by those who have had the power to build. It is shaped by social, political, and economic forces and values embodied in the forms themselves, the processes through which they are built, and the manner in which they are used. Creating buildings involves moral choices that are subject to moral judgment.

—   Leslie Kanes Weisman, Discrimination By Design

Course assignments will be in the forms of field studies, experimental observations, and research in society today. For example, the prison system today “contains” more African American males then our university campuses. Is this a legacy from the past? Is there capital to be gained by containing a race today as there was over 400 years ago? Examining further implications of our built environment will raise these questions and others. Lastly, each student will be asked to write a paper and/or present in a multimedia format a final project that looks at social containers today.

ARCH 409 - Special Topics in Architecture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 7:00PM - 10:00PM
TuTh 7:00PM - 10:00PM
002 (LEC)
Th 6:00PM - 9:00PM
003 (LEC)
W 6:00PM - 9:00PM
006 (LEC)
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