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Women influenced the global dissemination of modern architecture and design through a range of entrepreneurial roles. Proposals are invited for papers that address these too often overlooked activities. Among potential topics, papers may concentrate on design businesses, builders and developers, and social entrepreneurship. Examples include businesses such as the Nordic shops Svenskt Tenn and Artek; the African American contractors McKissack and McKissack; Corina Kavanagh, the developer of the Edificio Kavanagh in Buenos Aires; and Indian social reformer Muthulakshmi Reddy, a campaigner for women’s shelters and medical facilities.

Proposals are sought which provide a new perspective on such activities and the way in which gender facilitated and/or hindered such engagement. Proposals addressing examples from Africa, Asia, and Latin America and on the activities of women of colour are particularly welcome, as are topics that focus on the twentieth century.

Paper proposals consisting of abstracts of up to 500 words plus a C.V. should be submitted by 4 December 2023 to kate.buckley@ucd.ie and alborz.dianat@ucd.ie.

Notification of acceptance will be provided by 22 December 2023 and confirmation of attendance should be given by 5 January 2024. Drafts of accepted papers must be provided to the organisers by 15 April 2024. Modest travel costs along with accommodation will be provided for all accepted speakers. The conference will be free and open to the public.

The conference is sponsored by Expanding Agency: Gender, Race, and the Global Dissemination of Modern Architecture (https://expanding-agency.com), a research project funded by the European Research Council. The co-organisers are Alborz Dianat and Kathleen James-Chakraborty, assisted by Kate Buckley and Jenny Devine.

Call for Papers – Minding her Business: Women, Architecture, and Design
Image: Estrid Ericson, the owner and proprietor of Svenskt Tenn with Josef Frank, one of those who designed for the firm. Photo: Glase, Gösta / Nordiska museet

General Info

Event Type(s) Conferences
Admission / Cost FREE


Expanding Agency ERC Project

About Expanding Agency: Women, Race and the Global Dissemination of Modern Architecture is a five-year research project (2022-2026) that explores the role women and members of ethnic minorities played in transmitting modern architecture and design internationally between 1920 and 1970.

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