Spatial & Political Hist of Architecture

Subject ABPL90276 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture per week; 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Anoma Pieris


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject explores how significant political changes over three centuries – the 19th, 20th and 21st, have impacted the built environments of non-Western countries and former colonies, asking how these transformations may be read through the disciplines of architecture and urbanism. Topics are periodized according to pre-colonial and colonial periods; nationalism and the cold war; and late capitalist and neo-liberal globalization; shifting the emphasis from race to politics and to economic change. The objective of this subject is to gain a comprehensive view of history through the lens of the non-Western built environment and its critiques as it developed against or in parallel with Euro-American Modernism.

Theoretically, this subject will engage with postcolonial explorations of the colonial city, anthropological investigations of the vernacular and the contemporary city as analyzed by cultural and urban geographers. Each section will include surveys of the key architectural texts that deal with these issues, and critical essays that review these texts and their contribution.

  • Understand the historical development of architecture in non-Western contexts.
  • Understand social, political, historical and cultural contexts through contextualisation of knowledge on the built environment in South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
  • Weekly readings, a short one paragraph summary of readings and one student will be responsible for discussing readings at the tutorial each week.
  • One page abstract due by week 4, five page outline with bibliography due in week 6.
  • 5000 word essay/comparative book review (with references) due during exam period.

Students will be asked to present on their essay topics in week 12.
Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes.

Prescribed Texts:

None specified

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture

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