Measuring Milestones: Feminist Histories of Architecture in Canada and the United States. (Discussion Papers/Documents De Travail)

By Bassnett, Sarah | Resources for Feminist Research, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

Measuring Milestones: Feminist Histories of Architecture in Canada and the United States. (Discussion Papers/Documents De Travail)


Bassnett, Sarah, Resources for Feminist Research


This paper reviews and compares selections from the feminist historiography of architecture in Canada and the United States in order to consider how feminist revisions have affected architectural history in each country. By looking at some Canadian and American exhibitions and publications focusing on women in architecture, I analyze how the notion of gender has been defined in feminist histories and what is at stake in their production. I set out to show that by contributing to the redefinition of what is considered historically significant, revisionist approaches to architectural history extend the relevance of Canadian histories to a wider audience.

Cet article recense et compare des selections de l'historiographie feministe de l'architecture au Canada et aux Etats-Unis atm de sonder la facon dont les revisions feministes ont affecte l'histoire architecturale de chaque pays. En examinant certaines expositions et publications canadiennes et etatsunienennes mettant 'emphase sur les femmes dans le domaine de 'architecture, janalyse la facon dont a definie la notion du genre au sein de l'histoire feministe ainsi que les enjeux de leur production. Je propose de demontrer qu'en contribuant la redefinition de ce quoi lon accorde une importance historique, les approches revisionistes a 'histoire architecturale etendent la pertinence des hitoires canadiennes en la mettant la portee dun public plus large.

**********

In the 1970s, many academics began to define a new way of practising historical study within their disciplines. In art history, for example, T. J. Clark and John Tagg were involved in formulating a program of study on the social history of art, (1) and Linda Nochlin initiated a feminist challenge to the discipline with her groundbreaking essay of 1971, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" (2) Drawing on contemporary feminist theory and studies such as Nochlin's, feminist scholars in architectural history began to question and challenge the "master" narrative of their own discipline. For many, this was an attempt not only to add women as new subject matter to historical study, but to critically re-examine what qualified as historically significant. In contrast to the canonical architectural history that focussed on the individual genius of "master" architects and major buildings, feminist histories addressed such issues as women's access to education and professional training, and the effect of women' s social roles on their ability to practise in the architectural profession, along with domestic and vernacular architecture, which was more likely to have been designed by women than was "high" architecture. The undertaking to redefine historical study by incorporating gender issues, as well as issues of race and class, has led to a significant revision of the canonical history of architecture.

This paper reviews and compares selections from the feminist historiography of architecture in Canada and the United States in order to consider how feminist revisions have affected architectural history in each country. By looking at some of the Canadian and American exhibitions and publications that have focussed on women in architecture, I analyze how the notion of gender has been defined in feminist histories, who is represented in these histories, and what is at stake in their production. In discussing these issues, I set out to show that by contributing to the redefinition of what is considered historically significant, revisionist approaches to architectural history extend the relevance of Canadian histories to a wider audience.

Histories of Canadian architecture are commonly considered important within the country because they contribute to an understanding of Canada's cultural heritage and national identity. However, outside of the country, Canadian topics hold a somewhat peripheral place within the discipline. Questions regarding the significance of Canadian work in the broader field and the affects of engaging feminist theory within Canadian architectural history arose for me because, as a Canadian studying at an American university, I have encountered different priorities and divergent perspectives between the disciplinary practices in each country. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Measuring Milestones: Feminist Histories of Architecture in Canada and the United States. (Discussion Papers/Documents De Travail)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.