SAH Call for Papers website for the full descriptions, names of sessions chairs and instructions for submitting a paper abstract.

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Call for Papers — SAH Conference 2013 — Modern architecture sessions

April 15, 2012

Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference
Buffalo, April 10-14, 2013

Submission deadline: June 1, 2012

Session topics for next year’s SAH Conference have been set and no fewer than four sessions delve into the intricacies of Modern Movement architecture and architectural theory. Extremely abbreviated descriptions of these sessions appear below. Visit the SAH Call for Papers website for the full descriptions, names of sessions chairs and instructions for submitting a paper abstract.

Postwar Architecture and the Diplomacy of Furniture
Consumer goods, especially furniture, were an important means of expressing America’s political and socio-economical strength in the postwar decades. Modern design was used to demonstrate the country’s high standard of living and became a signboard of the ‘American way of life.’ The companies who produced this appealing furniture employed clever export strategies and convincing advertisements; their modern furniture quickly became a staple of office interiors and the homes of the progressive upper-middle class in many parts of the world.To further explore the role furniture played in selling a political message worldwide and in strengthening the political representation of modern architecture, this session seeks papers that examine the distribution, consumption, and reception of modern furniture between 1945 and c.1960.

Post-Modernism Revisited – The Presence of the Recent Past
Whatever happened to postmodernism in architecture? After the term has been furiously debated in the 1970s and enjoyed fashionable status during the 1980s, its validity slowly eroded, until it has been silently replaced by minimalism, neo-modernism, deconstruction, etc. Yet it can be argued that these tendencies still belong to the larger legacy of post-modernity as a cultural condition, in difference to postmodernism as an architectural style. This session welcomes presentations that address postmodernism theoretically (the cultural condition, economic, political and social background) and empirically (case studies of postmodern architecture) in order to scrutinize the concept of historic styles and epochs. Both approaches shall contribute to the historiographical problem of how to write architectural histories of the recent past.

The popular mediation of architecture gives meaning to form. The public is introduced to canonical architecture as well as everyday manufactured vernacular forms through a range of mass media and in the process is taught to recognize desire and consume forms. As a result, mass media is an essential architecture material. This session will critically analyze a range of mass media from advertisements to television and film in order to create a more nuanced and complete understanding of 20th-century architecture. In the process we will consider how popular culture both constructs and perpetuates ideas about the built environment. Papers will be considered from various places and periods, as well as allied disciplines.

“Americanizations”: Planning the Hemisphere at Midcentury
Traditionally, architectural history has understood the internationalization of modernist trends as a defining aspect of the post-World War II context, positioning the United States as a point of origin for many of these developments. Recent studies have begun to move past narratives of mere stylistic dissemination, examining the multiple ways in which architecture and its allied disciplines played a significant role in World War II and Cold War geopolitical negotiations. Nevertheless, a vast number of exchanges in planning and architecture between the U.S. and Latin American countries, which entirely transformed the landscapes of urbanization and modernization across the Americas, are not well understood. For instance, such U.S.-based planning firms as Town Planning Associates (TPA), Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and Tippets, Abbets, McCarthy and Stratton (TAMS) spearheaded ventures tied to economic development schemes promoted by various institutions across North, Central and South America. Latin American contexts thus provided the testing ground for such urbanization principles as decentralized planning and the creation of industrial and corporate urban landscapes, ideas pioneered in the U.S. during the Second World War and widely adopted in the postwar context.

Visit the SAH Call for Papers website for full descriptions of these sessions, names of sessions chairs and instructions for submitting an abstract.