Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2018 SAH/Mellon Author Award Winners

by SAH News | Sep 04, 2018

The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 SAH/Mellon Author Awards. These awards are granted to scholars publishing their first monograph on the history of the built environment and help defray the expenses of image licensing, reproduction, and creation of original drawings and maps. This year SAH awarded a total of $17,498 to the forthcoming book projects listed below. SAH is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for supporting these awards.

Ma’abara-transit-camp-(Katz)Irit Katz
The Common Camp: Instruments of Power and Resistance on the Edge of Architecture
University of Minnesota Press

The Common Camp explores the "temporary" camp as both a spatial entity and political unit in Israel-Palestine and beyond. While much has been written about the Palestinian refugee camps, Katz seeks to explore the camp as a concept across multiple sides and through the long history of territorial transformations and political struggles in Israel-Palestine over the past century. Chapters include Zionist settler camps, British colonial detention centers, Israeli transit camps for Jewish immigrants, military-civilian agricultural outposts, Bedouin unrecognized settlements, Palestinian refugee and protest camps, and detention camps for African asylum seekers. Katz uses the multifaceted history of Israel-Palestine to understand the camp as a conceptual instrument for spatial temporariness and management of specific populations outside the normal order.

Irit Katz is a Paul Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow; Course Tutor at the LSE Cities Programme; Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge; and Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies in Architecture, Girton College Cambridge.

Photo caption: Ma’abara transit camp for Jewish Immigrants near Tiberias (1951). Photographer: David Eldan. The Israeli National Photo Collection.

Detroit-map-(Kickert)Conrad Kickert
Dream City: Creation, Destruction and Reinvention in Downtown Detroit
The MIT Press

Moving beyond commonly held narratives of Detroit’s dramatic rise and fall, Dream City is a nuanced study of the transformation of downtown Detroit over the last two centuries. Through original morphological maps, accompanied by extensive new primary research and historical photographs, Kickert traces a complex history of creation, destruction and reinvention of downtown's space, culture and economy. Demonstrating Detroit's struggle to integrate past dreams in its gaze toward the future, Kickert argues that the contemporary dichotomous landscape of downtown Detroit is the direct outcome of the ongoing tensions that have shaped it over the past two centuries. Dream City contributes to our understanding of the history of Detroit and, more broadly, America’s post-industrial urban condition.

Conrad Kickert is Assistant Professor of Urban Design at the School of Planning, University of Cincinnati.

Photo caption: A layered history of success and failure has resulted in downtown Detroit's current morphology of contrasts. Creation and destruction have symbiotically grown downtown Detroit's fabric, as depicted by the age of downtown's voids, closely mirroring its solids. From Dream City: Creation, Destruction, and Reinvention in Downtown Detroit by Conrad Kickert, forthcoming from The MIT Press, 2018.

Parks Department officialsMariana Mogilevich
The Invention of Public Space: Design and Politics in Lindsay’s New York
University of Minnesota Press

The Invention of Public Space documents the history of urban design in New York City during the mayoral administration (1965–1974) of John Lindsay. As the city fell into the grip of urban crisis, driven by the forces of suburbanization, increased crime and racial strife, a group of architects sought to redefine the meaning of “public space” through a broad array of projects including parks, pedestrian streets, playgrounds and revitalized waterfronts. While cities have always dedicated space to a broad but amorphous public, Mogilevich argues that designers, inspired by psychological research and the political mood of this period, began to conceive of space in terms of democratic participation and as a “staging ground of self-actualization” for new and diverse urban publics. 

Mariana Mogilevich is Editor in Chief of Urban Omnibus at The Architectural League of New York.

Photo caption: Parks Department officials meet with Lower East Side residents to discuss vest pocket park, 1967. Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

minbar-detail-Eyup-Sultan-Mosque-(Rustem)Ünver Rüstem
Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul
Princeton University Press

From the publisher:

With its idiosyncratic yet unmistakable adaptation of European Baroque models, the eighteenth-century architecture of Istanbul has frequently been dismissed by modern observers as inauthentic and derivative, a view reflecting broader unease with notions of Western influence on Islamic cultures. In Ottoman Baroque—the first English-language book on the topic—Ünver Rüstem provides a compelling reassessment of this building style and shows how between 1740 and 1800 the Ottomans consciously coopted European forms to craft a new, politically charged, and globally resonant image for their empire’s capital.

Rüstem reclaims the label “Ottoman Baroque” as a productive framework for exploring the connectedness of Istanbul’s eighteenth-century buildings to other traditions of the period. Using a wealth of primary sources, he demonstrates that this architecture was in its own day lauded by Ottomans and foreigners alike for its fresh, cosmopolitan effect. Purposefully and creatively assimilated, the style’s cross-cultural borrowings were combined with Byzantine references that asserted the Ottomans’ entitlement to the Classical artistic heritage of Europe. Such aesthetic rebranding was part of a larger endeavor to reaffirm the empire’s power at a time of intensified East-West contact, taking its boldest shape in a series of imperial mosques built across the city as landmarks of a state-sponsored idiom.

Copiously illustrated and drawing on previously unpublished documents, Ottoman Baroque breaks new ground in our understanding of Islamic visual culture in the modern era and offers a persuasive counterpoint to Eurocentric accounts of global art history.

Ünver Rüstemis Assistant Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Johns Hopkins University.

Photo caption: Detail of the minbar (pulpit) of the Eyüp Sultan Mosque, Eyüp, Istanbul, 1798–1800. Credit: Ünver Rüstem


Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.

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.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
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