Research Symposium Proceedings

Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India
Kush Patel and Soumini Raja, Editors
Madhavi Desai, Editorial Advisor
Athira Balakrishnan and Vineeth TK, Book Designers
ISBN 978-93-5445-910-8

(Excerpts from the Introduction) This volume brings together 16 papers out of a total of 27 presentations that comprised the online research symposium convened by Madhavi Desai, Anuradha Chatterjee, and Kush Patel in March 2020. The proceedings observe the outline of the original program. We begin by locating the discourse on gender and leadership in the Indian context in relation to experiences of patriarchy in professional settings through Madhavi Desai’s keynote entitled, “Women and Architecture in India: Negotiating Teaching, Practice, and Research.” The making and materialities of spatial practices, archive, and gender are presented next through the individual works of Rajshree Rajmohan, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, and Fathima Jilna and Reshma Mathew, which comprised the panel entitled, “Gender Narratives and Archival Descriptions in Architectural Education.” Critiques of disciplinary conventions in design and conservation leadership follow this opening set through the respective writings of Monolita Chatterjee and Sonali Dhanpal. Their papers constituted the panel entitled, “Counternarratives of Program- and Institution-building in Architecture.” Foregrounding social identities to make space for oneself within professional design curricula are discussed in the writings by Arul Paul, Nirupama KS, and Naveen Bagalkot. Together, these presentations were part of the lightning talks entitled, “Performances of Identity.” The practices and politics of representation, away from their patriarchal and colonial conventions, are rendered visible through the works of Czaee Malpani and Kush Patel, each of which defined the panel entitled, “Formations of Self in and through Intersectional Feminist Pedagogies.” Teaching practices in their plurality, power, and potentialities are discussed in relation to their unique institutional contexts in the respective writings of Ishita Shah, Sonal Mithal, Soumini Raja, and Urvi Desai. Their papers formed the lightning talks entitled, “Approaches to Learning and Teaching.” The final paper in this volume by Anushka Shahdadpuri and Shreya Kothawale returns us to reflect on the very framings and formats of conferences on gender, design, and architecture that often reproduce social exclusions. This presentation was part of the lightning talks entitled, “Questions of the Collective.”

This symposium project, however, remains incomplete. The convenors’ call for papers was structured not only around critiques of patriarchy, but also casteism, inviting scholarship on feminist forms of leadership that challenge institutional roles restricted to, and held by, savarna academics. In this regard, the final program could never have felt sufficient. Yet, the little that the convenors and editors have done to create space for discourse and community would not have been possible without the support of many, including, but not limited to, those contributors whose papers could not be part of this project as well as others who could travel with us patiently amidst rising academic, professional, and care-giving responsibilities in this pandemic.

Read the entire publication online on ISSUU or download the PDF of Full Proceedings here (March 2021); Instant Proceedings here (April 2020); and Book of Abstracts here (March 2020). For ordering individual or institutional print copies, please contact Avani Institute of Design directly.

How to cite: Patel, Kush and Soumini Raja, ed. Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India: Research Symposium Proceedings. Calicut: Avani Institute of Design, 2021.