Notes on sexuality & space
Author(s)Jacobson, Samuel Ray
Notes on sexuality and space
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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Very little has been written on sexuality in architectural scholarship. Sexuality & Space (Princeton Architectural Press, 1992) contains the proceedings of an eponymous 1990 conference at Princeton University, and was both the first and last book-length publication dedicated to a comprehensive discourse on sexual identity within the discipline of architecture. While symposium organizer and proceedings editor Beatriz Colomina writes in the proceedings' introduction that the occasion's effort to "raise the question of 'Sexuality and Space'" was but "one small event" in an ongoing discourse, that discourse failed to materialize. To the extent that feminist theorists conspicuously ignored in architectural discourse and practice are addressed by Sexuality & Space, the "interdisciplinary exchange in which theories of sexuality are reread in architectural terms and architecture is reread in sexual terms," by its essays, asserts the very silence that its inquiry ostensibly alleviated. By carefully examining the constative impact of literary style within the publication Sexuality & Space-that is, by looking at how the use of language, therein, impacts that document's inscription of its intellectual and historical context-I have come to a better understanding of how that publication was both the beginning and end of the conversation it sought to inaugurate. "Notes on Sexuality and Space" investigates three related essays from that publication: Laura Mulvey's "Pandora: Topographies of the Mask and Curiosity," Beatriz Colomina's "The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism," and Mark Wigley's "Untitled: The Housing of Gender." Each investigated essay has been given a corresponding chapter. My method has been close reading, or the sustained interpretation of brief passages of text. Paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which ideas unfold as they are read, I have developed a comprehensive narrative of how these three essays, together, both instantiate and negate a shared discourse. To these ends, this thesis raises serious questions about what it means to have historiography after silence, and what it means to re-open an already closed discourse.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 87).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology