Introducing the New SAH Globalizing Architectural History Education Affiliate Group

Dec 1, 2021 by SAH News

The Society of Architectural Historians Board has approved the creation of the SAH Globalizing Architectural History Education Affiliate Group, co-chaired by Eliana Abu-Hamdi, MIT, and Kelema Lee Moses, Occidental College. SAH Affiliate Groups are special interest groups comprised of SAH members with a shared, narrowly defined focus, scholarly or otherwise. SAH Affiliate Group members meet in person or remotely to pursue their common interest and may request space at the SAH Annual International Conference for a meeting or roundtable.

The SAH Globalizing Architectural History Education Affiliate Group proposal reads:

This affiliate group will engage in a conversation about the pedagogical rigors of teaching Global Architectural History, but also, to delve into the complex conversation of, What Does It Mean to Teach Global? We will consider the various conceptions of what Global Architectural History has become and continue to challenge the intellectual longevity of the various approaches. We hope to arrive not at a consensus, but rather, through rigorous debate, tease apart the meaning of Global, and to discover if we are teaching global yet.

At a time of rapid technological change and professional specialization, we can easily forget that the most important mission of schools and universities is to offer inspiring and horizon-expanding teaching to the next generation. Survey courses play a particularly important role as they open the world to students and help give them critical purchase on their own landscapes and lives. A good course balances breadth with depth, but in an ever-expanding world that balance can be lost. The problem is not just how to teach students, but how to prepare teachers. This group's goal—much like the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC)—is to provide cross-disciplinary, teacher-to-teacher exchanges of ideas and material, in order to energize and promote the teaching of all periods of global architectural history, especially at the introductory level.

Ultimately, this group seeks to promote and maintain an ongoing conversation about the ways in which learning from a global framework can contribute to our understanding of the role of architecture in the world.

The charter member of the group are Ana María León, University of Michigan, Ijlal Muzaffar, RISD, Mina Rajagopalan, University of Pittsburgh, Joseph Godlewski, Syracuse University, and Daniel Coslett, University of Washington.

To learn more about participating in SAH Affiliate Groups, visit