Friday, June 3, 2016

CFP: Medieval Vernacular Architecture

by Alexander Harper
Society of Architectural Historians
2017 Annual International Conference
June 7-11 Glasgow, Scotland
Session Chair: Alexander Harper, Princeton University

Scholarly interest in vernacular architecture has gained increased traction in the past few decades. As the editors of the 2005 volume Vernacular Architecture in the Twenty-First Century noted, vernacular architecture no longer is understood solely as domestic architecture, rural architecture, or architecture built by romanticized non-professionals—in other words a product counterpoint to “polite” building—but as a cultural process specific to a location, whether rural or urban, or to a people that reveals how builders within that group engage with ecological, technological, and cultural variables. In the same vein, in his 2010 book English Houses: 1300-1800, the archaeologist Matthew Johnson argued that vernacular architecture is an anthropological style, one in which a people, their histories, and priorities can be read through the building form.
Much work on vernacular architecture focuses on building from twentieth century through the present. This session seeks papers that address the study of buildings through the lens of the vernacular from the Middle Ages, defined roughly as the fifth through fifteenth centuries. Subjects are welcome from any part of the world and may include studies of domestic spaces, but in the aim of expanding the definition(s) of vernacular architecture, in particular so that its study can engage with other disciplines, the session encourages papers with anthropologic understandings of the vernacular that examine relationships, specific to an area or group, between builders, patrons, and their surrounding environments that contributed to cultural continuity. As such, this session is interested particularly in papers that address construction processes, lived experience, workshop practices, material and environmental analyses, and the impact of regional integration on local building within specific cultural, social, and historical environments, whether urban or rural, “polite” or domestic. In addition, papers that employ or discuss new technologies for analyzing medieval vernacular buildings are welcome.
CFP Deadline: June 6, 2016

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