Dr Kah-wee Lee1, Dr Lilian Chee1, Mr. Zihao Wong1, Dr. Jayde Lin Roberts2, Dr. Gauri Bharat3
1National University Of Singapore, , Singapore, 2University of New South Wales, , Australia, 3Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, , India
Chair: Dr Kah-wee Lee
As the future of the world shifts eastwards, it is necessary to re-examine the burden of history in and of Asia. This has special significance for architectural and urban historians – as more and more of Asia’s built environment is folded into the expanding frontiers of development, the script of the past appears crowded and ghost-written by populist, nationalist and market forces. Yet it is into this contestation over the past that scholars can reconcile with how histories were written and articulate the nascent impulses of a new generation of historiography. This panel presents emerging trends in architectural and urban historiography with reference to changing disciplinary norms, institutional settings, methodologies and theoretical influences. The four papers wrestle with historiographical models outside of or emerging within the discipline of architecture, such as genealogy, micro-history and global history. They also show how various critical approaches (such as feminism, postcolonial theory and vernacular/heritage studies) have changed architectural inquiry, and ask what they can continue to offer into the future. Finally, as a panel made up primarily of mid-career scholars, it asks what “Asia” does to research and teaching: what are the stakes of writing histories in and of Asia, and what are the risks involved in charting new directions?