PhD: Architectural History, Modernism, Post-Colonialism and The Politics of Aesthetics.
Thesis Title: Le Corbusier, Chandigarh and the challenge of Aesthetic Modernity.
William’s project will explore the architectural history of Chandigarh, India, through the emergent critical perspective of transcultural/collaborative modernism. Deviating from the notion that Chandigarh was modernism transposed onto the Punjabi plains by Swiss architect and paragon of aesthetic modernity Le Corbusier, the project will excavate the lost history of the Indian architects that contributed to this city. Jacques Rancière’s recent critique of aesthetic modernity will be used to rupture Eurocentric narratives about the city and to ask how an analysis based on a decentred view of modernism could bring about new ways of thinking about modernity across European and Indian histories.
The aim of the project will be to understand the design of Chandigarh, the individuals, communities and architects involved. The purpose of my archival research will be to answer these questions: What did British and Indian architects contribute to the design of the city? How did these practices collaborate? What was their engagement with the Indian state and Nehruvian development discourse? Does viewing the modernism in Chandigarh as the result of a set of negotiations between individuals, communities and post-independence Indian state challenge canonical Anglophone discourses on modernism?
Supervisors and Institution(s):
Dr. Colin Wright, University of Nottingham
Dr. Laura Hanks, University of Nottingham
Dr. Simon Richards, University of Leicester.
Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities
Screening of Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Broxtowe Country Park, Nottingham, delivered in conjunction with Film Hub Central East (BFI) and TravelRight.
In Between Time’s Emerging Writers Programme, part of the biennial In Between Time Live Art Festival.
Exploring the relationship between art and politics through consideration of Jean-Luc Godard’s film La Chinoise, Nottingham Contemporary, E-Flux Reading Group.
Seminar style reading group, The Possibility of the Impossible; An Introduction to Radical Political Philosophy, One Thoresby Street (artist led space).