Summer semester 2023
Seminar I Infrastructures of international development in the global south (Dr. Nikolay Erofeev)
In the aftermath of decolonization, international development efforts reshaped the face of the Earth, supported by the interstate organizations and national governments. Infrastructural projects are at the very heart of these efforts. Despite their backers’ claims of the contrary, these projects have often been critiqued for reproducing the colonial logic of imposing unwanted modernity and thereby creating an unequal power relationship to the Global North. In view of the rapid pace and unwieldy processes of urbanization, catalyzed by large-scale infrastructure development, the question is whether such projects will improve the quality of life for local populations or, on the contrary, only exacerbate poverty, poor governance, and environmental degradation. Reflecting about this question, this course will critically examine infrastructures of economic development the late-colonial period until today. Focusing on case studies from different parts of the world—from Tajikistan and Vietnam to Tanzania—we will consider the role of development around the globe in reshaping territories, mobilizing labor, and moving and stabilizing populations. We will consider the struggle for and lack of infrastructures, and colonial divides in the South, as well as infrastructures for containing unwanted mobility in the North. We will also look at the environmental impact of large infrastructure projects, and at the collateral spaces of urbanisation catalysed by largescale infrastructural projects.
Seminar I Toxic Architecture (Megan Eardley, M.A.)
In an era in which design is increasingly defined by global supply chains and international standards, how can architects reduce exposure to toxic air, land, and water? How does architecture obscure threats to human and more-than-human bodies-- and how might it be used to reduce contamination while engaging with new building materials and experimental practices? Toxic Architecture introduces students to new concepts, methods, and debates about “toxic modernity” in architectural history and theory. Students will develop critical reading and writing skills as they engage with case studies in Germany and the wider world.
Student research projects (Studien- und Abschlussarbeiten)
The Chair of History and Theory of Architecture is happy to supervise Bachelor's and Master's theses, as well as BPS student theses assigned to it and, within the framework of the courses, student theses in the corresponding module fields. Please contact us well in advance to discuss possible supervision of your thesis. Below you will also find the guidelines for scientific theses of our department.