Call for Papers | 2016 Society of Architectural Historians, Pasadena

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 12, 2015

From SAH:

Society of Architectural Historians 69th Annual Conference
Pasadena/Los Angeles, 6–10 April 2016

Proposals due by 9 June 2015

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 69th Annual International Conference in Pasadena/Los Angeles, April 6–10, 2016. Please submit abstracts no later than June 9, 2015, for one of the 38 thematic sessions, Graduate Student Lightning Talks or for open sessions. The thematic sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods and architectural styles. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; and members of SAH chapters and partner organizations.

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A selection of sessions that might be relevant to the eighteenth century:

Fiske Kimball and Visual Culture
Session Chair: Marie Frank, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Marie_Frank@uml.edu

2016 marks the centenary anniversary of the publication of Fiske Kimball’s Thomas Jefferson Architect (1916), a seminal book that not only established Jefferson as an architect but also propelled the young Kimball to the forefront of architectural history in the United States. Until his death in 1955, Kimball remained a powerful and influential voice in the arts. As a historian, his pioneering publications earned him the sobriquet “the father of American architectural history.” As an educator, he established the School of Fine Arts at the University of Virginia and laid the groundwork for the Institute of Fine Arts in New York City. As a preservationist, he played a critical role at Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg, Fairmount Park, and numerous other historic sites. As a critic, he wrote regularly on contemporary architecture. As the director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1925–55), he oversaw the construction of the new museum, installed period rooms, and built the collection. He practiced architecture throughout his life and had a keen regard for landscape architecture and its history.

The range of Kimball’s activities invites connections between disciplines often studied in isolation. This session therefore seeks to examine Kimball’s contributions as a lens to situate architectural history within the broader context of visual culture in the early twentieth century. Papers on a broad range of topics are welcome. Topics can include studies of individual projects in which Kimball had a presence; or they might provide more synthesizing studies on his methodology and the current state of research; or address the legacy of Kimball-inspired scholarship. Because he spent over half of his professional career as a museum director, papers could also address the role of the architectural historian within museum studies.

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Graduate Student Lightning Talks
Session Chairs: R. Scott Gill, University of Texas at Austin, SAHligtningtalks@gmail.com

This session is composed of approximately 12 five-minute talks that allow graduate students to introduce their current research. We are seeking work in various forms, including a focused summation, concentrated case study, and methodological exegesis. The individual talks are divided into thematic groups with a short question and discussion period following each set of presentations.

Graduate students are invited to submit a concise abstract (under 300 words). Preference will be given to doctoral students, but all graduate students are encouraged to apply, and the Lightning Talks co-chairs welcome geographic and institutional diversity. The Graduate Student Lightning Talks provide graduate students with an invaluable opportunity to test their ideas, refine their thoughts, and enhance their presentation skills among a circle of empathetic and supportive peers.

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History of Heritage Preservation Revisited
Session Chair: Josep-Maria Garcia-Fuentes, Newcastle University, josep.garciafuentes@ncl.ac.uk

Although we should conceptualise medieval relics as the prime forms of Western heritage, it is well known that the modern Western understanding of heritage and preservation have their origin in the debates that took place between the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. They were later enriched through different national-building processes during 19th and 20th centuries, and finally spread worldwide after World War II when the United Nations decided to create World Heritage.

This globalization of the modern Western understanding of heritage and preservation has challenged the contemporary notion of heritage and has given rise to dissonances and conflicts around the world. In the emergent interdisciplinary field of heritage studies is widely accepted that Heritage should be understood as a process rather than as an object to be revered and preserved—that is, as the constantly changing outcome of the struggle between those who aspire to capitalize it. This dynamic and creative understanding is rather different from the preservation and conservation paradigm widely assumed within the field of architecture. However, in recent years new attempts by architects and architectural historians have been made to define a novel approach to this discussion.

This session welcomes papers reviewing and examining this dynamic political, social and cultural process from late 18th century up to the present. Innovative research on case studies about the history of preservation and conservation and on the theoretical conceptualization of heritage are particularly welcome, as well as on architects and provocative key case studies ranging in scope from individual architectural works to the urban scale. The ultimate goal is to interconnect existing original research on Heritage and preservation with the aim to contribute to the definition of a new approach to Heritage research grounded on the history of Architecture.

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Reframing Landscape History
Session Chairs: John Beardsley, Dumbarton Oaks, beardsleyj@doaks.org and Anatole Tchikine, Dumbarton Oaks, tchikinea@doaks.org

Originally a subfield of art history, garden and landscape studies is now truly interdisciplinary in scope and objectives, combining a variety of methodologies and perspectives that are no longer peculiar to the humanities. Correspondingly, its focus has evolved from gardens as primarily artistic creations to the more inclusive category of designed landscapes to the still broader study of landscape as a meeting point of environmental, social, and economic histories. While this approach has allowed garden and landscape historians to transcend the boundaries of individual disciplines, it has also posed the challenge of generating constructive cross-disciplinary dialogue. In what ways can practitioners and scholars from divergent disciplinary backgrounds, who are trained to prioritize different sets of data, find a common language of communication? And does this move away from the traditional emphasis on iconography and meaning towards broader concerns with ecology, planning, and sustainability reflect a desire to incorporate new and potentially enriching perspectives—or does it represent a gradual displacement of garden and landscape studies from the domain of the humanities to that of social sciences?

Intended to mark the 75th anniversary of Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection envisaged by its founders as a “home for the humanities,” this session invites papers to reflect on the history and the current disciplinary status of garden and landscape studies addressing the different methodological approaches, institutional frameworks, and individual visions that informed this field’s past and are likely to shape its future. Papers should consider this topic not just as a theoretical or historiographical challenge, but as one to be worked through by a discussion of specific examples of landscape interpretation.


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