The prestigious Cooper Union, a private college in New York City, hosted a bizarre lecture on Tuesday about the “whiteness” of architecture.
The exclusive Cooper Union School in New York City hosted a bizarre lecture this week entitled “The Space of Appearance: Infrastructures of Whiteness.” The speech was given by Nicholas Mirzoeff, a “visual activist,” who claims to work at the “intersection” of politics, race, and global culture.
An event description on the college’s website describes the lecture as an exploration into how “white supremacy” reproduces itself in visual culture.
Nicholas Mirzoeff delivers a free, public lecture as part of the Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series that asks how whiteness and white supremacy have been able to reproduce themselves. It takes its direction from Kwame Nkrumah’s injunction to “face forward” to bring together the practice of multi-screen moving image installation and media theory of infrastructure. Nicholas Mirzoeff looks at how museums, monuments, and formal spaces of incarceration interact to sustain regimes of segregation, taking examples ranging from Danish refugee detention centers to the American Museum of Natural History, Rhodes Must Fall, and the Great March of Return in Gaza.
The event, which was first highlighted in a report by Campus Reform, took place on Tuesday night in a lecture hall at Cooper Union.
Cooper Union is one of the most exclusive institutions of higher learning in America. In fact, Abraham Lincoln even gave a famous speech about federal power and slavery in the college’s basement in 1860.
Cooper Union’s acceptance rate has historically hovered around 9 percent. On top of that, Cooper Union has less than 1,000 students. Students who want to gain admission to Cooper Union have to compete for a small handful of available spots. However, all of those that are admitted will be rewarded with a full-tuition scholarship.
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