- Degree Programs
Faculty Fellow Mabel Wilson
Mabel O. Wilson is author of Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums, focusing on black Americans’ participation in world’s fairs, Emancipation expositions, and early black grassroots museums and tracing the evolution of black public history from the Civil War through the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Mabel O. Wilson gives voice to the figures that conceived the curatorial content—Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, A. Philip Randolph, Horace Cayton and Margaret Burroughs. As the 2015 opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., approaches, the book reveals why the black cities of Chicago and Detroit became the sites of major black historical museums rather than the nation’s capital—until now.
Mabel O. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation where she directs the program for Advanced Architectural Research. She teaches courses in architectural design, architectural theory, and visual cultural analysis. These classes explore a range of subjects including theories time, new technologies, and domesticity; cultural memory and modernism; urban agglomerations in African cities; theories of time, cinema and databases. She received a doctorate in American Studies from NYU (2007), and an M. Arch from Columbia’s GSAPP (1991.) She directs the GSAPP’s program for Advanced Architectural Research and the HBCU Leadership Project.
She is an award winning designer and scholar. Her collaborative design practices (KW: a and Studio 6Ten) have worked on speculative and built projects. T
Her essays investigate space and cultural memory in black America, race and visual culture, and new technologies and the social production of space. Her scholarly essays have appeared in numerous journals and books on critical geography, cultural memory, and architecture. She is currently completing the book Progress and Prospects – Black Americans and the World of Fairs and Museums that studies how ideologies of race, social uplift, and nationalism shaped black American sites of memory.