This inaugural event organized by members of the SAH Climate Change and Architectural History Affiliate Group broaches questions about the status of architectural history in a warming world. The panel highlights current research by established and emerging
scholars working at the intersection of the architectural and environmental humanities. Their work reveals how climate change can be a driving force behind our research agendas, opening new avenues of investigation, and establishing working methods in
the service of social and environmental justice.
The panel is also a call to action. We believe that the unbounded and existential nature of the climate crisis calls for a broad scale re-imagining of the role of architectural history in the academy, and
for humanities scholars of all stripes to join in the fight against climate change by excavating and exploring the challenges that lie ahead. Indeed, the multi-generational nature of the climate crisis suggests history should play a greater role in imagining
post-anthropocentric futures. Topics related to environmental change and adaptation are inseparable from longer histories of extraction, medicine, race, colonialism, and the geopolitical construction of “third worlds.” They also demand rigorous
attention to the interfaces between science and technology in architectural culture, and to the situating of climatic discourses in multiple knowledge spheres, spanning geographic, social, and material divides.
Accordingly, this panel challenges participants
to think past technical interpretations of climate in order to view climate as a locus for multidisciplinary practice and thought. The presentations and discussion together highlight the need for interdisciplinary and transnational approaches to writing
architectural histories of climate change, encompassing especially the Global South and other marginalized geographies, where the violent effects of global warming are being etched onto social and physical landscapes in real time through an unfolding
humanitarian crisis. Questions guiding our collective inquiry include: what can architectural history teach us about our present climate crisis? And how can architectural historians join in the fight against climate change?
- Priya Jain, Texas A&M University, Department of Architecture
- Ana Ozaki, Mellon Race, Place, and Equity Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
- Dustin Valen, Toronto Metropolitan University, Department of Architectural Science
- Menna Agha, Carleton University, Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism
- Nida Rehman, Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture
- Avigail Sachs, University of Tennessee, College of Architecture + Design
- Emily Scott, University of Oregon, College of Design