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Radical Methods, New Interlocutors: Strategies for Equitable Histories


Type: Calls For Papers [View all]
Posted by: Society of Architectural Historians
Deadline: Tue, August 10th, 2021

The Society of Architectural Historians will present the SAH IDEAS Session, "Radical Methods, New Interlocutors: Strategies for Equitable Histories," at its 2022 Annual International Conference in Pittsburgh. Part of the SAH IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Sustainability) Initiative, the SAH IDEAS session explores a topic related to race, equity, and social justice, and is presented alongside the conference’s thematic sessions.

Session Chair: Arijit Sen, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Session Description:

How does your commitment to diversity and inclusion reveal itself in the work you do?

This session will begin the arduous task of accounting for best practices and innovative experiments with methods of doing architectural history. Such an epistemological critique and reckoning is at the core of any meaningful and long-lasting transformation in the way we reproduce historical knowledge of the built environment. “Who built these buildings and whose cultural values are imprinted in material worlds?” we ask. At each instance we return to origin-stories of builders, almost always white and male.

Materialist studies of architecture offers a false sense of stability and reality, but many marginalized people experience their world through mobility rather than stability, temporarily occupying space rather than owning properties.

We frequent archives that hold texts, drawings, and artifacts from professional collections. Yet embodied forms of knowing —histories transmitted orally or environmental memories—are not found in traditional archives.

We write for marginalized people, but why don’t we chronicle histories with them instead?

In recent years, such discussions around this epistemological blindness have reappeared in conversations around the lack of representation of minority histories in our canon. Many stalwarts have challenged us to unlearn our epistemological traditions: e.g. Saidiya Hartman, Katherine McKittrick, Diana Taylor, Swati Chattopadhyay, Ariella Azoulay and Fred Moten. It is time to account for ways we are dismantling the master narrative, questioning core assumptions, and resisting colonial/settler-centric perspectives. It is time to discern how everyday resistances against injustice produce what Samuel Truett calls fugitive landscapes.

Tell us how and why your work, ways of collecting data, modes of interpretation, and narrative strategies push new horizons and recover the stories of those whose histories are obliterated/ignored in our canon.

Tell us how your work dismantles the discipline’s long complicity in producing inequitable histories and purposeful erasures.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts must be under 300 words. The title cannot exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Abstracts and titles must follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Only one abstract per conference by an author or co-author may be submitted. A maximum of three (3) authors per abstract will be accepted. Please attach a two-page CV in PDF format.

View the full CFP and submit an abstract at https://www.sah.org/2022/sah-ideas-session-call-for-papers



Posted on Thu, July 22nd, 2021
Expires on Tue, August 10th, 2021

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