Mabel O. Wilson, the Nancy and George Rupp Professor at the GSAPP and a professor in the African American and African Diasporic Studies Department at Columbia University, will deliver a lecture titled “Memory/Race/Nation: The Politics of Modern Memorials” as part of DISCUSSIONS in Architectural History and Theory.
Wilson serves as the associate director at the Institute for Research in African American Studies and co-directs Global Africa Lab. She is a collaborator in the architectural team for the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. Exhibitions of her work have been featured at the Venice Biennale, Art Institute of Chicago, Architekturmuseum der TU Mūnchen, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial, the Storefront for Art and Architecture and SF Cameraworks. She is a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?)—an advocacy project to educate the architectural profession about the problems of globalization and labor. In 2011 she was honored as a United States Artists Ford Fellow in architecture and design. She received the prestigious Arts and Letters Award in 2019 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for her work with Global Africa Lab. She is the author of Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) and Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (University of California Press 2012). She is currently developing the manuscript Building Race and Nation: How Slavery Influenced Antebellum American Civic Architecture and collaborating on a collection of essays on race and modern architecture. Prof. Wilson received her B.S. in Architecture from University of Virginia, Masters of Architecture from Columbia GSAPP and a Ph.D in American Studies from New York University.
Images: Memorial 2 – Lynching of John Henry James Historical Marker, Charlottesville, 2019. Photo by Mabel O. Wilson; MEMORIAL TO ENSLAVED LABORERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.