Built and Thought.  European and Transatlantic Correspondence in the Historiography of Architecture

Call for Papers


November 18 2021 - November 19 2021

… there are, dear reader, two kinds of Histories;
those that have happened, and those that have been thought about
Juan Caramuel, Architectura civil recta y obliqua (1678), II, V, 29

All histories of architecture are products of an intellectual construct. As such, they are circumstantial discourses, developed from particular provisional points of view, chosen from a range of possibilities. From Giorgio Vasari’s The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects to Manfredo Tafuri’s historiographic project, every generation has read on the past from the angle of the problems specific to its period. // In the time that has elapsed from Renaissance humanism to our days, from what perspectives, and with what reach, has architecture history been formulated? One of the main challenges of this encounter is to trace the construction of the history of architecture. // What is the purpose of architecture history? Since the Renaissance and into our days, architecture history—often written by architects—has been at the service of a professional practice seeking legitimation. This course of action, however, has become useless, and more so in a changing world like ours, where historians, in their eagerness to break with univocal interpretations, do not wish to judge the past nor impose irrefutable truths, but to question them. // From what positions can the history of architecture be constructed nowadays? Meanwhile, the historiography of architecture is seen as an incomplete, unfinished project where there is an unavoidable need, on one hand, to preserve the objectivity required of all scientific procedures, and on the other hand to incorporate the new paradigms of our times. Simultaneously, it is necessary—more now than ever before—to orient the work of architectural historians around its potential to lay down problems, rather than around achievements and successes, and in the spirit of formulating a body of knowledge that will benefit society, in our case mainly through research and teaching, but also through dissemination, so that the knowledge does not stay within its traditional closed circles. // The congress endeavors to be an opportunity to reflect on the historiographic construction of architecture from inside and outside at the same time; that is, to meditate on the discipline itself, but in terms of the challenges and currents of thought that characterize the contemporary world and today’s culture, ultimately with a view to constructing a new history.

15 March 2021: Notification of acceptance/non-acceptance of presentation proposals/abstracts
15 July 2021: Papers returned to authors with observations
30 September 2021: Last day for early registration with discounted fee
30 September 2021: Last registration day for those wanting their papers published in Proceedings
18–19 November 2021: 3rd AhAU International Congress

Should the evolution of the pandemic render it necessary, the Association of Historians of Architecture and Urban Design (AhAU) reserves the right to modify the above calendar.

Authors selected to present their papers orally or publish them in the Proceedings, and who are not entitled to a discount, should pay a registration fee of 160€.
The registration fee for members of the Madrid College of Architects (COAM) and for professors and researchers is 80€; and for students, 40€.
All three fees will be reduced by 20% if paid by 30 September 2021.

AhAU, Association of Historians of Architecture and Urban Design

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