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Seasoned Modernism. Prudent Perspectives on an Unwary Past

  • Dates: 10 Feb – 15 Mar, 2019
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
  • Contact: Dr. Arch. Toader Popescu
  • Email: sita@uauim.ro
  • Website: http://sita.uauim.ro
  • Phone: +40213077178

The journal of studies in History and Theory of Architecture (sita.uauim.ro), published by the Department of Architectural History & Theory and Heritage Conservation at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, Romania, invites international submissions for the 2019 issue

Seasoned Modernism PRUDENT PERSPECTIVES ON AN UNWARY PAST

Modernism has already become history. Commemorations such as the Bauhaus Centennial make it seem old, while, following the triumphant claims to its demise at the end of the 20th century, it could appear worn out. Yet, Modernism may very well be a decisive period of architecture's professional history, as its ramifications into the contemporary building culture could prove more powerful than expected.

Which Modernism is dead? Which one is alive? What should better be forgotten and what should be furthered?

Heroic narratives have either asserted the glorious rise of Modernism and its victory over the obsolete authority of the Academies, or hailed its downfall, as an indelible defeat of an oppressive tyrant. They have obscured the more complex realities at play, and oversimplified or caricatured the professional history, turning it into an epic battle for an elusive theoretical hegemony. The mesmerizing modernist pretention to global validity has driven schematic accounts and generalizing discourses about its development. Localized histories or individual case-studies may be summoned to annotate these received historical perspectives.

Can they advance a different understanding of the period? If a bottom- up history of Modernism were written, what would its theoretical focus be?

The way Modernism was reported has certainly influenced to a large extent the way its enormous legacy is perceived today —publicly and professionally.
The threats looming over the Narkomfin, the recent demolition of Robin Hood Gardens, or the gentrification of the Trellick Tower and of the Unités d'Habitation bring to the public attention the conservation of the high-profile buildings of the past century. Recently, the UNESCO, ICOMOS and DoCoMoMo joined forces to promote a program aiming to acknowledge the values of the modernist built heritage, and to debate the specific mechanisms of its preservation. No matter how relevant these approaches are, they do not address the “mass-Modernism”, the un-exceptional part of the modernist legacy, overwhelmingly present in our daily life.


Is this apparently modest part of the modernist inheritance really undeserving? Is this a cultural issue, an economic problem, or an environmental matter? How should its presence be addressed in a responsible manner?

Building upon these topics, we invite contributors to reflect on the one-hundred-year-old experiences of this movement, its narratives and its perceptions, thus shedding fresh lights on the future of modernist heritage.

A preliminary abstract of 200 – 250 words should be submitted by March 15, 2019. Selected contributors will be notified by e-mail on March 22. The final article should be submitted for review by June 1. Contributions will undergo a double-blind peer review procedure.

Reviews of current events (conferences, recent publications, exhibitions) which are of interest for the fields of architectural history and theory are also welcome. Reviews should be submitted by July 1.

All correspondence will be addressed to sita@uauim.ro, to the attention of Dr. Arch. Toader Popescu (managing editor of the current issue).

Guidelines for authors

Manuscripts are to be submitted in US English and should range between 5,000 and 8,000 words, including references, tables, and bibliography. Reviews should range between 1,000 and 2,000 words.

The title page should include the contributor's name, affiliation and e-mail address, 5 – 7 keywords, as well an abstract of 200 – 250 words. An extended summary ranging between 700 and 1,000 words (to be published in Romanian) must also be submitted. Romanian authors are kindly asked to send in the extended summary in Romanian; our staff will undertake the translation for foreign authors. Reviews should not be accompanied by abstract, summary, or keywords. Contributors are asked to send a Microsoft Word compatible document, with minimal formatting.

For notes (as footnotes) and reference list, please use The Chicago Manual of Style, “Notes and bibliography” style (for details and examples, see https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/ tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html).

A reference list will be included at the end of the paper. Illustrations (.tiff or .jpg format, min. 300 dpi at printed size) must be provided separately, and their location must be indicated clearly throughout the paper. A full list of figure captions is to be provided at the end of the article (including figure number, description, and source). Authors are responsible for securing the rights to reproduce and publish all graphic material.

For more details, please see Instructions for authors at sita.uauim.ro

sITA – studies in History and Theory of Architecture is a peer-reviewed open access journal, with both online and print versions, indexed in Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science), Scopus, EBSCOhost, Index Copernicus, CEEOL, ERIH PLUS, DOAJ, ProQuest/Ulrichsweb, Scipio, Google Scholar, and WorldCat. 
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