Texts and Annotations from 1010 to 2021


Construction Critique Domesticity Environment­alism Feminism Food For children Gender Monography Oral history Shared space Spectra Travel Ways of feeling Ways of thinking

Publication Types

Book Book chapter Catalogue Diary Essay Manuscript Online article Podcast

Anna Funder
Annebella Pollen
Annemarie Burckhardt
Araceli Tinajero
Beate Schnitter
Deborah van der Plaat
Dorothy Wordsworth
Elizabeth Burnet
Flora Tristan
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Jane Drew
Janina Gosseye
Julia Gamolina
Kirsten Grimstad
Kirsty Bell
Laurence Cossé
Linda Martín Alcoff
Lisa Robertson
Lucia Berlin
Maria Graham
Mary Wortley Montagu
Murasaki Shikibu
Naomi Stead
Paul B. Preciado
Susan Renni

Selected Bibliography


Published on 6 January 2023 by
Women Writing Architecture

[{"page_number":"4","note":"I love the fact that Lady Murasaki comes up first in this collection - and raises the question of whether a diary is oral history, not just because it is written rather than spoken, but also because some diaries are private. \r\n\r\nIt creates a challenge to the boundaries oral history, or the idea of history itself, which is by nature a social, a shared story. That the sharing is the quality that makes it history. \r\n\r\nThere is also the issue of the 'truthfulness' of a diary. This is relevant to oral history in general, which is presents a subjective viewpoint or memory. \r\n\r\n*****************************\r\n\r\nAnemones, like the Diary of Lady Murasaki and several of the texts in this collection belongs to a collection, in this case that of Madame ETH, collected for the Life Without Buildings exhibition. I don't know this book but it is intriguing - what is troubadour poetry? Simone Weil's work involves performance, and so again tests the boundary of oral history - speaking is a performance, how far outside the voice does oral history extend? \r\n\r\n*****************************\r\n\r\nAs for Dear Conchi, a story from Berlin's book A Manual for Maintenance Art, again its the autobiographical that makes it oral history. Maybe this is an instance of the classifying data inputter deciding? ","endnote":false},{"page_number":"5","note":"The addition of Turkish Embassy Letters and Journal of a Residence in Chile follow the same logic as Lady Murasaki's diary - the question of writing counting as speaking, if it is a record of writing directly to oneself or another person, without wider intent. \r\n\r\n*****************************\r\n\r\nThese two are interesting in that they bring early women's voices into the field of architectural history, a principal intention of Anne Hultzsch and her Women Writing Architecture 1700- 1900 (WoWA) project at ETH Zurich. The first four annotations here were produced during a workshop in Hultzsch's seminar course - Parity in History? ","endnote":false},{"page_number":"9","note":"The Annemarie Burckhardt and Beate Schnitter entries come out of an explicit oral history project that reflected on the position of eight Swiss designers, two of whom were these women. They are represented in a wider collection related to this volume by Reto Geiser that includes other texts written by them.\r\n\r\n\r\n*****************************\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Problem of Speaking for Others is very important in the context of oral history, and wouldn't be tagged or categorised as belonging to it. This underlies the idea of the glossator, with its intention to extend slightly outside preconceived definitions of terms, however lateral the intention. Alcoff's challenge and question to something which \u2013 as Emilie Apperce\u0301 points out, everyone does \u2013 causes us to reflect on our own assumptions and unconscious bias.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"10","note":"Speaking of Buildings is a ground-breaking volume of collected essays around different aspects of oral history in the architectural discourse, interesting in that it brings to the fore voices not conventionally heard (but different to the ones Hultzsch is listening to). These include participants in the construction and briefing process.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"11","note":"Adding Paul B Preciado's essay Can The Monster Speak is perhaps stretching the definition of oral history a lot, but the issue of speaking from an ostensible edge, and of speaking from that other centre (rather than being spoken for) makes a purpose and meaning for it that has a great deal of potential.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"12","note":"The New Women's Survival Catalog with its great variety of content has many descriptive categories attached to it. I like the way Sarah Ahmed's How to Live a Feminist Life is an echo closer to our own time.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"14","note":"Loudreaders as a group, their name in itself, brings into focus the issue of reading through speaking, making text into an action. El Lector, the reader, magnifies that idea.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAre interviews oral history, since they are staged speaking?","endnote":false},{"page_number":"15","note":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAn important edge to the idea of oral history, the human voice telling a situated story, is one of the many reasons why this text, Can the Subaltern Speak - is a central, disruptive text in this collection. In this context, it highlights issues around who is invited to speak and where they are speaking from. These are both abstract in sense - the centre, the edge etc, but can also be imagined in specific spaces: the community hall versus the gentleman's club, a bench on the street as opposed to the archive reading room or state radio station ... So many facets come alive in the imagination: language and dialect, education and confidence (and entitlement, as Anoma Peiris points out), received and first principles.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"18","note":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis citation, suggested by Mary Norman Woods, is an unpublished manuscript in an archive. Woods tells of instances when Jane Drew has been spoken about and points out that the estate controls the dissemination of her voice itself, which can only be heard, or read, by one researcher at a time. It speaks not for itself but through the person who reports on it. The voices of this and other women locked in archives, often in the interstices of the archives of male protagonists, have begun to leak out though.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"19","note":"\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLa Grande Arche gives us an unusual first-person insight into a women building, a rare and valuable combination of woman, construction, oral history.","endnote":false},{"page_number":"23","note":"\"Oral history is as old as history itself and might be considered the first kind of history. The intensive modern use of oral history is, however, relatively new, certainly when it comes to the historiography of modern architecture.\" Quote from Janina Gosseye's call for papers for her guest edited editions of the journal Fabrications.\r\n\r\n\r\nGosseye can be seen discussing oral history in architecture\r\n at: https:\/\/\/watch?v=HCR1QB9zZZo","endnote":true}]