Method Acts

2024 Method Acts - Open Call for Doctoral Students and Emerging Scholars to Present on New and Reconsidered Research Methods


Deadline: Monday, November 27, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST

Method Acts is an annual series of events exploring alternative and non-traditional research methods used by graduate students and emerging scholars in architectural history and adjacent fields. Organized by the Society of Architectural Historians Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC), we aim to create a forum for discussing reconsidered, interdisciplinary methodological approaches to interpreting histories of built environments and material culture.

Research methods and practices are political. The scope, subject, mode of address, the accessibility of evidence, and the researcher’s orientation all condition our encounters with the events and objects we study. As architectural historians in the early phase of our careers, we have the opportunity to orient our field toward broader forms of engagement with material evidence. How can we research when archives are unavailable, non-existent, or inaccessible? How can we retain the ambition to construct an inclusive global architectural history? As we continue to realign our research towards engaged, activist, and decolonized methods, we seek opportunities to continue shaping a more inclusive disciplinary field.

We seek to confront questions of methodology head-on and consider how our methods might help reconsider the received architectural historiography and its disciplinary boundaries. In rethinking how we relate to the subjects of our research and to each other when discussing our scholarship, our ambition is to foster a more horizontally-organized space within SAH for emerging scholars to discuss methods. Authors interested in engaging methodological claims will select a portion of their work and other comparative works that align with or diverge from their approach. 


The participants and intended audience for these workshops are emerging ABD scholars and/or scholars 1–3 years after graduation from a PhD program. We encourage submissions of in-process ideas, experimental approaches, and not-yet-developed frameworks that can benefit from critical engagement among peers. Each workshop will last approximately 75 minutes and begin with two or three presentations by doctoral candidates and emerging scholars about their chosen research methods. These presentations, approximately 10 minutes each, should include a brief overview of their research topic, followed by an elaborated discussion of their methods. Following the presentations, we will host an open discussion for approximately 45 minutes. Speakers are expected to share their material with other speakers and workshop participants beforehand to help facilitate discussion. The presentations will take place in English on Zoom. Participants will also take part in a pre-workshop online session to meet with and receive feedback from fellow presenters. Although not required to apply, selected presenters of the workshops are required to be current SAH members by the time of the workshops.


Following the workshops, the committee will convene a concluding roundtable where invited scholars known for their research in the field will share their perspectives on methodology. This third event in the series will highlight how methods are implemented as a body of scholarly work advances over the course of one’s career.

Method Acts is organized by SAH Graduate Students Advisory Committee members Charlette Caldwell, Lisa Beyeler-Yvarra, Mania Taher, Sben Korsh, and Sylvia Faichney. 

Submission Requirements

  • 100–150-word statement in Word or PDF format describing a method you are currently using in your research
  • Current CV (2 pages max)
All proposals must be submitted through the SAH online portal by Monday, November 27, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST.



  • November 27, 2023: Deadline for submissions
  • November 30–December 8, 2023: Submission review by committee
  • December 9–December 15, 2023: Selection and invitation to participate
  • February 2024: Preliminary discussion with presenters
  • February–March 2024: Workshops and roundtable

The workshops and the roundtable will take place online.

*Dates and times subject to change - schedule will be confirmed after speaker selection*

  • February 27, 2024, 1 PM PT/3 PM CT/4 PM ET 
  • March 12, 2024, 1 PM PT/3 PM CT/4 PM ET
  • Virtual Roundtable: March 25, 2024, 1 PM PT/3 PM CT/4 PM ET

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610