Dr Cynthia Imogen Hammond, PhD
Professor, Art History
Dr Cynthia Hammond was born in 1969 in Hamilton, Ontario, on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinabewaki nations, near the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. Her parents, new immigrants to Canada, were settler-colonials from New Zealand. Hammond studied painting, sculpture, and art history at McMaster University in Hamilton, and went on to do her MA in Art History at Concordia, graduating in 1996. She then graduated from Concordia's Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in 2002, winning the Governor-General's Gold Medal for her dissertation. After teaching at the University of Western Ontario and Carleton University, Dr Hammond held the first SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Architecture, McGill University, from 2004-06. She was hired by Concordia's Department of Art History in 2006, and became Chair of that department from 2013-16. From 2017-20 Dr Hammond was the lead Co-Director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS). She is also a member of several research centres and institutes at Concordia and elsewhere.
Feminisms are central to Dr Hammond's interdisciplinary practice, and the way she researches and teaches histories of the city. Dr Hammond's research and creation address the roles of women, animals, and biological life in shaping designed landscapes and the built environment. Her publications have explored a wide range of topics, including the history of architecture, installation art, photography, as well as the politics of public history and the notion of collective heritage. Dr Hammond's work is always grounded in the specifics of a given site, and the living knowledge of residents, citizens, and occupants of different kinds. She explores this method in her 2012 book, Architects, Angels, Activists, part of which may be downloaded here.
Much of Dr Hammond's creative practice focuses on gardens and other kinds of living landscapes. Her most recent solo exhibition, Les Jardins des femmes, was shown at the School of Architecture at McGill in June 2019 (the catalogue may be downloaded here). Her most recent group art exhibition, Safety Strategies, was held at Studio XX in February 2017. Dr Hammond also works with various creative collectives on projects that connect Montreal's residents with urban history, directly engaging citizens' own interest in processes of development and change (see http://cynthiahammond.org).
In 2020 Dr Hammond received a SSHRC Partnership Development grant "La Ville Extraordinaire", a three-year, community-based oral history research-creation project that aims to foreground the urban knowledge and living memories of diverse, older Montrealers. She is also leading a SSHRC-funded Insight Development grant on the spaces of restorative and transitional justice.
Research & Teaching Interests
History and theory of architecture, landscape architecture, and the city
Gardens, urban landscapes, and cultural landscapes
Gender and space
Feminist and posthumanist theory
Oral history and oral history research-creation
Community-engaged scholarship and creative work
Distinctions & Awards since 2015 (see CV for full list)
Photo credit: © Concordia University
Recent undergraduate courses
Recent graduate courses
Current PhD supervision
Marcela Torres Molano, PhD, Art History, “Socially-Engaged Art in Public Space: A history of a reparation and reconciliation tool in post-conflict Colombia”
Greg Labrosse, PhD, Humanities, “Children's Cultural Agency: Dance, Photography, and Space in a Colombian City”
Angela Arsenault, PhD, Humanities, “Brownfield Notes: Urban foraging in the postindustrial landscape”
Current Master’s supervision
Olivia Vidmar, MA, Art History (in progress)
Margaret Lapp, MA, Art History (in progress)
Elizabeth Robinson, MA Art History (in progress)
Vanessa Sicotte, MA, Art History (in progress), "Resistant Materiality in Interwar France: Charlotte Perriand Table basse manifeste pour Jean-Richard Bloch (1937), and Other Manifestos"
Lisa Massa, MA, Art History (in progress), "Navigating Bella Figura: Inside the Childhood Homes of Six Second-Generation Italian- Canadian Women in Montreal"
Noémie Fortin, MA, Art History (in progress), “Quand l’art et la culture (re)dessinent le paysage : Communauté, environnement et tourisme au centre-ville de Lac-Mégantic”
Please see CV for full list of supervisions, co-supervisions, and committee memberships, etc
Theorizing research-creation and place-based, site-responsive art
Hammond's first book, Architects, Angels, Activists and the City of Bath, 1765-1965: Engaging with Women's Spatial Interventions in Buildings and Landscape (Ashgate 2012) explores cultural memory and public history in the world-renowned city of Bath, England, one of the few cities in the world to have been given World Heritage Status by UNESCO. Hammond approaches the past with the methods of the architectural historian and the site-specific interventions of the contemporary artist. Looking beyond and behind Bath's strategic marshaling of its past, and its reiteration of male architectural heroes, Hammond presents the ways that women of all classes shaped the built environment and designed landscapes of one of England's most architecturally significant cities. This book is also an intervention into the city's public memory. The author uses site-specific works of public art as strategic counterparts to her historical readings. Through them, she aims to transform as well as critique the urban image of Bath. At once a performative literature, an extensively researched history, and an alternative guide to the city, Architects, Angels, Activists engages with struggles over urban signification in Bath and beyond.
2023 In preparation. With Shauna Janssen and Eric Craven. “Promenade parlante: Intergenerational Dialogue, Place-Based Memory, and Co-Creation” Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Approaches in Ageing Research. Ed. Anna Urbaniak and Anna Wanka. Routledge.
2022In preparation. “Creativity, conviviality, and care: the shift from private to public in Montreal’s Notman Garden.” Le Carnet, Special issue: Femmes, institutions, espaces publics, Édith-Anne Pageot and Dominic Hardy (June 2022).
2022 Under review. With Greg Labrosse, Vanessa Sicotte, and Marcela Torres Molano. “From caseta to cuarto: The spaces of transitional justice in Colombia before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.” In Interiors in the era of Covid-19. Ed. Penny Sparke et al. Bloomsbury Press, 2022.
discipline et profession/LEAP Research Notebooks: Between heteronomy and autonomy: Thinking architecture in between discipline and profession. Ed. Louis Martin & Jonathan
Lachance. Montréal: LEAP, 2018. 46-51.
Conferences and presentations
Peer-reviewed conference papers since 2016
2019 With Shauna Janssen. “Desiring the Dark: Feminist Scenographies, the City, and the Night.” Thrill of the Dark: Heritages of Fear, Fascination and Fantasy. University of Birmingham, Birmingham UK. 25-27 April
2018 With Shauna Janssen. “Un Promenade parlante: Oral History, Research-Creation, and Senior Montrealers’ Knowledge of Urban Change.” Oral History Association, Concordia University, 10-14 October
2016 “Montreal Mansions: Photography, Architecture, and Heritage.” Panel: “What does Photography Preserve? Reification and Ruin in the Photographic Heritage of a Place Called Montreal.” Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference, Montreal, 3-8 June
2016 With Shauna Janssen. “Witnessing and Walking as Critical Heritage Practices: The Wellington Tower Project.” Panel: “Walking post-industrial areas.” Association of Critical Heritage Studies, Montreal, 3-8 June 2016
2016 “From rust to green: postindustrial urban landscapes.” Du Potentiel des grandes structures urbaines abandonnées. LEAP: Séminaire annuel. Faculté d’amenagement, Université de Montréal, 7 May 2016
Invited lectures since 2016
2020 “Promenade Parlante: Oral History, Research-Creation, and Older Montrealers' Knowledge of the City.” For the Librarians’ Research Forum Committee Brown Bag Lecture series, Concordia University, 20 January
2019 “Co-Creating with Sensitivity: Promenade Parlante.” Round table: “Curating and creating with sensitive memory,” as part of Listen, Explore and Learn: The Living Archives of Rwandan Exiles and Genocide Survivors, conference, Concordia University’s 4th Space, 10 December
2019 “Layered Landscapes: The Notman Garden in Milton-Parc, Montréal.” As part of History and Memory: A Journée d’étude to mark the retirement of Ronald Rudin. Centre for Oral History & Digital Storytelling, Concordia. 15 November
2019 Artist’s talk for Les Jardins des femmes, for the Crossing Boundaries and Constructing Linkages: The History of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile in National and International Context conference, McGill University, 20 June
2019 With Alex Tigchelaar. “An Architecture of Catastrophe: Montréal’s Red Light District.”Lieux et rituels de l’utopie et de la dystopie (Architecture de la catastrophe) : Séminaire annuel du LEAP et colloque international :, Université de Montréal, 16 May
2019 "Working-class women’s activism, the right to the city, and intergenerational storytelling.” International Women’s Week Festival, Vanier College, 5 March
2018 “The Right to the City: Place-based and reciprocal pedagogy in Pointe-St-Charles.” Des voix qui s’élèvent, UQAM, 8 November
2018 “‘Children Ran Freely in the Streets’: Oral History, Research-Creation, and Elder Women's Knowledge of Urban Change.” Oral History Summer Institute, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, 24-27 June
2018 “Suffrage on the Street and in the Garden: The Feminist Transformation of Edwardian Bath.” Plenary lecture for Mapping the Modern Movement: Heritage Designed by Women. MOMOWO, Torino, Italy, 13 June
2018 “Urban Art Histories: Place-Based Pedagogy, Research, and Creation.” Knowledge & Networks II: Connecting the Circles of Canadian Art History. UBC, 10-13 May
2018 "Promenades parlantes: didacticism on the move.” LEAP: Séminaire annuel. Grey Nuns Motherhouse, Concordia University, April 6
2017 “Sensorial arts in the Garden of Eden, Venice.” With Kelly Thompson and Kathleen Vaughan. Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC). 17 November
2017 “The Edge of Her Garden.” LEAP: Séminaire annuel. École de design, Université de Québec à Montréal, 16 June
2016 “Teaching in Community: How can we encourage reciprocity in learning?” With Ted Little and Kathleen Vaughan. Living Knowledge Series, Office of Community Engagement, Concordia (event held at Share the Warmth, Pointe-St-Charles, Montréal), 16 November
2016 "Green secrets: Locked gardens, hidden landscapes, and the public life of cities." LEAP (Laboratoire d'étude de l'architecture potentielle) lecture series 2016-17, Concordia. 2 Nov
2016 “Collaboration, Enchantment, and Site-Responsive Practice,” Lecture for the 2016-17 Lecture Series, Centre for Oral History & Digital Storytelling, Concordia University, 29 September
2016 “Mapping Feminist Spatial Occupations in Edwardian Bath, England,” Lecture for the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment’s Speaker Series, Concordia, 12 Feb.
2016 “Urban Enchantments: The City as Collaborator,” Lecture for the 2015-2016 Urban Studies Seminar Series, School of Urban Planning, McGill University, 29 January
Art practice and interdisciplinary collaborations
For an up-to-date list of Professor Hammond's art and creative collaborations, please visit her online portfolio at http://cynthiahammond.org