Method Acts

Open Call for Doctoral Students and Emerging Scholars to Present on New and Reconsidered Methods

Deadline to submit: October 24, 2022, at 11:59 PM CDT

Method Acts is a series of virtual workshops focused on exploring methodological techniques for graduate students and emerging scholars in architectural history and adjacent fields. This series of three events, organized by the SAH Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC), will create a forum for discussing new, alternative, and reconsidered methodological approaches to interpreting histories of the built environment.

Virtual Workshops

The Method Acts comprises two virtual workshops which invite emerging scholars (including graduate students, ABD scholars, and scholars who received their PhD within the last five years) to present methodological approaches for their research in progress. In addition, we will complement the virtual workshops with a cumulative roundtable with invited scholars who can share innovative perspectives on methodology.

Taking the abstract, bibliography, archive, fieldwork, and footnote as places where methods are imprinted, discussions will begin with 10-minute presentations by invited speakers providing a concise overview of their research, their methodological framework, and a specific area where the intervention occurs. Following the discussions, the committee will moderate questions for approximately 30 minutes (with a 5-minute introduction and conclusion to the event).

In addition, the committee will convene a third workshop organized as a cumulative roundtable and speaker session where an invited scholar can share innovative 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.

Methods in Practice

Historical methods are practices and are inherently political. The question of who gets to write history is inextricable from the politics of how it is written. The scope, subject, and mode of address, the accessibility of historical evidence, and the orientation of the researcher all condition historians’ encounters with the events and objects that we study. As architectural historians in early phases of our careers, we have the opportunity to orient our field toward broader forms of engagement with material evidence.

In conjunction with efforts to expand the topics that we select for historical inquiry, we must also reassess the ways that we approach those topics. As increasingly varied forms of evidence other than traditional architectural media provide the basis for the history that we write, we should also account for the format of media as epistemic categories.

Moreover, in situations in which archives are unavailable, non-existent or inaccessible, how can we, as scholars, continue to engage with research by the means available to us without sacrificing depth and details? How can our field nonetheless retain the ambition to construct an inclusive global architectural history? As scholars continue to realign research towards engaged, activist, and decolonized methods, we propose an opportunity to ask questions of graduates and emerging scholars, to continue the work of shaping a more inclusive disciplinary field.

This workshop series confronts questions of methodology head-on. Each workshop will ask how new methods may prompt reconsiderations of content, both within and outside the mainstream. Anthropology, historical anthropology, science and technology studies, media archaeology, environmental justice history, translation studies, critical race theory, public history, feminist, gender, and queer studies, among other fields, have shaped and influenced architectural history, creating an interdisciplinary venue to expand beyond the traditional and the familiar. An essential aspect of this series of workshops will be rethinking how we relate to the subjects of our research and to other scholars when discussing it. Toward that end, rather than a typical seminar-style format (with a leader and assigned reading), we propose a horizontally-organized structure in which we discuss works in progress. 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. 

Method Acts is organized by SAH Graduate Student Advisory Committee members Leslie Lodwick, Katerina Bong, Charlette Caldwell, Antonio Pacheco, and Sben Korsh. 

Workshop Format:

Each 75-minute workshop will consist of 2–3 presentations on selected methods, presented by selected and invited doctoral candidates and emerging scholars from universities across the globe. We invite expressions of interest for 10–15-minute presentations, which will be framed by discussions with workshop participants. Intended audience and participants are emerging ABD scholars or 1–3 years after dissertation. GSAC encourages submissions including in-process ideas, experimental approaches, and not-yet-developed frameworks that can benefit from critical engagement among peers. The presentations will take place in English and be online.

Submission Requirements

  • 100–150-word statement in a Word or PDF format describing the method you would like to discuss
  • Current CV (2 pages max)
  • Although not required to apply, selected presenters will be required to join SAH or be current members to participate.


  • September 15–October 24, 2022: open call for submissions
  • October 24, 2022: deadline for submissions
  • October 25–31, 2022: submission review by committee
  • November 1–15, 2022: selection & invitation to participate
  • December 2022–January 2023: 2 workshops over 2 months
  • February 24, 2023: wrap-up panel discussion 

The two workshops and panel discussion will take place online.

  • Friday, December 16, 2022, 1PM PST / 3 PM CST / 4PM EST
  • Friday, January 20, 2023, 1PM PST / 3 PM CST / 4PM EST
  • Friday, February 24, 2023, 1PM PST / 3 PM CST / 4PM EST

A panel discussion with established scholars.

Deadline to submit: October 24, 2022, at 11:59 PM CDT


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