Bard Graduate Center Logo
  Banner Image

Azra Dawood
BGC Visiting Fellow

Searching for Form
In this presentation, architectural historian and curator Azra Dawood searches for the appropriate form—and method—for a series of public-facing research projects: one centered on artists and writers who explore personal, political, and environmental narratives around bodies of water (and drained spaces); one on the sport of cricket in cricket-playing communities of New York City (past and present); and one on religion and secularism (a version of this project is currently on view in her exhibition “City of Faith: Religion, Activism, and Urban Space,” at the Museum of the City of New York). In this talk, Dawood questions whether the exhibition of objects remains the most appropriate form for highlighting community histories and praxis-based research projects such as these.

Azra Dawood, PhD, is an independent historian, architect, curator, and educator. Her research on built environments and art practices engages the topics of cultural pluralism, religion and secularism, and critical perspectives on empire and philanthropy. Dawood has practiced architecture in Karachi, Austin, and New York City. Her past work includes a dissertation on the institutional projects financed by the Rockefeller philanthropic network in the early twentieth century, which she analyzed through the lens of the network’s pursuit of social engineering, the United States’ anti-immigration laws, and early twentieth-century theological movements. A related article was published in the Journal of Architecture. Since receiving a doctorate in architectural history from MIT, Dawood has taught at several institutions in New York and Texas, including the University of Houston, Bard College, and Pratt Institute. She is also the curator of City of Faith: Religion, Activism, and Urban Space, an exhibition currently on view at the Museum of the City of New York. Her curatorial projects center socially engaged approaches to public history. Past projects include a web-based interactive timeline showing how the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests transformed public space and life in New York City.

Tuesday, October 17, 12:15 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

Lunch will be served starting at noon. Registration required.

Register Button