The Black Lives Matter movement is a social justice imperative that requires us to rethink our approaches and methodologies across the discipline, from the ground up. While the modern period is better served for the study of race and architecture (Cheng, Davis, Wilson, eds., Race and Modern Architecture,
2020; Gooden, Dark Space: Architecture, Representation, Black Identity
, 2016; Fields, Architecture in Black: Theory, Space, and Appearance
, 2015; Lokko ed., White Paper and Black Marks: Architecture, Race, Culture,
2000), the study of race and architecture in the early modern period remains relatively unexplored, even if scholars argue that it was precisely the new global contact, conflict, and exchange of the early modern period that caused the emergence of a greater race-consciousness. The JSAH Roundtable: Constructing Race and Architecture (1400–1800)
seeks to contribute to the expanding scholarly discourse by inviting interventions on matters relating to race and the built environment across the globe during the early modern period.
Each contributor is preparing a short essay of approximately 1000 words to highlight the current state of the field, suggesting the main avenues of scholarship while also pointing toward possible new research directions. This format allows our readership to hear from a broad range of different voices, including established and emerging scholars, and to explore the global history of race and architecture in the period 1400–1800 through a variety of lenses. The interventions will be published in JSAH later this year.
Editor, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Professor, History of Art and Architecture