A non-canonical history can thus take two forms.

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The architectural history canon tends to focus on building built and owned by elites (the wealthy and powerful), those built by and for men, those built by, for and used by Caucasian populations, and sites located in Europe and North America. This is reflected in this course. Most of the sites (not all) I have lectured on this semester are buildings associated with powerful, Caucasian men in Europe. You can find more information about the architectural history canon at the beginning of my lecture on Japanese architecture.
A non-canonical history can thus take two forms.
1) It can feature sites that are not associated with powerful, Caucasian men or are not in Europe. For example, an essay featuring three buildings by female architects would be considered a non-canonical architectural history. In the past, most students have chosen to write an essay featuring three sites located outside Europe. This too can be considered a non-canonical architectural history.
2) It can reveal a different history behind well known sites. An example of this type of history would be an essay that studies the life of servants and the servant quarters at a well known palace like Versailles. Rather than focus on the history of the powerful royal family, this type of history focuses on a marginalized and overlooked population within architectural history, the poor. This type of essay is also referred to as an alternative history, because it provides an alternative to the standard history most likely to be found in public history and textbooks.
Your essay must be written in full sentences and include an introduction and conclusion. To receive full marks your essay will have a clear thesis statement. For a site to be ‘fully identified,’ you must include its name, location and date(s) of construction in your essay. You must still include a discussion of the significance of each site, both its appearance and its context, in your essay.
Using a minimum of two fully identified sites that have been discussed in lectures, and one fully identified site that has not been discussed in any lecture, write a non-canonical or alternative architectural history.
This essay should survey buildings traditionally excluded from or sidelined within the canon due to their time period, geographical location, gender or racial associations, and/or highlight the subversive history of canonical sites: their location outside Europe, or their associations with underrepresented populations.
I’ve attached the slide list which includes a list of the Japanese sites that were mentioned in the lectures.

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