Race, Ethnicity, and Architecture in the Nation’s Capital


Our biannual symposium, originally scheduled for April 2020, was rescheduled due to COVID-19 and will take place in a virtual format. The event has been reimagined as four weekly paper sessions and a closing keynote. Access to all events is covered by a single registration fee. The complete program, list of speakers, and paper topics are shown below.

Governments and private developers have employed built environments to control and regulate racialized bodies. Through the systemic planning of residential and commercial districts, public spaces, and transit, they ensured the growth of isolated enclaves whose economic health varied based on inhabitants’ race. Historically-specific understandings of race have likewise shaped the design and construction of the capital’s architecture, for example influencing the development of various building typologies, ranging from embassies and museums to shopping centers. The 13th Latrobe Chapter Biennial Symposium therefore calls for a timely investigation of the symbiotic relationship between race and architecture in the greater Washington, DC region. It conceptualizes race broadly, not as an issue of binaries, but rather of corporeal hierarchies that meaningfully structure the design and experience of architectural and urban spaces.

The Symposium will offer four weekly paper sessions and a keynote lecture exploring the intersections of race, ethnicity, and the built environment, featuring a diverse array of speakers from the National Capital Region and beyond.


SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610