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Mabel O. Wilson appointed Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department

Mabel o wilson credit dario calmese
July 9, 2024

The Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Columbia GSAPP) is pleased to share that Professor Mabel O. Wilson has been appointed as Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department (AAADS) at Columbia University, effective July 1, 2024. AAADS explores the historical, cultural, social, and intellectual contours of the development of people of African descent. Its undergraduate and graduate programs provide students with interdisciplinary knowledge in the humanities and social sciences in the black American, Caribbean, and sub-Saharan experience. She takes on the role following Kellie Jones, the Hans Hoffman Professor of Modern Art in Art History and Archaeology and a Professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies.

Mabel O. Wilson (’91 M.Arch) is one of the leading voices in critical studies of architecture. She has pioneered a way to articulate scholarship, practice, and activism – inspiring all of us at GSAPP, and showing colleagues around the world how to engage with architecture’s power and responsibilities. She is the Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture and has taught design studios and history/theory seminars at GSAPP since 2007, is Professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies, co-directs the GSAPP Global Africa Lab, and has served as the Co-Director of the Commission on the History of Race and Racism at Columbia University since December 2022. From 2020 to 2023, she was the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. Professor Wilson is an active practitioner with her office Studio& and was a member of the design team for the critically acclaimed Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. Professor Wilson’s influential scholarship has been published in numerous journals and books, and includes publications such as Race and Modern Architecture (University of Pittsburgh Press 2020). She is co-curator of the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at the Museum of Modern Art (2021), and has presented her work at international venues including the Venice Biennale, Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and others.