SAH and Places Journal Announce Collaboration on the SAH/Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment

Sep 22, 2021 by SAH News
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The Society of Architectural Historians and Places Journal today announced the launch of the SAH/Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment, a new award intended to support the production of innovative public scholarship that reconsiders race and the history of the built environment through a contemporary lens. This unique partnership between SAH and Places aims to expand the contemporary discussion on race and the built environment.

The SAH/Places Prize recipient will receive a $7,500 honorarium to produce a significant work of public scholarship that will be published in Places and delivered at a public lecture presented by SAH. The Prize is intended for a senior scholar seeking to make a transition to public scholarship. Over the course of 18 months, a series of informal talks and short writing opportunities will assist the SAH/Places Prize scholar in refining their ideas for public consumption before culminating in a published article and public lecture. SAH and Places will distribute a call for applications for the SAH/Places Prize later this year. Global topics on race and the built environment will be encouraged.

“SAH promotes new scholarship on the history of the built environment through publications such as JSAH and programs like our annual conference. Our members also often contribute to Places, a trusted, open-access resource for public scholarship on the built environment,” said Pauline Saliga, executive director of SAH. “This important collaboration will not only extend SAH’s engagement with public audiences, it also will expand Places’ coverage of contemporary issues, and will spotlight an architectural historian whose work furthers our understanding of how race intersects with architecture, landscape, and urbanism.”

The SAH/Places Prize is the brainchild of Charles L. Davis II, associate professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and co-chair of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group. Davis is co-editor, with Irene Cheng and Mabel O. Wilson, of Race and Modern Architecture (University of Pittsburgh, 2020) and the author of Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh, 2019). 

"This prize advances the mission of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group to develop an inclusive academic culture within the Society that promotes the dissemination of pioneering research produced by new entrants and senior scholars in the field,” said Davis. “Literature on race and architecture is still a growing field that needs our continued support."

“The production of new public scholarship on race and architecture is such a vital and important project. We are thrilled to be setting out on this intellectual journey with SAH,” said Nancy Levinson, executive director of Places Journal.

SAH and Places Journal are currently fundraising to support the SAH/Places Prize for two consecutive years, with a goal of raising $15,000 by December 1. To make a contribution to support the SAH/Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment, please visit

About the Society of Architectural Historians
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international 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 profession or interest, 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.

About the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group
The SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group was established by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) in 2019 to promote research activities that analyze the racial discourses of architectural historiography, past and present. Following the scholarly trajectory of interdisciplinary fields such as colonial studies, postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and whiteness studies, our activities promote a race-conscious architectural history that analyzes the constitutive role of race thinking in the social construction and representation of cultural differences abroad.

About Places Journal
Founded at MIT and Berkeley in 1983, Places is an independent, nonprofit journal of public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Bridging from the university to the profession to the public, Places features scholars, journalists, designers, and artists who are responding to the profound challenges of our time: environmental health and structural inequity, climate crisis, resource scarcity, human migration, rapid technological innovation, and the erosion of the public sphere.