An examination of intersections of mass-population displacement and architecture through the twentieth century and into the present (with visual contribution by Omer Fast).
In architectural history, just as in global politics, refugees have tended to exist as mere human surplus; histories of architecture, then, have usually reproduced the nation-state's exclusion of refugees as people out of place. Andrew Herscher's Displacements: Architecture and Refugee, the ninth book in the Critical Spatial Practice series, examines some of the usually disavowed but arguably decisive intersections of mass-population displacement and architecture—an art and technology of population placement—through the twentieth century and into the present. Posing the refugee as the preeminent collective political subject of our time, Displacements attempts to open up an architectural history of the refugee that could refract on the history of architecture and the history of the refugee alike.
Andrew Herscher is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan with appointments in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Department of Art History. His publications include Violence Taking Place: The Architecture of the Kosovo Conflict (Stanford University Press, 2010), The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (University of Michigan Press, 2012), and, coedited with Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Spatial Violence (Routledge, 2016).