Recent Opportunities


CFP: Materiality and Construction. Building site vocabulary (Rome, 21 - 22 Nov 16)

Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rom, November 21 - 22, 2016
Deadline: Aug 7, 2016

International Conference

Building site vocabulary – A Contribution to the Glossary of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque Building Trade

Venue: Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rom – Villino Stroganoff Via Gregoriana 28, 00187 Roma

Scientific organisation
Claudia Conforti (Università degli studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”) Hermann Schlimme (Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rom) Maria Grazia D’Amelio (Università degli studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”)

Hosting institutions
Università degli studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”
Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rom

Call for papers
The terms used in the realization processes of architecture is often ambivalent in meaning, and can sometimes even be unintelligible. This vocabulary may not even belong to the “official” written language, or be findable in historical dictionaries. Building site words belong, in fact, to a restricted group of individuals who had a shared language and who communicated about even very complex operations using an abbreviated code. The meaning of the words changed depending on time and place; occasionally the words themselves disappeared like the dialects to which they belong, or became obsolete like the techniques they describe.
Indispensable for an understanding of the working practices of the building site is an accurate understanding of the vocabulary that comes to light in archival documents. For this reason several scholars from the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome and the Università degli studi di Roma “Tor Vergata” have created the “Glossario dell’Edilizia Rinascimentale e Barocca” ( ). The glossary is intended as a tool for studies in architectural history as well as for planning the restoration of the architectural heritage. This is not a collection of fixed headwords, but on the contrary is updated following current research and aims to be a contribution to a broader history of construction knowledge. 
The aim of the conference is to sound out the current state of research in building site vocabulary. This call for papers addresses scholars interested in reconstructing the technical vocabulary used in the early modern (Renaissance and Baroque) building sector in Rome and throughout the Italian peninsula. The conference aims to actively contribute to the enrichment of the glossary. Topics comprise but are not limited to:
-Construction materials and tools (stone, cement, bricks, metals, wood, surface finishings, tools and instruments); -Working techniques and use of materials; -Waterworks (hydraulic construction, etc.); -Bookkeeping and other records (documentation of work in progress; building site administrative documents, etc.).

Please send your paper proposal (300 words maximum) in Italian or English and a brief CV (150 words maximum) to Prof. Maria Grazia D’Amelio (damelio(at) and to Dr. Hermann Schlimme (schlimme(at) Deadline is August 7, 2016. The Bibliotheca Hertziana will cover travel costs (economy class) and accommodation (one night) in accordance with the provisions of the German Travel Expenses Act (Bundesreisekostengesetz).
SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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