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By Charles Davis | This essay examines the rhetorical function of invisibility in Ralph Ellison’s postwar novel Invisible Man. The author claims that invisibility serves as an allegory for the act of uncovering the political motivations of urban spaces. The main protagonist’s curse of invisibility and his eventual retreat to the sewers –the literal ‘underground’ of the city–is interpreted as a prompt for unveiling […]

Each year, the Friend of Architecture at Morgan (FoAM) host a panel on one issue related to the architectural profession. This year the theme was ‘History and the Profession’. I was asked to serve as a panelist with an architect and a preservationist. It ended up being a really interesting conversation, primarily because we all […]

I am please to announce the reposting of my thoughts on June Jordan on another website. The Aggregate collective, an experimental forum for architectural historians had recently curated a call for papers on the recent Black Lives Matter protests. This effort was headed up by Professors Jonathan Massey (California College of the Arts) and Meredith […]

Charles Davis, “Capitalist Maps” (c.2001) SURFACE EFFECTS Professor: Shayne O’Neil, SUNY Buffalo (c.2001) Studio Brief: The Surface Effects studio is neither an urban or a landscape investigation. It is about mapping, reprogramming, and activating derelict urban surfaces or topographies. The site is metropolitan in scale and regional in context. A nexus of infrastructural networks – […]

I have been revisiting some of the designs I completed while working in architectural firms in the last year or so. The idea is to look back and assess the common themes of my work, update some of the more relevant themes, and at rare times to retroactively reverse some of my more utopian positions. […]

William A. Gleason, Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature (New York: NYU Press, 2011) TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction: Race, Writing, Architecture: American Patterns Cottage Desire: The Bondwoman’s Narrative and the Politics of Antebellum Space Piazza Tales: Architecture, Race, and Memory in Charles Chesnutt’s Conjure Stories Imperial Bungalow: Structures of Empire in Richard Harding Davis and Olga […]