Faculty Snapshot: Mabel Wilson
Tell us about your work.
I'm completing work as a co-curator on an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called "Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America." The show brings together 11 architects, designers and artists to examine anti-Black racism in the built environments of Brooklyn, Miami, Oakland, Syracuse, Nashville, and Kinloch, Missouri, among others. Through drawing, models, videos, and full scale installations, the contributors also explore the rich space-making practices of Black communities and individuals in the U.S. Our catalogue functions as a field guide of the commissioned projects along essays of varying lengths to produce an archive of Black life in America.
What are you looking forward to right now? What are you excited about?
I'm looking forward to returning to my book manuscript "Building Race and Nation: Slavery, Dispossession and America's Civic Architecture." With the recent BLM protests in the streets of Washington D.C. followed by the efforts of insurrectionists to storm the US Capitol, too little is known about the history of the enslaved labor that built the city.
What advice would you have for a potential mentee about succeeding in academia?
It is an important first step for junior faculty to build bridges to other faculty beyond your discipline, outside your academic school or college, and away from the university. This makes for a diverse community of academics and non-academics who will provide needed support and conviviality in a myriad of ways.