Vyjayanthi Rao: Archives and Intersections: Stories from Urban Fields

In this talk, Prof. Vyjayanthi Rao (Yale School of Architecture) will examine ideas of intersectionality that are at the heart of the capacity of cities to serve as archives. Drawing both on her ethnographic research into ruins as archives as well as on the work of two contemporary artists, based in New York and Mumbai respectively, she will explore the concept of intersectionality and its relationship to the forms that archives can and do take.

Vyjayanthi Rao’s research interests range around art, design, urbanism, the built environment, and memory and material culture. In particular, she studies the connections between violence, ruination, uncertainty, and speculation in contemporary cultural productions. She posits speculation as a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary practice, located across disparate spaces—from trading floors to museums to artist studios and informal settlements.

This event is organized by Hannah Baader and Costanza Caraffa as part of the research project The City as Archive. Histories of Collecting and Archiving in and the Musealisation of Florence, Eighteenth Century to the Present .

Vyjayanthi Rao is a Visiting Professor at Yale School of Architecture, a Senior editor of the journal Public Culture, and a member of the curatorial team of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2022. Previously, she held positions at City College of New York, New School for Social Research, and at the University of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology. For five years, she served as co-director of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action, and Research), an innovative urban think-tank based in Mumbai. Her articles have appeared in Public Culture, New Literary History, Perspecta, and Editoriale Lotus. Her edited volume Speculation, Now: Essays and Artworks, produced in partnership with curator Carin Kuoni and graphic designer Prem Krishnamurthi, was published by Duke University Press in 2015. Her work has been supported by grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the New School.

30 June 2022, 3:00pm

This event will take place in a hybrid format.

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze, Italia

To participate in person please email Julia.Biel@khi.fi.it to reserve a seat.

To participate online please register in advance via Zoom: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkdO6grjouH9fbEteNX9ovbzSFHaGIOaGQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


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