Feminist Ethnography and “writing-architecture-nearby”

7 February 2020, 6-8pm
Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq, London WC1H 0PD

Book tickets (free)

This talk tracks the way Cheatle’s work has developed over the last five years through a series of writing experiments which address architecture through situatedness and care.

Via three different projects, including research on the gynaecological and domestic spaces of the Maison de Verre, writings on the eighteenth-century home and “lying-in hospital”, and a more recently developed writing practice drawing on feminist ethnography and walking, the talk will unfold a developing set of methodologies. Over the three projects, Cheatle will trace the development of a particular form of feminist writing that observes, performs, mediates and reconstructs the spaces of marginalised or forgotten subjects; and where the reconstruction does not calcify the material object it springs from but proposes itself as an iteration, or a “writing nearby”.

With its critical ethnographic roots, “writing- architecture-nearby” is a slow, painstaking, iterative process of care. A mobile writing, it makes provisional, partial and interdisciplinary attempts to affect, resuscitate or activate architecture as a multiple subject.



Dr Emma Cheatle is Senior Lecturer in Architecture at University of Sheffield, UK. Her research uses feminist ethnography and creative-critical writing to explore the material, spatial and social history and theory of architecture and art. Awarded the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis 2014, Emma’s publications include Part-Architecture: The Maison de Verre, Duchamp, Domesticity and Desire in 1930s Paris (Routledge, 2016). She is co-investigator for the 3-year AHRC funded project Wastes and Strays: The Past, Present and Future of English Urban Commons.

Free tickets (limited availability)