SAH/GAHTC Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop

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SAH/GAHTC Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop
Backstage of the Global Histories Survey: Slow Looking, Translating, Listening, Activating
Saturday, March 20, 2021
10:00 AM–3:45 PM CDT

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Limited to 30 participants. Graduate students interested in participating in this workshop will need to submit an application by February 28.

The 2021 installment of the GAHTC workshop series will focus on the backstage production of global architectural histories. Building upon past GAHTC workshops and conferences, which have primarily focused on presenting or the front stage of architectural scholarship vis a vis teaching and the classroom, this one-day workshop will explore the backstage or rehearsal spaces. By evaluating and expanding the types of resources in teaching global architectural history courses that are attentive to the primacy of sited materials, including archives (institutional or otherwise), primary texts, sites of transfer and translation, and the durations of scholarly work, this workshop will address the processes and qualities that are usually left unattended in the preparation of global surveys. Rather than discussing content delivery and different syllabi, it will look for ways to improve the global survey by engaging in pedagogical infrastructures.

In four sessions moderated by organizers. “Listening,” “Slow Looking,” “Translating,” and “Activating,” the workshop will sketch out reparative and future-oriented pedagogical processes that can create long-term resources to support the design and implementation of meaningful global architectural history courses. The speakers will give 8–12-minute presentations for one of the sessions, and they will contribute to all themes in smaller break-out rooms that will foster participatory discussions after speaker presentations.

Organizers: Esra Akcan, Cornell University; Jia Yi Gu, UCLA; Rafico Ruiz, Canadian Centre for Architecture
SAH coordinator: Patricia Morton,1st Vice President, SAH; University of California, Riverside


Workshop Schedule:

The workshop will be hosted by SAH on Zoom and recorded in its entirety, with the four individual sessions (excluding breakout room discussions) made available to GAHTC for sharing. It will be archived on the SAH website.

10:00 AM–10:10 AM CDT
Introduction and explanation of goals and procedures for the day

10:10 AM–11:20 AM CDT
Session 1: Listening

Architectural schools around the world have been offering architectural history courses for years, and many have globalized their curriculum in various ways. How is global architectural history taught in different parts of the world? What are to be learned from various national pedagogical experiences? This session will cultivate practices of listening by hearing from faculty who teach architectural history in eight different countries. The session will provide the first steps toward a database of recorded interviews in order to create an archive of architectural history pedagogy around the world. Each speaker will make an 8-minute presentation in the order of their geographical location (from East to West) without moderation.

Thomas Daniell (Japan), Kyoto University
Kazi Khaleed Ashraf (Bangladesh), Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes, and Settlements
Saba Sami (Iraq), Al Nahrain University
Nilufer Yoney (Turkey,) Mustafa Kemal University
Adil Mustafa Ahmad (Sudan), University of Khartoum
Huda Tayob (South Africa), University of Cape Town
Tom Avermaete (Switzerland), ETH Zurich
Hugo Sagawa (Brazil), University of São Paulo

11:20 AM–11:25 AM CDT
Break (5 min)

11:25 AM–12:10 PM CDT
Session 2: Slow Looking

Introductory surveys are usually speedy, prioritizing breadth over depth. Covering an inclusive number of topics, timeframes and places is necessary for introductory teaching in order to prepare students as erudite world citizens. The potential superficiality that comes with speed needs to be balanced with historians’ and educators’ stepping out of their comfort zones (linguistic, geographic, and more) and engaging in critical, potentially collaborative scholarship that takes time and expands the existing scholarly literature. Given that teaching cannot be reformed unless scholarship is reformed, this session will discuss ways of slow looking for generating research-oriented global history courses. What are the areas, languages, and marginal sites that require the most urgent scholarly research? How can doctoral programs, research institutions and other initiatives support scholarly research on previously unattended histories, fields, and archives? How can survey instructors be given resources to cultivate slow looking in their courses?

Moderator: Rafico Ruiz, Canadian Centre for Architecture
Steven Nelson, CASVA
Ken Oshima, University of Washington

12:10 PM–12:15 PM CDT 
Break (5 min)

12:15 PM–1:15 PM CDT
Session 3: Translating

While few would deny the importance of primary texts in understanding and teaching architecture, it is an inexplicable paradox that texts written in languages other than major European ones remain inaccessible to broad audiences and students. While discussions on the globalization of theory have bourgeoned recently, it is a curious contradiction that the necessity of translation for this project has not been sufficiently recognized by publishers and others. This session will discuss methods and examples of translating for the positioning of primary texts as essential resources in building global history syllabi. What are the texts to be translated from different languages to foster more in-depth discussion in global history courses? What are the methods and challenges of translating texts on architecture? Speakers will present their ideas and may choose an exemplary text in a language of their expertise and share its translation. The session and the subsequent breakout room will provide the first steps toward an anthology of annotated primary texts, which can be used as a critical textbook for teaching global surveys.

Moderator: Esra Akcan, Cornell University
Farhan Karim, University of Kansas
Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, University of California, San Diego
Eunice Seng, University of Hong Kong
Itohan Osayimwese, Brown University

1:15 PM–2:15 PM CDT
Breakout Session 1

8 rooms, each facilitated by speakers/moderators
55-minute discussion
20-minute reporting back to group

2:15 PM–2:25 PM CDT

2:25 PM–3:10 PM CDT
Session 4: Activating

Student feedback sometimes points to the perceived irrelevance of history surveys for present-day problems. In the context of recent events including the rise of nationalism, travel bans, public health crises, removal of monuments, climate change related disasters, food insecurity, and so on, how can instructors activate global history courses in order to build a more direct connection between contemporary issues and ideas and global architectural history courses? How can instructors cultivate the importance of historical and geographical literacy? This session will discuss methods of activating classes for an enhanced public engagement with current issues across the globe.  

Moderator: Jia Yi Gu, UCLA
Irene Cheng, California College of the Arts
Daniel Coslett, University of Washington
Ana Ozaki, Cornell University
Javairia Shahid, Columbia University
Anooradha Siddiqi, Barnard College

3:10 PM–3:40 PM
Breakout Session 2

4 rooms moderated by speakers/moderator
20-minute discussion
10-minute reporting back to group

3:40 PM–3:45 PM CDT

Ana Ozaki, Cornell University

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