European Architectural History Network

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 1, 2009
Guimaraes_03_Museu Alberto Sampaio_bystukinha left

The Museu de Alberto Sampaio, Guimarães, founded as a museum of ecclesiastical art in 1928 and located in portions of the former convent of the Collegiate Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira in the heart of the city. Photograph: EAHN

A new CAA affiliate society, the European Architectural History Network (EAHN) has launched a smart-looking website with various sorts of useful content and a striking newsletter available for download (it includes the image and caption shown to the right). As outlined in its mission statement, EAHN “supports research and education by providing a public forum for the dissemination of knowledge about the histories of architecture. Based in Europe, it serves architectural historians and scholars in allied fields without restriction on their areas of study.” You do not, in other words, need to work on a European topic to be an active member.

The group’s first international meeting takes place in Guimarães, Portugal, 17-20 June 2010. Paper proposals are due by 30 October 2009 (see below for two session that might be relevant for eighteenth-century scholars).

The organization has also compiled a list of ranked architectural journals. Last updated in 2007, the version currently available on the Network’s website includes just over 100 periodicals, which are assigned a ranking of A, B, or C. The group explains the project as follows:

EAHN is working on this list as a support for architectural historians and their institutes to be able to validate their research output. In the absence of ranked list of periodicals in the field of architectural history by institutions such as ISI (Web of Science), it is important that we provide a list that can act as an international reference point for research in architectural history. This list is far from complete or adequate. As it stands now, it is based upon an agreement between architectural department in Flemish universities, who worked on a provisional list. We invite individuals and schools to react to this list, with proposals for extending it or for reconsidering the ranking of specific journals. Please mail to hilde.heynen@asro.kuleuven.be


Territorial Defensive Systems of European Colonies: 15th to 18th Centuries

Museum of Architecture / Architecture in the Museum

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Territorial Defensive Systems of European Colonies: 15th to 18th Centuries
The session proposes to debate the territorial defensive systems that came into being when European powers occupied non-European territories, from the beginning of the maritime discoveries up to the impact of the Industrial Revolution on warfare and communications. Considering that important European colonial powers endeavoured to transform maritime networks – hinged mainly on factories or outposts – into full-fledged territorial empires, examples of different levels of occupation and fortification can be found. Most of these defensive systems were still heavily dependent on the protection and supplies provided by boats; however, the Europeans also enjoyed advantages through improved engineering, artillery and widespread use of individual firearms. On the other hand, at least one European power – Russia – embarked on an essentially overland colonial expansion. Different territorial and architectural characteristics within colonial defensive systems reflected diverse patterns of colonial occupation within different environments. Lesser degrees of state or “mother-country” authority gave rise to frontier and adventurous mindsets with ad-hoc defensive tactics. In more coveted lands, intra-European conflicts naturally played an important role. Papers in this session should focus on the adaptation of methods, tools and objects of territorial occupation and fortification applied by the European agents to peculiar contexts of territorial scale. Attention to the relations between the defensive system, economic development, urban patterns (if present) and communication networks of a particular territory or group of territories is also essential. Varying degrees of interference with the social and cultural aspects of the occupied peoples should also be considered and the impact of the colonial occupation accessed. Papers may consider how colonizing powers decided to expand beyond their maritime bases and if this was a planned process or a succession of uncoordinated exploits later recognized as a driving push towards territorial occupation; from the relentless Spanish conquistadores to the reluctant VOC merchants, different European powers developed diverse approaches toward colonial occupation. How the defensive systems fared and evolved – if they disappeared or if they expanded – can also be addressed in view of the multiple factors that affected European colonization processes throughout the world. Please send paper proposals and short CVs by email to: Prof. Walter Rossa, Departamento de Arquitectura, Universidade de Coimbra, Colégio das Artes, Largo D. Dinis, Coimbra, Portugal. Telephone: +351 239 852 373; Fax: +351 239 829 220; e-mail: wrossa@netcabo.pt and to Sidh Losa Mendiratta, Núcleo de Arquitectura e Urbanismo, Centro de Estudos Socie-mail: sidh77@gmail.com.

Museum of Architecture / Architecture in the Museum
From the first public museums of architecture in 18th century France to the recent Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, one thing has been clear: museums of architecture, unlike museums of art, do not contain their object within the space of the gallery. Thus we expect to find in a museum of architecture drawings, models, casts, photographs, and fragments, but not an actual building. For, how can a building be displayed inside of another and maintain its objecthood as distinct from that of its container? Where does the frame of a museum end and where does its exhibit, the work of architecture, begin? This session will examine how techniques of reproduction and display have transformed architecture’s object during the past 200 years. Scale models had been commonly used, at least since the Renaissance, to conceive a building before its construction. Yet the very idea of producing replicas of monuments and disseminating them in greater numbers belongs to a more recent modernity. We invite participants to reflect on different types of museums and to consider how in the age of European nationalism and colonialism architecture museums helped re-map a vast geography, from Greece to Bengal and beyond. Case studies may include, among others, Alexandre Lenoir’s Musée des monuments français, James Fergusson’s Museum of Architecture in London, Viollet-le-Duc and his students’ Musée de sculpture comparée du Trocadéro, the full-scale architectural reconstructions of Berlin’s Pergamon Museum or the “period rooms” of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Theoretical essays that investigate the relation of key texts and images to museums, and their role in constructing architecture’s disciplinary and aesthetic autonomy are welcome too. Participants may also critically engage the modernist white cube, which seeks to maintain a disjunction between the work and its frame, as well as more recent approaches that reconceptualize architecture and the city as a mnemonic object. Please send paper proposals and short CVs by email to Can Bilsel, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California 92110, USA. Telephone: (619) 260 7987; Fax: (619) 260 6875; e-mail: cbilsel@sandiego.edu; and to Alexis Sornin, Head, Study Centre, Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1920, rue Baile, Montréal, Québec H3H 2S6, Canada. Telephone: (514) 939 7000; Fax: (514) 939 7020; e-mail: asornin@cca.qc.ca.

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