Rice Architecture Fall 2020 Lecture Series: Ana María León

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September 23, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

You Are Standing On Occupied Land
Fall 2020 Lecture Series: Race, Social Justice, and Allyship
Sep. 23, 2020
6:00pm to 7:00pm
Zoom Webinar


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Ana María León, assistant professor, History of Art, University of Michigan, presents the lecture “You Are Standing On Occupied Land” at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom as part of the Rice Architecture Fall 2020 Lecture Series.

The text written across the Chicago Cultural Center windows looking onto Michigan Ave reads: "You are looking at unceded land." The sign, installed by the Settler Colonial City Project at the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, makes the observer aware of a history that has been erased for too long. Understanding the history of unceded land brings us to a present of occupied land. León will discuss her research, teaching, and practice as the result of these statements.

Ana María León is an architect and a historian of objects, buildings, and landscapes. Her work studies how spatial politics inform the modernity of the Americas. She is Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and holds a PhD in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture from MIT. León is co-founder of several collaborations laboring to broaden the reach of architectural history including Detroit Resists, the Settler Colonial City Project and Nuestro Norte es el Sur. She is currently the Charles P. Brauer Faculty Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities and co-directs the Decolonizing Pedagogies Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.

Rice Architecture Fall 2020 Lectures are part of an initiative to acknowledge, understand, and act on systemic racism in the built environment. Invited designers, scholars, and activists will speak on the relationship between race, architecture, and, by extension, related questions of social equity, environmental justice, and gender parity. The aim of the lecture series is to foreground these issues in the school’s curriculum while more broadly fostering solidarity and action in architecture.