With the rise of tribalism and nationalism throughout the world, questions of collective identity and belonging have surged to prominence in recent years. Across numerous disciplines and discourses, a key dilemma has taken shape: how to reconcile the legitimate yearning for rootedness and locality, with the fluidity and porousness of an increasingly global age. On the one hand, prevailing responses to this tension, including those shaped by predominant forms of nationalism, liberalism, and globalism, are struggling to resolve the dilemma. On the other hand, a range of perspectives deriving from alternate sites of collective life and value—for example, indigenous communities, postcolonial and social justice movements, religion, environmental movements, and cosmopolitan networks—cast the relevant debates in a different light. This online speaker series brings together leading thinkers from a variety of perspectives to examine and reframe the crises of identity and belonging that confront us in a rapidly changing global age, and to think deeply about how humanity might resolve them.
Featuring virtual talks and visual presentations by architects Joan Sorrano (Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, Minneapolis, MN), Nader Ardalan (Shams-i-Tabrizi Mausoleum, Khoy, Iran), Brigitte Shim (Congregation Bet Ha’am, South Portland, ME) and Siamak Hariri (Baha’i House of Worship, Santiago, Chile), this series explores how the material medium of architecture facilitates transcendent experiences.