Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2016 SAH/Mellon Author Award Winners

Aug 29, 2016 by SAH News
mellon-foundation-logoThe Society of Architectural Historians has named Peter Christensen, Itohan I. Osayimese and Robin Schuldenfrei as the recipients of the 2016 SAH/Mellon Author Awards. These awards are designed to provide financial relief to scholars who are publishing their first monograph on the history of the built environment, and who are responsible for paying for rights and permissions for images or for commissioning maps, charts or line drawings in their publications. A listing of the award-winning book projects follows.

Peter Christensen
Germany and the Ottoman Railways: Art, Empire, and Infrastructure (Yale University Press, forthcoming)

Peter Christensen is assistant professor of art history at the University of Rochester. Germany and the Ottoman Railways examines the politics surrounding the construction of train stations, settlements, maps, bridges, monuments, and an archaeological canon within the context of the Ottoman railway network, taking into account political, geographic, topographic, archaeological, constructional, architectural, and urban perspectives. Christensen argues that the early internationalization of infrastructure construction bore some of the trademarks of imperialism while also syncretizing cultural difference in a new visual idiom that represented emergent nationalisms.

Itohan I. Osayimese 
Colonialism and the Archive of Modern Architecture in Germany (University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming)

Itohan I. Osayimese is assistant professor of the history of art and architecture at Brown University. Colonialism and the Archive of Modern Architecture in Germany considers the effects of colonialism, travel, and globalization on the development of modern architecture in Germany from the 1850s to the 1930s and argues that a rise of a new modern language of architecture within Germany during this period was shaped by the country’s colonial and neo-colonial entanglements in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. This book will be published as part of the “Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment” series edited by Dianne Harris.

Robin Schuldenfrei 
Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany 1900–1933 (Princeton University Press, forthcoming)

Robin Schuldenfrei is the Katja and Nicolai Tangen Lecturer in 20th-century Modernism at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Luxury and Modernism examines the disconnect between the Modern Movement’s democratic and utopian discourse and existing design and production structures. Schuldenfrei argues that this resulted in the emergence of modern luxury objects and elite architectural commissions that championed modernism’s democratic ideals but were all too often out of the reach of the very people they purported to serve.

SAH is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for supporting this award. Applications for the next award cycle will open in March 2017. Visit for more information.

About SAH
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at