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Registration is Open for the SAH 73rd Annual International Conference in Seattle

by SAH News | Jan 07, 2020
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The Society of Architectural Historians will host its 73rd Annual International Conference in Seattle, Washington, April 29–May 3. Nearly 700 SAH members from around the world are expected to convene at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel to present new research on the history of the built environment, network, and participate in roundtables, seminars, workshops, tours and more. Early registration is open through March 3, 2020. Register now for the lowest rates and best availability of tours and events.

The paper session portion of the conference includes 32 thematic sessions, three open sessions, and the Graduate Student Lightning Talks. Sessions focused on the Seattle and the Pacific Northwest include “Sites Unseen: Other Cultural Landscapes of the Pacific Northwest” and “Architecture and Design of the Pacific Rim.”

Ten roundtables will explore topics such as race in architectural history, alternative academic career options, Asian American architecture, digital publishing, and decolonized planning and preservation in the Pacific Northwest.

The SAH Seattle Seminar will bring conference attendees and members of the local community together to discuss equity, affordability and the preservation of the city’s older neighborhoods. The program will be comprised of two panels: the first will focus on Unreinforced Masonry Buildings (URMs) in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District, and the second will address gentrification, resistance and preservation in the Central District and Capitol Hill.

Workshops on the schedule include one aimed at teaching graduate students how to write an effective book proposal and another designed to help minority scholars navigate some of the challenges they face in publishing. Other workshops will be led by scholars engaged in the history of built environments through the digital humanities and by the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC).

Keynote talks include the Introductory Address, “Seattle’s Inventions and Re-inventions: A Brief History of the City,” by Margaret O’Mara, Howard & Frances Keller Endowed Professor of History at the University of Washington, and the 2020 Eduard F. Sekler Talk, “’The Home of the Oppressed’: Democracy, Slavery and America’s Civic Architecture,” by Mabel O. Wilson, Nancy and George Rupp Professor at Columbia University GSAPP.  In the panel discussion “Redress & Reparations: Learning from Japanese American Heritage,” speakers will examine the preservation of landmarks of Japanese American heritage and discuss current efforts to make contested histories of race publicly visible at historic places.

Tours of architecture and landscapes in Seattle and nearby areas will take place throughout the duration of the conference. Local experts will lead guided tours focused on buildings such as the 5th Avenue Theatre and Seattle Central Library, neighborhoods including Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District, civic buildings and public art, and landscapes such as Gas Works Park and Freeway Park. Tours will also examine historic cultural sites that commemorate the Japanese American experience, and the traditional and relocated lands of the Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes.

The preliminary conference program is available here.




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.
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