April 28, 2022 — The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce that Ginger Nolan has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 SAH | Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment. A collaboration between SAH and Places Journal, the award supports the production of a major work of public scholarship that considers the history of race and the built environment through a contemporary lens.
Nolan is an assistant professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. Her research examines relationships between architecture, media, infrastructures, and race in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has published two books with the University of Minnesota Press: Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Racial Science and Twentieth-Century Design (2021) and The Neocolonialism of the Global Village (2018). Her work has been recognized by the Graham Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Terra Foundation, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.
Nolan’s project, “Responding to Racialized Risk: African American Insurance, Churches, and Co-Ops,” will examine the strategies that African Americans developed to contend with their exclusion from access to financial capital, affordable housing, and other infrastructures of household risk management. Her proposed article will draw on archives of African American insurance companies, banks, church-sponsored housing projects, and rural co-operatives, as well as articles and ads in African American magazines. The article will also address continuing barriers faced by non-EuroAmericans in accessing infrastructures of risk management, highlighting how those infrastructures are still integral to the global-northern conquest of space and capital.
Nolan will receive a $7,500 honorarium to fund archival research and travel, which will begin this year. Her research will culminate in a public lecture presented by SAH and the publication of an article in Places.
Established in 2021, the SAH | Places Prize was envisioned by Charles L. Davis II, associate professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and co-chair of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group.
About the Society of Architectural Historians
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.
About the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group
The SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group was established by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) in 2019 to promote research activities that analyze the racial discourses of architectural historiography, past and present. Following the scholarly trajectory of interdisciplinary fields such as colonial studies, postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and whiteness studies, our activities promote a race-conscious architectural history that analyzes the constitutive role of race thinking in the social construction and representation of cultural differences abroad.
About Places Journal
Founded at MIT and Berkeley in 1983, Places is an independent, nonprofit journal of public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Bridging from the university to the profession to the public, Places features scholars, journalists, designers, and artists who are responding to the profound challenges of our time: environmental health and structural inequity, climate crisis, resource scarcity, human migration, rapid technological innovation, and the erosion of the public sphere.
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