The Society of Architectural Historians has named Sarah Rovang as the 2017 H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellow. The $50,000 fellowship award allows an emerging scholar to travel the world for one year to experience architecture and landscapes firsthand. Beginning in July 2018, Rovang will travel to sites in the United Kingdom, Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa, Japan and Chile to explore the public history of world industrial heritage.
Her travel itinerary is framed around geographic areas with a high density and diversity of nineteenth- and twentieth-century industrial landscapes, which reflect the rise of mass production, accelerating urbanization, and new technologies of resource exploitation and manufacturing. She plans to visit sites such as textile mills, factories, ports of maritime trade, worker housing, and landscapes of mining, manufacturing, and agricultural production. Her findings will be documented in writing, photographs, sketches, and audio recordings that she will share in monthly posts on the SAH Blog.
Rovang received her PhD in the history of art and architecture from Brown University in 2016 and currently teaches at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is particularly interested in architectural history as public practice and how we tell architectural stories in museums and public settings. Through her fellowship travels, she hopes to gain exposure to diverse interpretive strategies across the globe and current methods for interpreting modern industrial sites worldwide. She aspires to work with museums, universities, and other institutions to enrich public engagement with historical architecture.
“For me, public history represents an alternative but equally viable form of scholarship that can exist alongside—and even enhance—more conventional academic research,” said Rovang. “From my experiences in teaching and curation, I’ve come to believe in a fundamental continuity between how we communicate ideas about architecture in the classroom and how we tell architectural stories in museums and public settings.” About the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship
The H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship was established in 2010 by a bequest from noted scholar and architectural historian H. Allen Brooks. It is intended to provide emerging scholars the opportunity to study by travel and contemplation while observing, photographing, writing and sketching, and to acquire knowledge that will contribute to one’s profession and to society. Brooks was an active member and past president of SAH. Applications for the 2018 award cycle will open on August 1, 2018. For more information, visit sah.org/brooks. Fellowship reports from past recipients can be found at sah.org/brooks-reports.