Throughout the history of Asian modernity, various forms of translation have been employed in acts of cultural production as well as moments of political, economic, as well as social engagement. These modes of translation have played particularly significant roles in the development of urban and architectural forms throughout the 19th and 20th centuries amid interactions between the so-called “East” and “West”, the Global South and North, as well as between different societal groups within the region.
This conference is organized around the theme of translation and the various disciplinary questions it inspires: how can we historicize and theorize acts of translation in relation to Asia’s built environments? How have different modes of architectural representation been incorporated into acts of cultural translation? How can we envision the future of translation given the rise of digital technologies in architectural production and discursive exchange?
Graduate students from relevant disciplines are invited to submit paper abstracts on the subject of translation in relation to any aspect of architecture and urbanism in modern Asia. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
- Translations of texts, forms, practices, as well as typologies
- Methods of representation
- Material histories
- Digital production and information technology
Accepted papers will be organized into themed panels. Each invited participant will give a 20-minute presentation. Paper discussants will include Esra Akcan (Associate Professor, AAP Architecture Art Planning, Cornell University) and Ken Tadashi Oshima (Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Washington), who will both be the keynote speakers of the conference, as well as established scholars within the discipline of architecture, including faculty members of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong and other prominent scholars in the region.
Please send your paper proposal abstract (not more than 250 words) and your CV (1 page) to email@example.com by 15 January 2016. Successful applicants will be notified by 29 January 2016. Full papers should be submitted by 15 April 2016. All presentations should be written and delivered in English. Accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in a potential edited volume.
The conference is funded by the Postgraduate Students Conference/Seminar Grant of the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong. It is supported by the Faculty of Architecture and the Department of Architecture in the University of Hong Kong.
There is no registration fee. Discounted housing on campus may be provided, subject to availability. Participants are expected to cover their own travel expenses.
For enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTER
Re-imagining Bengal: Architecture, built environment and cultural heritage
Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed and Dr. Mohammad Habib Reza
Bengal is remarkably ancient and its contemporary features are also rich and diversified. They present us with a rich palimpsest of layers of history with deep rooted imprints of Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic culture, which range from the heart of older parts of traditional city enclaves to remote rural places. They carry the tangible and intangible elements of Bengal society and sustain local identity and culture. The local built environment, having both tangible and intangible cultural qualities, often without being one or the other, is not simple to define or capture. It is not linear and embodies multiple issues and elements. Local cultural heritage is not static; it is inherited as an element to be passed on through subsequent generations. It may be the cultural legacy, and continuity inherited in time that incorporates the identity of place and people from past into the present in a perpetual process that evolves with time and embodies local tradition, knowledge and value.
The local built environment takes shape through everyday practices. It is embodied and embedded in rituals and prosaic subsistence practices. However, other issues such as environmental performance, accessibility, their place in urban fabric and urban design are equally important.
There has been limited studies in this subject area and they were often focused and not comprehensive enough to cover all critical issues of architecture, built environment and cultural heritage of Bengal. This book takes a multidisciplinary approach to address historical issues, present trends and future possibilities from a wider perspective.
The objective of this edited book is to provide researchers opportunity to study the concepts and related practices of architecture, built environment and cultural heritage of Bengal: past, present and future. Topics can range from broader to specific issues. Idea is to have a deeper insight into the historic aspects of cultural heritage, where they stand now and future challenges. The possible issues covered in this book will be broader in context and subject matter. This has been done to make the edited book more flexible and to stimulate further research interest.
Several local and international publishers have shown interest in this book. The publisher will be finalized once all the chapter proposals are received.
Some of the possible topics for chapters include (but not limited to):
- History of Bengal architecture
- Environmental studies related to Bengal
- Accessibility in heritage buildings of Bengal
- Design aspects and possibilities of adaptive reuse
- Heritage and its social aspect
- Community participation in heritage conservation
- Contemporary practices in heritage management
We seek contributions that will be useful references for the research community, policy makers, professionals from the heritage sector, cultural ministries and agencies, and wider communities and citizens interested on the selected topics.
• Proposal submission deadline : 31st February 2016
• Proposal acceptance notification : 31st March 2016
• Chapter outline submission : 30th April 2016
• Chapter submission deadline : 31st October 2016
• Chapter reviewed and returned to authors : 31st December 2016
• Camera-ready chapter submission : 31st January 2017
SUBMISSION GUIDE FOR CONTRIBUTORS
Authors should submit 300 words proposals for the chapters. Once notified of the acceptance, author(s) should submit chapter outline that show the tentative topic and broad outline of the chapter contents. Both ongoing and completed research will be considered.
Each contribution must be original and unpublished work, not submitted for publication elsewhere. Chapters have to be no more than 25 pages or 8,000 words length and will be evaluated by the editorial board. Instruction for authors will be made available with the proposal acceptance. They are expected to submit camera-ready version of accepted chapters by the given deadline.
Only Chapter proposals NOT EXCEEDING 300 words that specifically addressed the above mentioned areas would be accepted. Prospective authors are advised to adhere to the following style:
• Language: English
• Font Face: Times New Roman
• Font style: Regular, No spacing
• Font size: 11 points Line spacing: 1.5
• Citation/Referencing Style: APA 1 referencing style
Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically to:
Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed,
Assistant Professor | Department of Architecture
BRAC University | 66 Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Phone: +880 2 8810383
Soprema is pleased to announce scholarship program. The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. The scholarship is intended to assist students who are pursuing a degree in architecture, engineering, construction management or a similar field at an accredited four-year college or university. Winning candidates will receive a $5,000 award.
Soprema was founded in 1908. SOPREMA offers a comprehensive line of roofing, waterproofing, wall protection and civil engineering solutions combining superior products and systems with decades of proven performance.
Applicants to the SOPREMA Scholarship Program must be:
High school seniors or graduates or current postsecondary undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in architecture, engineering, construction management or a similar field.
Similar field must be applicable to those seeking a career related to the building envelope (i.e. Roofing, wall systems, below grade waterproofing, etc.). Exceptions will be approved by SOPREMA.
Planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate or graduate study at an accredited four-year college or university for the entire 2016-17 academic year.
SOPREMA employees and their family members are ineligible.
How to Apply:
To apply for scholarship, the candidates must register themselves through the given link:
If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $5,000 award. Up to seven (7) awards will be granted. Awards are not renewable, but students may reapply to the program each year.
Application must be submitted by January 31, 2016 by 11:59 p.m. (Central Standard Time).
Link for More Information:
If you have any question, you can email: soprema-at-scholarshipamerica.org or call: 1-507-931-1682 and ask for the SOPREMA Scholarship Program.
We invite you to study architecture, art, landscape, and preservation at one of our internationally-acclaimed Summer Schools in Newport, Chicago, and London. You will enjoy lectures by leading scholars, private tours of historic sites, engaging social experiences, and opportunities to get behind the scenes at museums and galleries. Open to graduate students, academics, architects, and the general public.
The Summer Schools are academically rigorous and physically demanding. A typical day includes lectures and tours by leading scholars, considerable walking, periods of standing, and engaging social experiences. These intensive programs are action packed, with little free time. Tuition costs include expert instruction, shared accommodation, some meals, tours, and admissions. Competitive scholarships are available for London and Newport. Please email James Russiello, Summer Schools Administrator, at Admin@VSASummerSchools.org, with any additional questions. Applications are due by March 1.
Bitácora 33: Architecture and City from a Gender Perspective / La arquitectura y la ciudad desde la perspectiva de género
March-July 2016. Submission deadline date: February 15, 2016. Proposals are welcomed in email@example.com
Bitácora 32: Domestic Living / El habitar doméstico
November 2015- March 2016. Submission deadline date: January15, 2016. Proposals are welcomed in firstname.lastname@example.org
I am seeking an expert witness, with Los Angeles experience, to review Los Angeles and California building codes, to testify about the historical distinctions between apartments and hotels
Charles E. Peterson, c. 1976
The fellowship trust fund was endowed by Charles E. Peterson, FAIA (1906-2004), his colleagues, and his friends; it is administered by The Athenaeum of Philadelphia exclusively for charitable and educational purposes which reflect Mr. Peterson's life-long dedication to the study, recording, and preservation of early American architecture and building technology (pre-1860) and the teaching of conservation skills in American schools of architecture.
Fellows must be persons who hold a terminal degree and possess a distinguished record of accomplishment. Research is not subject to geographical restrictions, although preference is given to Delaware Valley topics. Applications are reviewed by a committee of architects, architectural historians, and educators appointed by the Athenaeum board of directors. Outside readers may be asked to assist in the evaluation of proposals. Grants generally do not exceed $15,000 and may not be used for international travel.
Applications should be submitted in the form of a single-page letter setting forth a brief statement of the project, with attached budget, schedule for completion, professional resume, and two letters of reference.
A clear statement of objectives is necessary, and a final report is expected. Successful applicants may be required to give a public lecture or participate in a seminar at the Athenaeum sharing the results of the project.
Submit applications to:
Peterson Fellowship Committee
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3794
Awards will be announced by April 30 each year
This important international conference – organized by Technology & Conservation, MIT Dept. of Architecture's Building Technology Program, and the Boston Society of Architects' Historic Resources Committee – is the latest in our series of biennial conferences on architectural materials. Among the topics that will be covered are: – basic properties of cast iron, wrought iron, and steels and their effect on performance and durability – advances in structural steels, weathering steels, stainless steels, and other steels – developments in construction techniques for use in restoration/preservation projects and in new designs – procedures for evaluating steel's condition – steps to prevent and/or minimize degradation, as well as – several case histories focusing on both historic cast iron and wrought iron structures and steel buildings and on modern ones that represent a variety of building types (including education, religious, cultural institutions; military and government structures; residential and commercial buildings). Continuing education credits will be offered. The early registration fee is $495 U.S./person prior to Jan. 25, 2016; after Jan. 25, the registration fee is $565 U.S./person. (Registration fee includes the conference program, two luncheons, and a reception.)
Full details on the conference including schedule (topics and speakers), hotel information, call for posters, and the registration form are available at the BSA's Historic Resources Committee website: https://www.architects.org/sites/default/files/2016%20Arch.Iron&Steel%20Conf.-Revised%20Info%20Flyer.pdf
For questions on the conference, contact Susan E. Schur, Hon. AIA, FAPT, Conference Organizer/Chair, Tel: 1-617-623-4488, e-mail: email@example.com.
The urban is an unavoidable condition of contemporary life. The ubiquity of this category as a site of scholarly research may rest on the urgency we face in accommodating ourselves to its contradictions, imposed forms of violence, and the environmental fallout it has unleashed. Yet for as much as it has opened itself to scholarly research in recent years, there is little reflection on the category itself. It appears instead as a kind of background condition–the unquestioned specification for the definition of other problems. The urban, it seems, is a given.
This symposium opens with a simple yet perplexing question: what is the urban? It brings together a range of internationally renowned and emerging scholars not to answer this question but to frame a problem that has yet to be fully constituted.
If Peter Sloterdijk’s notion of ‘world interior’ provides a potent historical understanding of global capitalism, how can such an idea be tested through a parallel interrogation of the urban? How can it help to describe new socio-spatial ontologies of this category that transgress the familiar urban/rural, center/periphery, and even global south/north divides that so often determine the way the urban is understood? How can other emerging concepts and imaginaries be useful for unfolding relations between the material, legal, social, political, spatial and phenomenological conditions of the urban today?
James C. Scott, Yale University
Max Viatori, Iowa State University
Charles Rice, University of Technology Sydney
Design Earth (Rania Ghosn/El Hadi Jazairy), MIT/University of Michigan
Jane Rongerude, Iowa State University
Ayala Levin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Marwan Ghandour, Iowa State University
Nikos Katsikis, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Albert Pope, Rice University
Ross Exo Adams, Iowa State University
AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute/Goldsmiths College
Michael Bailey, Iowa State University
Alice Randall, Vanderbilt University
Kenny Cupers, University of Basel
Barbara Ching, Iowa State University
Antonio Petrov, University of Texas at San Antonio
Future Anterior publishes essays that explore preservation from historical, theoretical and critical perspectives. For this issue, we seek papers on architecture, atmosphere, preservation and the sense of smell. We seek scholarly papers that take stock of the recent surge of interdisciplinary research on olfaction and speculate on its relevance to the practice of preservation.
Our technical ability to deodorise and perfume buildings runs in advance of our theoretical understanding. Although the deep relationship between olfaction, memory and atmosphere is a trope that extends from Proust to neuroscience, the conscious practice of altering odor in order to influence how visitors experience heritage is rarely subject to scholarly scrutiny.
The powerful connection between smell, memory, and emotions encouraged preservationists to experiment with scenting historic sites in the 1980s. A pioneering example is the Jorvik Viking Center in York, England, designed by John Sunderland, who conceptualized smell as a central element of what he called “time warp experiences.”
Papers may examine the history, successes and failures of olfactory design in preservation projects. It is now possible to document the smells of contemporary buildings and to archive them along with more traditional records such as photographs and architectural drawings. At the same time, the scenting of historic sites can be, and often is, dismissed as a gimmick.
Papers can examine why historically smell has been so easily construed as a lure. To what degree did the introduction of manufactured smells as part of historic buildings reinforce or challenge previous conceptions of preservation? Could current knowledge regarding olfaction be used to re-read historical debates about the authenticity of buildings?
What schemata are available for the categorization of historic smells? The language of smell is here a central concern. The description of smells proceeds entirely via euphemism. Would it be appropriate to categorize the smell of historic buildings according to their visual styles (eg. Gothic, Barroque, Neo-classical, Art Deco, Modernist, etc)?
Papers might also consider the modern pursuit of the well tempered and attractively scented environment.
Within flavors and fragrance companies, "fragrance wheels"—in which families of smells are arranged in an analog of the spectrum of visible colors—are often used as mnemonic and communicative devices. Other schemes array scents on musical scales, or in n-dimensional space. We also have taxonomies of scents from Carl Linnaeus (1756), Zwaardemaker (1895), Crocker and Henderson (1927), and Jellinek (1951), amongst many others. The enormous variety of such representations, which may be indispensable in the effective communication of olfactory experience, attests to their current insufficiency. What developments are to be expected on this front? Can the conventional language of smell be satisfactorily formalized for professional preservation use? In recent years, studies of the smells of decomposing materials point to a promising new form of non-destructive testing for historic architecture, and a new science of “material degradomics.” What new possibilities are offered by corpus analysis, data mining and other research techniques in the digital humanities in determining historical perceptions and theories of smell? How can these techniques best be disseminated, applied and critiqued?
We also welcome papers that examine the historical intertwining of olfaction, atmosphere and urbanism. From the characteristic odors of the Renaissance city, through the great stenches of London and Paris in the nineteenth century, to the rise in synthetic deodorants in the twentieth, the smell of the historical city undergoes change. As Rudolph el-Khoury writes in Polish and Deodorize, “Urban historians have indeed spoken of a Copernican revolution in the Enlightenment's conception of a city. Beauty, once the governing principle of urbanism, is claimed to have been overthrown by health, hygiene and physiology”. In particular, the public fear of disease engendering miasmas, and more specifically the telluric emanations of interior walls, had a significant impact on both urban planning and interior architecture. Likewise, even as control over lighting and odor has become ever more standardised, architectural language valorising “atmosphere” has gained in prominence. What are the theoretical implications of the discussion of atmosphere, and to what extent can it be empirically tethered to the history and politics of smell?
Future Anterior is a peer-reviewed journal that approaches the field of historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry. Future Anterior invites papers from scholars from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: architectural history, art history, anthropology, archeology, geography, chemistry, engineering, philosophy, political science, juridical studies, urban studies and planning. A comparatively recent field of professional study, preservation often escapes direct academic challenges of its motives, goals, forms of practice and results. Future Anterior invites contributions that ask these difficult questions from philosophical, theoretical, and practical perspectives.
Articles submitted for peer review should be no more than 4000 words, with up to seven illustrations. Text must be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition. All articles must be submitted in English, and spelling should follow American convention. Please let us know via which mailing list or forum you first read the call for papers. Text should be saved as Microsoft Word or RTF format, while accompanying images should be sent as TIFF files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 8” by 9” print size. Figures should be numbered and called out clearly between paragraphs in the text. Image captions and credits must be included with submissions. It is the responsibility of the author to secure permissions for image use and pay any reproduction fees. A brief author biography (around 100 words) must accompany the text.
For further manuscript guidelines, please visit:
Acceptance or rejection of submissions is at the discretion of the editors.
Please email all submissions to:
Questions about submissions can be sent to the above email address or to:
Founder and Editor, Future Anterior
Jo2050 at columbia dot edu
Adam Jasper, Guest Co-Editor
adamjasper [at] gta.arch.ethz.ch
The Attingham Trust is a British educational charitable trust offering specialized study courses for people professionally engaged in the field of historic houses, their collections and settings including the history and contents of royal palaces.
Deadlines for 2016 course applications begin in January 2016. Next year’s courses will be:
-The London House Course
-Study Programme: The Historic House in Denmark
-The 65th Attingham Summer School
-Royal Collection Studies
-French Eighteenth-Century Studies
For applications, specific deadline information by course or any other queries within the United States, please visit www.americanfriendsofattingham.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information and inquiries from all other countries, please visit www.attinghamtrust.org or email Rita.Grudzien@attinghamtrust.org.
Scholarship assistance is available for qualified candidates.
The Latrobe Chapter Annual Conference Fellowship helps a graduate student or emerging professional in architectural history, landscape history, urban studies, or historic preservation attend the Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, which in 2016 will be held in Pasadena, CA, April 6-10. Student applicants must be enrolled at a college or university, or affiliated with a research institution, in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area. Emerging professional applicants must be within five years of having received a terminal degree (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) and must be working in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area. The fellowship award includes a stipend of $750 plus electronic membership in SAH for one year; and in addition SAH will waive the conference registration fee. Persons not presenting a paper at the Annual Conference are encouraged to apply.
The description of sessions of the 2016 SAH Annual Conference is available on the SAH website, www.sah.org. Reports of recent recipients of this award may be seen at the Latrobe Chapter SAH website, www.latrobechaptersah.org.
Applicants should submit a statement (not to exceed two pages, typed and double-spaced) explaining how their studies or professional work will be enhanced by attendance at the Annual Conference and indicating the source and amount of any other funding they might receive; a curriculum vitae; and the name, e-mail, and telephone number of their faculty advisor or principal professor (for graduate students) or other reference (for emerging professionals).
Questions may be sent to Patricia Waddy at email@example.com. Applications may be submitted by e-mail attachment to Patricia Waddy, firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than December 7, 2015.
Application Deadline: December 15, 2015
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians’ George B. Tatum Annual International Conference Fellowship underwrites membership, travel and lodging expenses related to attending the annual meetings of the Society of Architectural Historians.
The Tatum Fellowship is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates enrolled in architectural history and theory programs at colleges and universities located in the Greater Philadelphia region.* Preference is given to candidates who are not presenting papers at the conference, although the committee reserves the right to make the award to a candidate who is presenting. Expenses (up to $1,200.00 for 2016) will be reimbursed for travel, lodging and a one year student national membership, with basic registration fees contributed by the national organization.
Applicants must submit the following:
Cover letter, not to exceed two pages, discussing their research interests, accomplishments to-date, and professional goals
CV or resume
Name and contact information for their advisor or principal professor
How to apply:
Applications shall be submitted by e-mail attachment to the Philadelphia Chapter SAH at email@example.com no later than Tuesday, December 15, 2015. The fellowship recipient will be notified in mid-January 2016 with a formal announcement made at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
Questions? Please contact William Whitaker, Chapter President and Chairman, George B. Tatum Fellowship Selection Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-898-8323.
Details of the 2016 SAH Annual International Conference are online at: http://www.sah.org/2016
*These include: Bryn Mawr College, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Temple University, University of Delaware, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Please consider writing a review for the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s online NCS forum. As we've done in the past, we’ve posted a list of possible review titles related to both our previous and our upcoming NCSA conference themes. If you are interested in reviewing a title to maintain momentum engaging with the topic of materiality, or if you want to start thinking about “the new,” the topic of our April 2016 conference, check out http://english.selu.edu/ncs/online_reviews.php for guidelines and the review lists. Contact Jennifer Hayward (email@example.com) with ideas.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art invites applications for the 2016-2017 Tyson Scholars of American Art Program. The residential program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art, visual and material culture from the colonial period to the present. To support their research, Tyson Scholars have access to the art and library collections of Crystal Bridges as well as the library at the University of Arkansas in nearby Fayetteville. Housing is provided at the Crystal Bridges Farmhouse, within easy walking distance from the Museum via wooded trails and approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Bentonville. It features comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces including an expansive yard, patio and swimming pool; scholars have private bed and bath rooms.
The program is open to scholars holding a PhD (or equivalent) as well as to PhD candidates. Applicants may be affiliated with a university, museum, or independent. Scholars will be selected on the basis of their potential to advance understanding of American art and to intersect meaningfully with aspects of Crystal Bridges’ collections, architecture, or landscape. Projects with a synthetic, interdisciplinary focus and that seek to expand boundaries of research or traditional categories of investigation are particularly encouraged. Up to three Scholars may be in residence at a time, with terms ranging from six weeks to nine months. In addition to housing, Scholars are provided office or carrel space in the curatorial wing of Crystal Bridges’ Library. Stipends are variable depending on the duration of residency, ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per semester. Additional funds for research travel during the residency period are available upon application.
Further information about the Tyson Scholars Program and application instructions can be found at http://crystalbridges.org/art/tyson-scholars/, or via email to TysonScholars@crystalbridges.org. Applicants will be advised to contact Crystal Bridges’ curators and librarians for specific details about the Museum’s collections related to their research. The application deadline for any proposed length of term during the 2016–2017 academic year is January 15, 2016.
The Program Committee cordially invites proposals on any aspect of German, Austrian, or Swiss studies, including (but not limited to) history, Germanistik, film, art history, political science, anthropology, musicology, religious studies, sociology, and cultural studies. Proposals for entire sessions and for interdisciplinary presentations are strongly encouraged. Individual paper proposals and offers to serve as session moderators or commentators are also welcome. The Call for Seminar Proposals is being distributed separately. Please check your e-mail and the GSA website (www.thegsa.org) for details; that deadline is November 23. Applications for participation in seminars will be opened on January 5.
Monday, December 14 at 6:30 pm at the Museum of the City of New York
New York's civic and public buildings have always included much more than drab government buildings. Many are symbolic landmarks that project the image of a majestic metropolis to New Yorkers and the world. As the city expands, however, we find ourselves needing to reuse or reconfigure many of these buildings, as with the recently renovated United Nations Headquarters. Join a panel of experts on New York City architecture, history, and preservation to discuss how we can best protect the storied past of our civic buildings, while meeting 21st century demands.
Michael Adlerstein, FAIA, Former Assistant Secretary General for the Capital Master Plan Project
Randall Mason, Chair, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania
Robert Pigott, Lawyer and Author of New York’s Legal Landmarks
Erica Avrami (moderator), Assistant Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University
Use the code SAVE50 for $10 tickets!
A two-day conference focusing on points of contact between the postmodern and the contemporary with presentations by Denise Scott Brown, James Wines, Lucien Kroll, Jimenez Lai, Michael Meredith, and more.
Deadline: Nov 30, 2015
International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) Special Issue on "Imagining Localities of Antiquity in Islamicate Societies"; Thematic volume planned for Summer 2017 In honor of the life of Dr. Khaled al-Asaad
Paper proposal deadline: 30 November 2015
The tragically familiar spectacles of cultural heritage destruction performed by the Islamic State group (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq are frequently presented as barbaric, baffling, and far outside the bounds of what are imagined to be normative, "civilized" uses of the past.
Often superficially explained as an attempt to stamp out idolatry or as a fundamentalist desire to revive and enforce a return to a purified monotheism, analysis of these spectacles of heritage violence posits two things: that there is, fact, an "Islamic" manner of imagining the past – its architectural manifestations, its traces and localities – and that actions carried out at these localities, whether constructive or destructive, have moral or ethical consequences for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In this reading, the iconoclastic actions of ISIS and similar groups, for example the Taliban or the Wahhabi monarchy in Saudi Arabia, are represented as one, albeit extreme, manifestation of an assumedly pervasive and historically ongoing Islamic antipathy toward images and pre-contemporary holy localities in particular, and, more broadly, toward the idea of heritage and the uses to which it has been put by modern nationalism.
But long before the emergence of ISIS and other so-called Islamist iconoclasts, and perhaps as early as the rise of Islam itself, Muslims imagined Islamic and pre-Islamic antiquity and its localities in myriad
ways: as sites of memory, spaces of healing, or places imbued with didactic, historical, and moral power. Ancient statuary were deployed as talismans, paintings were interpreted to foretell and reify the coming of Islam, and temples of ancient gods and churches devoted to holy saints were converted into mosques in ways that preserved their original meaning and, sometimes, even their architectural ornament and fabric. Often, such localities were valued simply as places that elicited a sense of awe and wonder, or of reflection on the present relevance of history and the greatness of past empires, a theme so prevalent it created distinct genres of Arabic and Persian literature (aja'ib, fada'il). Sites like Ctesiphon, the ancient capital of the Zoroastrian Sasanians, or the Temple Mount, where the Jewish temple had stood, were embraced by early companions of the Prophet Muhammad and incorporated into Islamic notions of the self. Furthermore, various Islamic interpretive communities as well as Jews and Christians often shared holy places and had similar haptic, sensorial, and ritual connections that enabled them to imagine place in similar ways. These engagements were often more dynamic and purposeful than conventional scholarly notions of "influence" and "transmission" can account for.
And yet, Muslims also sometimes destroyed ancient places or powerfully reimagined them to serve their own purposes, as for example in the aftermath of the Crusader presence in the Holy Land or in the destruction, reuse and rebuilding of ancient Buddhist and Hindu sites in the Eastern Islamic lands and South Asia.
This special issue invites scholars from across disciplines to engage with a critical reassessment of imaginings of the past in Islamicate societies. Papers may draw on historical or contemporary examples to explore some aspect of the themes outlined here, but are not limited to them.
1. How are and were ancient place and locality used in Islamicate societies to create a sense of the past, and what are/were the routes, rituals, and performances by which the past is inscribed on the landscape?
2. How are holy sites, sites of memory, and sites of ancient heritage simultaneously construed as contemporary and situated in the present in Islamicate societies?
3. Although ISIS and other Wahhabi and Salafi groups are often said to be "medieval" in their methods and attitudes, should they in fact be envisioned as hyper-modern, both in their generation of spectacles of violence designed for viral sharing in the social media age, but also in the way they target imaginings of heritage as a cherished building block of the modern nation state and of globalized notions of "universal" values?
4. Is there a broader project of reshaping the meaning of heritage unfolding across the Islamic world? The actions of the Taliban, Wahhabi projects of destruction in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the devastation of heritage in Syria by Assad and rebel groups, and the depredations of Islamists in Mali are recent examples. Can they be considered acts of "iconoclasm" in the traditional sense? Are such acts in fact more closely related to other modern acts of heritage destruction aimed at erasing memory, for example during the Cultural Revolution in China or the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia?
5. Analysis of ISIS' destruction frequently seems to parrot the agenda of ISIS itself in ways that amplify and reinforce their message, whether through viral sharing of their slickly produced videos on social media or credulous academic and journalistic analysis that takes ISIS at its word. How can researchers analyze these hypermodern forms without re-producing and disseminating the very vision of violence that they crafted? How can we formulate an active response that goes beyond expressions of dismay and condemnation?
6. Although Islamicate societies often found ways to revere, venerate, and coexist with the considerable traces of antiquity in their midst, Muslims were also sometimes agents of destruction. What were the contexts in which Muslims destroyed localities of antiquity in the past? What meanings were claimed for such actions and how were they justified by their agents?
7. Is there an "Islamic" notion of heritage? Can the ways Muslims imagined and continue to imagine the past enable a critical interrogation of notions of universal heritage that are predominant in the broader international community?
Essays that focus on historical and theoretical analysis (DiT papers) should be a minimum of 5,000 words but no more than 8,000 words, and essays on design (DiP papers) can range from 3,000 to 4,500 words.
Contributions from practitioners are welcome and should bear in mind the critical framework of the journal. Contributions from scholars of heritage history and preservation as well as scholars and critics of heritage in the broadest sense are also particularly welcome.
Please send a 400-word abstract with essay title to the guest editor, Stephennie Mulder, The University of Texas at Austin (firstname.lastname@example.org), by 30 November 2015. Those whose proposals are accepted will be contacted soon thereafter and requested to submit full papers to the journal by 1 June 2016. All papers will undergo full peer review.
For author instructions regarding paper guidelines, please consult: