Thesis Defence: Vic Mantha-Blythe

Thursday, December 17, 2020 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

The Witch’s House: Designing the house of the witch as a process of deconstructing an authority and invoking a feminist resistance.

Vic Mantha-Blythe thesis image

The site of this thesis is the witch’s house. A dissident and agitator in society, the witch and her respective home are both grounds for resistance and a place of refuge. The Witch’s House is a playful and experimental investigation of feminist architectural principles explored through narrative, writing, and drawing.

Designed as an antithesis to the societal frameworks that continue to constrain women’s potential ¬– both metaphorically and spatially –, the witch’s home is a speculative architecture. From a place of hopefulness and feminist values this thesis furnishes a safe space for intelligent, old, wise, and sexual women who are unafraid to dislocate systems of oppression.

I assemble fragments of knowledge – in the form of suppressed women’s history, feminist artwork, critical architecture theory of sexuality and space, and theories of abjection – to weave an architectural bricolage of the witch’s house in three forms.

Drawing from the dominant and disparaging depictions of the witch figure in Western and Northern European 19th century fairy tale compendiums, I identified the cave, forest, and hut as three typologies of the witch’s house. I transform these threadbare clichés of the witch’s home into textured narratives centering the perspective of women’s resistance as complex spatial relationships intertwined with social, ecological, economic, and spiritual implications.

Through this method of assembling I deconstruct an authority to forge a new understanding of enclosure, materiality, connection to nature, tectonics, and domesticity that is rooted in women’s innate and ancestral power.

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor: Dereck Revington
Committee Member: Tracey Winton
Internal Reader: Tara Bissett

External Reader: Christie Pearson

The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.

The Defence Examination will take place:
December 17, 2020, 2:00pm EST, open defence.
Teams link available via the graduate student Learn page or by request.

A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.