Dr Cynthia Imogen Hammond, PhD

Professor, Art History

Dr Cynthia Imogen Hammond, PhD
Élise Roberge, 2018


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
Place-responsive art
Community-engaged scholarship and creative work

Distinctions & Awards since 2015 (see CV for full list)

Concordia University Research Award, Category B, The Person and Society,
Faculty of Fine Arts Teaching Award, 2017
Outstanding Contribution to Student Life Award, 2015

The 2018 University Research Award Ceremony
Photo credit: © Concordia University

Teaching activities

Recent undergraduate courses

ARTH 270 Icons of Architectural History
ARTH 355 Spaces of Restorative and Transitional Justice
ARTH 381 Feminism and Art History
ARTH 450 Advanced Seminar in the History of Architecture: space, experience, architecture

Recent graduate courses

ARTH 627/2 Oral History and Art History
ARTH 803 Thematic Questions: Spatial Practices, Spatial Stories

Thesis Supervision

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.


Many of Prof. Hammond's publications can be downloaded from: https://concordia.academia.edu/CynthiaHammond. For the full list of her publications, please see her CV.

Publications since 2017

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.

2022 “A Feminist Arcadian Landscape: The Later Work of Joyce Wieland.” For a special issue of the Journal of Canadian Art History, co-edited by Johanne Sloan and Mark Clintberg.

2021  “Architecture, Photography, and Power: Picturing Montreal, 1973-74.” For Photogenic Montreal: Ruins and Revisions in a Postindustrial City. Ed. Johanne Sloan and Martha Langford. Montreal, Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 217-245.

2020 With Carmela Cucuzzella (lead author) and Jean-Pierre Chupin. “Eco-didacticism in Art and Architecture: Design as Means for Raising Awareness.” Cities (July 2020). Online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.102728. 8794 words.

2019  “Promenades parlantes: didacticism on the move.” Cahiers de recherche LEAP: On the Potential of Didacticism in Architecture / Du potentiel du didactisme en architecture. Ed. Carmela Cucuzzella, Cynthia Hammond, Chanelle Lalonde, Sherif Goubran. Montréal: Potential Architecture Books, 2019. 36-43.

2018  “Drawings for a Thicker Skin: A Conversation with Marc Lafrance.” Body and Society, Special  Issue: Skin. Marc Lafrance, ed. XX.X (2018): 1-15

2018  “Anne Griswold Tyng.” 50 Pioneering Women Architects. Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. http://www.bwaf.org/portfolio/pioneering-women-of-american-architecture/pw31/

2018 “The edge of her garden: Sveva Caetani and the frontier of potential.” Cahiers de recherche LEAP: Entre hétéronomie et autonomie : Penser l’architecture entre
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.

2018 “The Keystone of the Neighbourhood: Gender, Collective Action, and Working-Class  Heritage Strategy in Pointe-Saint-Charles, Montréal.” Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue  d’études Canadiennes, special issue on Critical Heritage Studies in Canada, guest editors Andrea Terry and Susan Ashley. 52.1 (2018): 108-148.

2017  “‘The Garden will be Illuminated’: Gendered and Georgian Pleasures in Sydney Gardens, Bath.” Bath History XIV. September 2017. 9-33.

2017  “From rust to green: postindustrial urban landscapes.” In Cahiers de recherche LEAP: Du Potentiel des grandes structures urbaines abandonnées/LEAP Research Notebooks: On the Potential of Abandoned, Large, Urban Structures. Ed. Jean-Pierre Chupin & Tiphaine Abenia. Montréal: LEAP, 2017. 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

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