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ARCH 812 – Theory in Architectural Research - Academic Freedom: Education as Co-liberation


Theory in Architectural Research - Academic Freedom: Education as Co-liberation

ac·a·dem·ic /ˌakəˈdemik/


  1. a scholar in a university or other institution of higher education


  1. relating to education and scholarship
  2. of merely theoretical interest; not of practical relevance

“With students and the research community, in every operation we pursue together (a reading, an interpretation, the construction of a theoretical model, the rhetoric of an argumentation, the treatment of historical material, and even a mathematical formalization), we posit or acknowledge that an institutional concept is at play, a type of contract signed, an image of the ideal seminar constructed, a socius implied, repeated, or displaced, invented, transformed, threatened, or destroyed. An institution is not merely a few walls or some outer structures surrounding protecting, guaranteeing, or restricting the freedom of our work; it is also and already the structure of our interpretations.” Jacques Derrida, Eyes of the University

How to practice learning as a practice of liberation from the systems of oppression, exclusion, and inequality that structure the contemporary university, other institutions of learning, and almost all social spaces beyond them? How might we inaugurate intellectual freedom even as the disciplines and universities we inhabit work to foreclose that freedom at increasingly multiple turns? This seminar will attend to these and related questions that determine the intellectual, and therefore institutional and political dimensions of research in any and every form. The foundational hypothesis governing our thinking-in-common is that the classroom is the most radical space of possibility in the academy—a space where education is consistently undermined and precluded but also consistently present as a possibility for thinking, acting, and getting free (bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress). The seminar is open to doctoral students; all other students may be admitted at the discretion of the instructor. 


Thu 1:00-4:00pm 3154 A&AB


Andrew Herscher


Course Brief

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning