Recent Opportunities

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CFP: Decoding Destruction and Decay

  • Dates: 27 Jul – 30 Aug, 2016
  • Location: New York, New York, United States
  • Contact: Sarah Thompson
  • Email: setfaa@rit.edu
This is a call for papers for a session to be held at the College Art Association's Annual Meeting in New York City in February of 2017. In recent years, theoretical concepts of the ruin as memorial, as inspiration, and as symbol have generated scholarly inquiry and public fascination alike. The physical study of ruinous buildings tends to be overshadowed by the current emphasis on meaning and morality, and yet ruins and their conservation or restoration have long been sources for both new scholarship and the reevaluation of existing scholarly constructs. By making visible what was never intended to be visible, fragmentation provides significant insight into structure, materials, and architectural practices. Divergent interpretations of architectural fragments can lead to vastly different constructs of the history of style; processes of cleaning and restoration provide opportunities to examine building materials with new technology while simultaneously preventing—perhaps permanently—the chance for future scholars to perform the same kinds of evaluations. Restoration may create substantively new buildings that await incorporation into the history—and historiography—of architecture and the built environment. We propose a session that examines loss, destruction, fragmentation, and restoration in the context of intellectual inquiry. Potential questions include: what are the ramifications of studying buildings in their less-than-complete states? How does decay, disaster, or resurgence lead to the reordering of architectural canons? What are we able to see, understand, or imagine in architectural fragments that would otherwise be impossible in a complete or restored structure? What can we learn from buildings via processes of preservation or restoration, and how do such processes open or close different means of investigation? Session sponsors: Sarah Thompson, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Maile Hutterer, University of Oregon. Interested applicants should visit http://www.collegeart.org/news/2016/07/05/2017-call-for-participation-now-open/ to download submission instructions, which are listed on the call for papers.
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SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
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