Gail Dubrow: Shanties fit for swine in God-forsaken places

Gail Dubrow
Professor of architecture, landscape architecture, public affairs and planning, and history; director of the Consortium on Interdisciplinary Inquiry, University of Minnesota

Shanties fit for swine in God-forsaken places: How picture-brides made homes in the Pacific Northwest landscape
Monday, November 16, 6 p.m., 100 Rapson Hall
H.W.S. Cleveland Fund Lecture

Ordinary women rarely have been imagined as significant agents of change in shaping the landscape of the American West, but a new exhibit at the Autry Museum of the American West starts from that premise. Commissioned for one segment of the exhibit, this research draws on the material culture, personal narratives, and poems of Japanese picture brides to reveal their key role in transforming the rough architecture and raw landscape associated with Japanese men, who immigrated before them to work in lumber camps and on farmsteads, into places women considered suitable for human habitation. This lecture will be illustrated from Dubrow's extensive collection of images of the built environment and cultural landscape associated with Japanese American communities.

Gail Dubrow is professor of architecture, landscape architecture, public affairs and planning, and history at the University of Minnesota. She served from 2005-2009 as Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. Prior to 2005, she served for 16 years on the faculty of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Washington, where she was founding director of the Preservation Planning and Design Program. Her work documents and protects places in the history of women, minorities, and other underrepresented communities. She is currently working on a report of findings from the Consortium on Interdisciplinary Inquiry. Following a leave, she looks forward to rejoining the faculty in fall 2010.