Presenting history: the manipulation of chronological structures in the development and maintenance of transformative curricula
In this article it is argued that, through adjustment of the point of view from which history is taught and theorised in architecture schools, grand narratives of progress can be critiqued and manipulated at a structural level. This could provide more lasting transformative practices than those produced by attempts to subvert such narratives by slotting alternative details into the existing structure.
The restructuring of points of view in history curricula is approached from critiques of two devices through which historical events are considered to be of objective significance: the canon and the timeline. The fundamental definitions and justifications of these devices are briefly unpacked, after which a proposal is made for alternative structures in the production of content for history and theory modules at university level. A brief description of some of the structural teaching and learning devices of studio-based design courses serves to illustrate the diversity of modes of engagement available to managers, teachers and students in the discipline. Some of those devices are then transposed onto more conventional teaching and learning structures in order to test new possibilities for history and theory curricula.
The possible outcomes of a restructuring is briefly illustrated through an example of resulting ‘other timelines’ which are functional at the level of rendering history legible and comprehensible as a subject of study, but which could simultaneously move narratives of progress out of history and into the personal experience of students and tutors.
Keywords: academic development; architectural representation; chronology; curriculum; decolonisation; history and theory; timelines; transformation
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).