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CFP: Methods and Methodologies (13-17 Apr 14)
The International network "European Architecture beyond Europe: Sharing Research and Knowledge on Dissemination Processes, Historical Data and Material Legacy (19th-20th centuries)", chaired by Mercedes Volait and Johan Lagae, and supported by EC funding through the COST Action IS0904, is opening calls for papers for its final Conference to take place on 13-17 April 2014 at Palermo (Italy).
We invite the submission of abstracts for papers in the panel:
METHODS AND METHODOLOGIES: WRITING THE HISTORIES OF EUROPEAN IMPERIAL/COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE
chaired by Alex Bremner (Edinburgh University) and JoAnne Mancini (National University of Ireland Maynooth).
This session seeks to explore and debate the ways in which we write (and have written) the history of ‘European architecture abroad’, particularly in the context of European imperial expansion. For some thirty years now the study of European imperial and colonial architecture has largely been refracted through the theoretical lens of post-structuralism—mainly appropriated from philosophy, literary and cultural studies—in the form of the ‘Orientalist’ critique of Edward Said and other forms of Foucauldian discourse analysis, nominally referred to as ‘post-colonial theory’. As powerful and seductive as these modes of analysis may be, and as useful in their opening new ways of seeing and interpreting forms of cultural production such as architecture, they have become formulaic, predictable, and even orthodox. They have also received trenchant and sustained criticism from the wider scholarly community in historical studies (especially outside art and architecture circles) for their inherent limitations.
This leaves us with the question of where the study of European imperial and colonial architecture might turn next. On the whole, other scholarly and cognate traditions, such as early modern and modern European history, have developed more diverse and wide-ranging approaches to the study of empire and culture, adapting insights from geography, environmental studies, anthropology, and other disciplines; and have devoted significant attention to integral concepts such as networks and agency. Although not necessarily opposed to discourse analysis, these scholarly frameworks—including regional approaches (‘Atlantic’, ‘Pacific’, ‘Indian Ocean’, and ‘World/Global’ histories), network theory, and ‘connected’ histories—provide new and very different insights than those provided by post-colonial theory.
However, just as architectural historians have not fully engaged with scholars in these fields, early modern historians have also been somewhat reluctant to engage fully with architecture and the built environment as agents and repositories of social practice and social change.
Can, indeed should, architectural history engage more with these alternative scholarly traditions and modes of analysis? What can we learn from them, and how might we apply them? How might architectural historians interact more productively with colleagues in history and historical social science disciplines to encourage more architecturally-informed analysis in those fields? Or, ought post-colonial theory remain the key concept and frame of reference that underpins our study of the colonial built environment? This session welcomes papers that address any aspects of these key questions, either by dealing specifically with methodological approaches that enhance, progress, and/or transform our understanding of European imperial and colonial architecture, or by exploring case studies that allow for these methodological concerns to be elaborated in specific contexts.
Put simply: where are we, where are we going, and where do we want to be as scholars of the colonial built environment.
DEADLINE, SUBMISSIONS AND FUNDING
The deadline for proposing a paper (300-word abstract) is 1 December 2013. Submissions to the chairs of the sessions (Alex Bremner [email@example.com] and JoAnne Mancini [JoAnne.Mancini@nuim.ie]) should be accompanied by a short biographical note (max. 150 words).
Acceptance decisions will be communicated by mid-December. Please note that invited speakers are expected to submit their complete paper by 15 March, 2014, to be circulated among the conference’s participants.
Speakers based in countries participating in the Action (refer to the website www.architecturebeyond.eu for the complete list) will be able to claim reimbursement of their expenses. A few grants will be available for speakers based in other countries.