Program Date: January 28, 2021

The entwined stories of contagion, illness, race, gender, poverty, and reputed immorality have dominated the discourse among historians of medicine for decades. Architectural historians, too, have analyzed the way that buildings influence disease vectors and therapies. Whether in a dense urban neighborhood, a crowded tenement, or an under-ventilated nursing home, inequality in medical outcomes can often be traced to the configuration of space. The path to healing, as patients, doctors, nurses, and caregivers can attest, may be hindered or improved by architecture. Participants in this roundtable (including a healthcare architect, architectural historians, and a historian of medicine) will consider key concepts related to the current global health emergency, focusing on how COVID-19 has affected their research and pedagogy. Please join us for an open-ended discussion of the role of architecture in the post-pandemic future. 

Carla Yanni, professor of art history at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and Second Vice President of the Society of Architectural Historians will moderate the discussion. 


  • Annmarie Adams, McGill University

  • Chris Clarke McQueen, McGill University

  • Mohammad Gharipour, Morgan State University

  • Nancy Tomes, Stony Brook University

Annmarie Adams
Annmarie Adams is an architectural historian specializing in the intersections of medicine, gender, and the built environment. She is jointly appointed in McGill University’s School of Architecture and Department of Social Studies of Medicine (SSoM), where she is the Stevenson Professor and serves as department chair. Her books include Architecture in the Family Way: Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870–1900 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996); ‘Designing Women’: Gender and the Architectural Profession (with Peta Tancred; University of Toronto Press, 2000), and Medicine by Design: The Architect and the Modern Hospital, 1893–1943 (University of Minnesota Press, 2007). Her work on hospital architecture has garnered numerous honors, most recently a Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2020).


Christopher Clarke
Chris Clarke McQueen is an Indigenous architect from the Treaty 8 Akaitcho Territory Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation. He was born and raised in the Northwest Territories of Canada’s Artic. After finishing his B.Sc. and M.Arch. at the University of Calgary, he completed his residency as an architect in Toronto, and then returned home to Yellowknife to work with his and other Indigenous Nations. He worked with Indigenous social housing, and then for the past eight years as Chief Architect with the Government Department of Health and Social Services in Yellowknife, NWT. In that capacity, he has planned, designed, and implemented healthcare and long-term care facilities throughout Canada’s North. Chris began his PhD Studies at McGill University in Montreal this year. He is conducting research for a thesis that explores the architecture of traditional Indigenous medicine and healing practices.


Mohammad Gharipour
Mohammad Gharipour is professor and director of the Architecture Graduate Program at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He obtained his master’s in architecture from the University of Tehran, Iran, and his PhD in architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Gharipour is the director and founding editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA). He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited eleven books, including the following: The Bazaar in the Islamic City (American University of Cairo Press, 2012), Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in Poetry, Arts and History (I.B. Tauris, 2013), The Historiography of Persian Architecture (Taylor and Francis, 2015), Synagogues of the Islamic World (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), and Architectural Dynamics in Pre-Revolutionary Iran (Intellect, 2019). His forthcoming edited volume, entitled “Health and Architecture: The History of Spaces of Healing and Care in the Pre-Modern Era,” will be published by Bloomsbury Press. Gharipour has co-founded “Epidemic Urbanism Initiative” in March 2020, an academic platform that includes symposia, roundtables and a YouTube channel.


Nancy Tomes
Nancy Tomes is SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at Stony Brook University.  After earning her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978, she joined the History Department at Stony Brook University. She is the author of four books: A Generous Confidence: Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Art of Asylum Keeping (Cambridge, 1984; reissued by U Penn, 1994 and 2015); Madness in America: Cultural and Medical Perceptions of Mental Illness Before 1914, with Lynn Gamwell (Cornell, 1995); The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life (Harvard, 1998), winner of both the American Association for the History of Medicine’s Welch medal and the History of Science Society’s Davis prize; and Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (UNC Press, 2016), winner of the 2017 Bancroft Prize. In 2011, she received the American Public Health Association’s Arthur Viseltear Award for her “distinguished body of scholarship in the history of public health.” Her current research interests include the history of  “infodemics” and the impact of digital media on science communication and health education.


Carla Yanni
Carla Yanni is a professor of architectural history in the Art History Department at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is the author of three monographs; the most recent, Living on Campus: An Architectural History of the American Dormitory, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2019. In 2019, she was honored with the Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award from Rutgers, a university-wide recognition for professors who creatively introduce their scholarship into the undergraduate classroom. Her second book, The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States, won a Graham Foundation subvention grant and was named a 2007 “Book of Critical Interest” by the journal Critical Inquiry. She was the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Johns Hopkins University Press published her first book, Nature’s Museums: Victorian Science and the Architecture of Display. She is currently the second vice president of the Society of Architectural Historians.