ARC 342R / ARC 388R

This course is intended to serve as an exploration of African American experiences with the built environment in the United States from the American colonial period to the present. The course is arranged chronologically and thematically to consider more familiar topics such as plantation architecture and segregated space but offers an opportunity to explore other themes often neglected in the canon of American architectural history such as sites of urban enslavement, freedmen’s communities, evolution of the African American architect, convict laborers’ contributions to American architecture, interwar design, post WWII modernism and social reform, and reclamation/formation of an African American architectural identity and placemaking. Students will explore who or what defines the African American architectural experiences at different times and places.

The lecture course meets once a week as a seminar and carries the Cultural Diversity in the United States flag. Students are expected to read a wide array of primary and background texts and participate in writing assignments and in-class discussions. This is an intermediate-level, lecture/discussion course intended to build on the foundation of previous architectural history survey/topics sequence as well as courses in history and African American Studies. It offers frameworks for interpreting the history of the built environment in the United States and opportunities for developing research and interpretation. With these objectives in mind, students will participate in a major research project.


Architectural History


Fall 2023