The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce the members of the new SAH Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accountability, and Sustainability (IDEAS) Committee. The IDEAS Committee is charged with developing and guiding a diversity, equity and inclusion policy that also encompasses accountability and sustainability. The Committee will work with the SAH Board
and SAH Strategic Planning Committee to devise sustainable DEI strategies for SAH and will make recommendations for actions to promote meaningful change within the Society’s culture.
Learn more about the SAH IDEAS Initiative
Matthew Knox Averett
Matthew Knox Averett is an associate professor of art history at Creighton University. He received a Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from the University of Missouri where he specialized in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture, focusing on the urban development of early modern Rome. His publications include: “Becoming Giorgio Cornaro: Titian’s Portrait of a Man with a Falcon” in the Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte (2011), “The Annual Medals of Pope Urban VIII Barberini” in the American Journal of Numismatics (2013), and “’Redditus Orbis Erat’: The Political Rhetoric of Bernini’s Fountains in Piazza Barberini” in the Sixteenth Century Journal (2014). In 2015, he edited and contributed chapters to The Early Modern Child in Art and History (Routledge). His current research includes projects on early-modern Rome and twentieth-century St. Louis. At Creighton, Averett teaches courses on the urban development of Rome, antiracist urbanism, and urban responses to climate change.
Valentina Davila is a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Annmarie Adams. Her dissertation Women in the Home Front: Venezuelan Domestic Workers and the Acquisition of Architecture analyzes how the built space has been historically manipulated to segregate, oppress and marginalize vulnerable populations such as household workers. Based on the study of material culture, she focuses on domestic exclusion, resistance and spatial production, spatial (in)justice, and historical absences.
Before moving to Canada, Davila obtained her architecture degree at Los Andes University in Venezuela, became a registered architect and contributed to the professional field. In 2008, she moved to Spain to enroll in the Technical University of Madrid. She obtained two professional master's degrees: the first in architecture and building technology and the second in interior architecture. In 2013, inspired by the writings of Alberto Perez-Gomez and Annmarie Adams, Valentina relocated to Montreal to enroll in the History and Theory post-professional Master of Architecture at McGill University. In 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award (SSHRC) for her dissertation research.
Apart from her school's academic activities, Davila is a mother of two and an active advocate for family rights within McGill University. Last year, she coordinated free childcare for everyone attending the School of Architecture's lecture series.
Charles L. Davis II is an assistant professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo. He received his Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and has an M.Arch and B.P.S. from the University at Buffalo. His academic research excavates the role of racial identity and race thinking in architectural history and contemporary design culture. His current book project, tentatively entitled “Black By Design: An Interdisciplinary History of Making in Modern America” recovers the overlooked contributions of black artists and architects in shaping the built environment from the Harlem Renaissance to Black Lives Matter. He has published articles and essays in Architectural Research Quarterly, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Harvard Design Magazine, Log, Aggregate, Append-x and VIA. Davis is co-editor of the cultural reader Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences (Routledge, 2015) and the forthcoming Race and Modern Architecture (University of Pittsburgh, 2020), which collects 18 case studies on the racial discourses of modern architecture from the Enlightenment to the present. His book, Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh, 2019) traces the historical integrations of race and style theory in paradigms of “architectural organicism,” or movements that modeled design on the generative principles of nature. This research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Davis is a member of the SAH Board and the chair of the SAH Race and Architectural History Affiliate Group.
Lynne Horiuchi is an independent scholar who received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has published numerous articles on the built environments of Japanese American incarceration. Race, space, architecture and ethics are her theoretical interests crossing over into Asian American studies, art history, vernacular architecture, urban planning, and critical race studies. She has co-edited a volume with Tanu Sankalia Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island that examines the complete transformations of a man-made island for a world exposition, a military base and a new neighborhood in San Francisco. She is co-writing with Anoma Pieris a volume on imprisonment during World War II from Singapore to North America, The Architecture of Confinement: Incarceration Camps of the Pacific War. She is completing a volume, Dislocations and Relocations: The Planning, Design, and Construction of Prison Cities, that interrogates the relationships between architecture, and vernacular building and military design and construction. She has received numerous awards including NEH grants, a Civil Liberties Public Education Fellowship, and was named a National Endowment for the Arts MacDowell Fellow. She has taught at the University of North Carolina in the Department or Architecture and she is currently developing a course on race, redevelopment, and gentrification for the Future Histories Lab at the University of California at Berkeley. She has served on the Board of the Rosie of the Riveter Trust and numerous other community organizations and committees. She is a long-time member of SAH, participating in conferences, panels and roundtables and is currently the co-chair of the SAH Minority Scholars Affiliate Group.
S. N. (JR) Johnson-Roehr
S. N. (JR) Johnson-Roehr received her Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation, “The Spatialization of Knowledge and Power at the Astronomical Observations of Sawai Jai Singh II,” explored the architecture of astronomy and the transfer of scientific knowledge in 18th-century India. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at Rutgers and University of Virginia, where her teaching and research focused on South Asian architecture, cultural heritage management, and urbanism, before transitioning to a non-academic position. She spent several years working as associate editor for a popular science magazine and shifted her research focus to the history and design of American observatories. In 2019, she joined the firm of Ann Beha Architects, where she now serves as communications director. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Science Made of Stone: The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh II, and an article on under-examined, under-appreciated architectural labor at Lick Observatory in California.
JR is co-chair of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force at Ann Beha Architects and co-chair of On the Same Page, a new reading group formed by the Boston Society of Architects to examine issues of social justice, equity, and diversity within the profession.
Sean H. McPherson is associate professor of art history in the Department of Art & Art History at Bridgewater State University, where he teaches classes on Asian and global art and architectural history. After studying architectural design and Japanese timber-frame construction at the Nagoya Institute of Technology, in Nagoya, Japan, McPherson received his M.Arch and Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of research include the art and architecture of Japanese Shintō shrine festivals, the architecture of Japanese American Buddhism, Asian American cultural landscapes, and issues of equity and accessibility in higher education. He is the founding co-chair of the SAH Asian American and Diasporic Architectural History Affiliate Group.
David Rifkind is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University, where he teaches courses in architectural history, theory, and design. He is also Faculty Fellow in the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab. His current research deals with urbanism and architecture in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia from the late nineteenth century to the present, including Italian attempts at colonization in the Horn of Africa. He is the author of The Battle for Modernism: Quadrante and the Politicization of Architectural Discourse in Fascist Italy (CISA Palladio and Marsilio Editori, 2012), which won the Premio James Ackerman, co-edited A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture with Elie G. Haddad (Ashgate, 2014), and has published articles on architecture and urbanism in Italy and Ethiopia in such journals as the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Journal of Architectural Education, Planning Perspectives, and ARQ.
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi (she/her/hers) specializes in histories of architecture centering African and South Asian questions of historicity and archives, heritage politics, and feminist and colonial practices. Her scholarship expands histories of marginalized people and figures and promotes practices of collaboration and support, especially to foreground the lives and narratives of communities that have been systematically excluded or silenced. Her book manuscript Architecture of Migration: The Dadaab Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Settlement analyzes the history, visual rhetoric, and spatial politics of the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya, as an epistemological vantage point in the African and Islamic world. Drawing from many years of historical, ethnographic, and visual research in East Africa, South Asia, and Europe, it attempts to move beyond ahistorical representations of camps and their inhabitants, finding long migratory and colonial traditions in the architecture, spatial practices, material culture, and iconography of refugees and humanitarians. Her book manuscript Minnette de Silva and a Modern Architecture of the Past engages the intellectual and heritage work of one of the first women to establish a professional architectural practice and an important cultural figure in the history of Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Her writings appear in several peer-reviewed and critical journals and she received the 2019 SAH Founders’ Award for her JSAH article “Architecture Culture, Humanitarian Expertise: From the Tropics to Shelter, 1953-1993.” Her work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Graham Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Barnard College Presidential Research Award. She directs the Columbia University Center for the Study of Social Difference working group, Insurgent Domesticities, and is co-chair for the Columbia University Seminar, Studies in Contemporary Africa.
Jennifer Tate recently earned a PhD in architecture in the field of architectural history from the University of Texas at Austin. Relying upon a multidisciplinary approach influenced by her previous academic and professional experience in political science and international relations, she explores ways in which systems of power and politics traverse the built environment. Jennifer’s current research focuses on the intersection of modern housing, issues of race, class, and housing, and New Deal to post-WWII era politics. Her dissertation, titled “Good Americans in Good American Houses: The Politics of Identity and Modern Housing Design in the New Deal Era,” investigates the failure of the modern aesthetic to take hold in domestic architecture during the 1930s and 1930s, demonstrating that questions over the aesthetic of housing were in reality questions about who would be included in the image of what it meant to be American. Jennifer previously served as the Graduate Student Representative board member to the Society of Architectural Historians, and she also holds master’s degrees in government and international policy from Georgetown University and Stanford University.
Olivier Vallerand is a community activist, architect, historian, and assistant professor at The Design School at Arizona State University. He completed a PhD in architecture from McGill University and post-doctoral research at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on self-identifications and their relation to the use and design of the built environment, on queer and feminist approaches to design education, and on alternative practices of architecture and design. His monograph, Unplanned Visitors: Queering the Ethics and Aesthetics of Domestic Space (2020), discusses the emergence of queer theory in architectural discourse. His research has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Interiors: Design | Architecture | Culture, Inter art actuel, The Educational Forum, The Plan, Captures, and in the edited volumes Sexuality (Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art), Making Men, Making History: Canadian Masculinities across Time and Place, and Contentious Cities: Design and the Gendered Production of Space. He also regularly writes for Canadian Architect.
Dr. Armaghan Ziaee is a full-time lecturer at the University of North Texas. She earned her PhD in architectural history, theory, and criticism and her MA in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from the University of Cincinnati. She is an interdisciplinary architecture historian and her work centers on transnational and decolonial studies, intersectional methods and pedagogy, history of gender and architecture, and Middle Eastern studies.
Dr. Ziaee’s projects expand narratives of marginalized and disenfranchised groups that have been systematically excluded in grand narratives. She pays attention to micro-histories, everyday spaces, and unknown figures (particularly women). As a teacher-scholar, she supports and enhances diverse student populations. In 2019, she was awarded a medal of honor by the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services from the University of Cincinnati.
Dr. Ziaee has been the recipient of multitude of awards, grants, and fellowships including from the National Women’s Studies Association, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-GAHTC, and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute. She is an active member of several academic associations including the Society of Architectural Historians, the National Women’s Studies Association, and the Middle East Studies Association.
Dr. Ziaee serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of International Women’s Studies, and she is the reviews editor for the journal of Design and Culture. Her recent publications include “On Contradictions: The Architecture of Women’s Resistance and Emancipation in early 20th Century Iran” (2020) as part of On Margins: Feminist Architectural Historians of Migration in ABE Journal.