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SAH Book Talk Available Online—Race and Modern Architecture

August 5, 2020

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) presented a virtual book talk July 31 on the recently released title Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present edited by Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II, and Mabel O. Wilson. Video, slides, and chat for the program, which brought the book’s editors together for a conversation with SAH moderator Patricia Morton, are now available to all on the SAH website.

Race and Modern Architecture offers a welcome intervention for the field by shining a spotlight on constructions of race and their impact on architecture and theory in Europe and North America and across various global contexts since the eighteenth century. Challenging us to write race back into architectural history, contributors confront how racial thinking has intimately shaped some of the key concepts of modern architecture and culture over time, including freedom, revolution, character, national and indigenous style, progress, hybridity, climate, representation, and radicalism. By analyzing how architecture has intersected with histories of slavery, colonialism, and inequality—from eighteenth-century neoclassical governmental buildings to present-day housing projects for immigrants—Race and Modern Architecture challenges, complicates, and revises the standard association of modern architecture with a universal project of emancipation and progress.

This was the inaugural program in SAH’s Celebrating the Book series of SAH CONNECTS virtual book talks.

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