About the Site

The site’s title, “who speaks and acts,” comes from Gilles Deleuze. In the widely published 1972 conversation between Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, the two theorists discuss the relationship between theory and practice vis-à-vis the distribution of power and changing role of intellectuals in society [1]. Deleuze applauds Foucault for his work with the Group for Information on Prisons that provided space to prisoners from which to speak and act. He gives credit to Foucault for drawing (intellectual) attention to the “indignity of speaking for others … to appreciate the theoretical fact that only those directly concerned can speak in a practical way on their own behalf” [2].

This online record reflects on the question of “who speaks and acts?” from within and beyond the limits of this referenced conversation. It is an attempt to document and explore the form and meaning of shared voice in the context of architecture and digital public humanities work. As a queer feminist, it is also my way of asking how we might teach, learn, and talk about public scholarship, community engagement, and digital pedagogy in such unequal contexts of race, class, gender, ability, and geographical difference.

This site’s blog feature builds upon its previous version by the same title on WordPress.com and Tumblr; each of which chronicled the public and political lives of my doctoral research.

About Me

Kush Patel (he/they)
Ph.D., Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
M.Sc., Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
M.Arch., Urban Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
B.Arch., South Gujarat University, Surat

I am currently on sabbatical, working on a few collaborative research, writing, and pedagogy projects in architecture and the digital humanities, whilst also caring for the family. Most recently, I held academic appointments as Associate Faculty Librarian of Digital Pedagogy and as LSA Adjunct Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Michigan. Within U-M Library’s Learning and Teaching unit, I worked with members of the Connected Scholarship team to develop and support course- and research-based initiatives for students, faculty, and wider community partners that enrich the projects of voice, care, and participation. Specifically, I partnered with colleagues on and beyond campus to address the challenges and potentials of community-engaged learning and public humanities work in the digital age around such methods as digital storytelling and community archiving. As Adjunct Lecturer in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), I taught undergraduate courses on place, politics, and engaged citizenship, focusing on ways in which the digital and community-based practices of art, architecture, and the humanities might help us describe and envision what it means to be a citizen today.

I completed my Ph.D. in Architecture from the Taubman College at the University of Michigan, where I researched issues of participatory politics, narrative building, and social production of space in the radical French architectural works of the “post-68” period. Prior to joining the University of Michigan Library, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities and the Michigan Humanities Collaboratory, a graduate student Public Humanities Fellow with Rackham’s Arts of Citizenship program, an Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Fellow with LSA’s Office of Community-Engaged Academic Learning, a Mellon Public Humanities Summer Fellow at the U-M Detroit Center, and a Project Assistant in the Art and Architecture Special Collections.

In each of these hybrid roles, I extended my education in architecture and the humanities to develop academic initiatives along dialogic and participatory lines, as well support the capacity-building of graduate and undergraduate students in research, critique, and pedagogy. Nationally, I remain active in the communities of Imagining America (IA), and currently serve as co-director at-large of IA’s Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellows Program, member of the IA Task Force, and co-convener of the IA Hybrid-Hyphenated Group and “Organizing Against Violence” pedagogy project.

A full CV is available upon request via the contact page on this website.


[1] “Intellectuals and power: A conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze” in Michel Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1980), 205-217.
[2] Ibid, 209.