• Rethinking Europe’s Position in the Formation of Architectural Histories: Is a Non-Eurocentric Narrative Possible?

    Marianna Charitonidou (see profile)
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Permanent URL:
    As a concept or idea Europe is a project, the task of thinking and accomplishing universality. Eurocentrism as a concept is specifiable only within the context of modernity and is crucial for thinking modernity. Modernity is here understood as an attitude, as a way of relating to contemporary reality. The efforts to incorporate postcolonialist criticism into architectural discourse, during the last four decades, have been proved risky, as they cannot avoid the peril of “provincializing” Europe. In order to write a history that is not based on the western canon, it is necessary to avoid labels such as “other” or colonial. By depicting Europe and the West as a homogeneous power of domination over the rest of the world, postcolonial criticism turns ‘Europe’ into the blind spot of its own discourse. The fallacious character of dichotomies, such as western/nonwestern or Eurocentric/non-Eurocentric, becomes evident if we think that various societies have adopted aspects of western modernity without fully adopting them, fitting them into the indigenous culture. Europe, as a concept, represents the potential for an enlightened resistance in a world that is progressively becoming dominated by the mono-perspectivism of globalism. Placing Eurocentric narratives under critical scrutiny, an attitude which is symptomatic of the development of architectural history since the dissolution of colonialist models, is accompanied by the questioning of the earlier zeitgeist theories, which, for a long time, had served to legitimize modernism. What seems to be at stake nowadays is the complicity of architecture with structures of power and dominant ideological agendas in society.
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    11 months ago


    Item Name: pdf built_and_thought_european_and_transatla-1.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 63