The Shotgun House: Past, Present, & Future

dc.contributorEhlers, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorHedayatpour, Lida
dc.description.abstractThis paper analyzes the history, artistic representation, and contemporary significance of the shotgun house in terms of recent theories of property possession and what scholar Katherine McKittrick calls a “black sense of place.” While the paper examines the history and cultural significance of the shotgun house architecture in the United States, it concentrates specifically on the Third Ward neighborhood of Houston, Texas. After providing a historical overview of the shotgun house, I analyze paintings by Houston-based artist John Biggers and his student Harvey Johnson, both of whom illuminated the meaning of the shotgun home in their work as symbols of the African diaspora. In connecting the philosophical teachings of Biggers to the importance of the shotgun home, I describe how Houston artist Rick Lowe was inspired to create Project Row Houses, a revitalization initiative in the Third Ward that preserves abandoned shotgun houses. I show how Project Row Houses reimagines the architecture’s meaning and symbolism while simultaneously providing social services to help Third Ward’s community grow and prosper. Following this, the paper discusses the status of shotgun houses today, including the impacts of gentrification, natural disasters, and lack of government funding. Through such analysis, the paper addresses how the history of the shotgun house as a resource for community engagement might offer a new perspective on theories of property possession.
dc.description.departmentHonors College
dc.description.departmentEnglish, Department of
dc.relation.ispartofSummer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.titleThe Shotgun House: Past, Present, & Future


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