AHRA Newsletter:
May-June 2010

This is the latest issue of the newsletter highlighting forthcoming events, conferences, publications and other research activities.

If you would like to continue to receive this information by e-mail, and you haven't yet signed up as a member of AHRA, please follow the link to the AHRA website for details of how to register on the database. Membership is currently free and is open to all humanities researchers working in Schools of Architecture and related disciplines both in the UK and overseas. Please also encourage colleagues to register here: http://www.ahra-architecture.org/registration/

If you are planning a research event that you would like to promote through the newsletter please log in to the AHRA website and post the details by clicking on the 'Post Your Event' link under the 'Events' menu. These details will appear on the 'Future Events' page within a few days (subject to moderation) and will also be included in the next issue of the Newsletter. If you have not logged in to the site before, you should enter your default username ('firstnamelastname') and click on the 'forgotten your password' link for further instructions.

To promote other items of interest (new books, courses, other research resources etc) please send details by email to Diana Periton at:

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The next newsletter will be issued in early July 2010.

New Events

Concentrationary Imaginaries:

Imaginaries of Violence in Contemporary Cultures and Cultural Forms

University of Leeds

January 2011

Keynote Speakers: 
Adriana Cavarero (Verona)
Paul Gilroy (LSE)
Paul Virilio (TBC)

An international transdisciplinary conference organised by the AHRC Research Project Concentrationary Memories: The Politics of Representation 2007-2011 directed by Professors Griselda Pollock (CentreCATH) and Max Silverman (CFFCS)

Date:  January 2011

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Sat 15 January 2011


Framing the significance of historic urban landscapes

Dublin Castle

December 09 2010 - December 11 2010

International Conference:

Deadline call for abstracts: May 15th 2010

All information available at www.portrait-of-the-city.com

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Thu 9 December 2010


Wellington, New Zealand

December 09 2010 - December 11 2010

Call for papers

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Thu 9 December 2010


7th AHRA International Conference

University of Kent

November 19 2010 - November 20 2010

Scale is a word which underlies much of architectural and urban design practice, its history and theory, and its technology. Its connotations have traditionally been linked with the humanities, in the sense of relating to human societies and to human form. To build in scale goes virtually without saying in the world of ‘polite’ architecture, but this is a precept observed more often in the breach when it comes to vast swathes of commercial and institutional design. The older, more particular, meaning in the humanities, pertaining to classical western culture, is where the sense of scale often resides in cultural production. Scale may be traced back, ultimately, to the discovery of musical harmonies, or it may reside in the arithmetic proportional relationship of the building to its parts. One might question the continued relevance of this understanding of scale in the global world of today. What, in other words, is culturally specific about scale? And what does scale mean in a world where an intuitive, visual understanding is often undermined or superseded by other senses, or by hyper-reality?

Invited keynote speakers:

  • Nathalie de Vries (MVRDV)
  • Hannah Higgins (University of Illinois)
  • Brett Steele (Architectural Association)
  • Robert Tavernor (LSE)

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Fri 19 November 2010

At Home Forum

University of Sheffield School of Architecture

November 11 2010 - November 12 2010

In the 1970s interdisciplinary research dominated the study of the home. There was in particular a close relationship between architecture and the social sciences as sociologists and others were called in to study the impact of radical new post WWII housing policies. In the 1980s cuts in funding brought the closure of many council run architecture departments in the UK and a serious reduction in research on the impact of design decisions on people. However several recent developments  — for example the absence of any space standard legislation for new homes in the UK and the pressures of building for any ageing population  - mean that more research is badly needed in this area.

The aim of this event is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers who specialise in the study of the home. Speakers are asked to talk about the particular approach that they bring to the study of this subject and to speculate about the possibility of creating new blended methodologies for the examination of this increasingly significant area of research.

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Thu 11 November 2010

7th Annual AHRA Research Student Symposium

School of Architecture, University of Sheffield

October 22 2010

The Annual AHRA Research Student Symposium provides an international platform for current graduate students in the architectural humanities to meet, present and discuss their work.

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Fri 22 October 2010

Unsettled Containers: Aspects of Interiority

2010 Interstices Under Construction Symposium

The University of Auckland, School of Architecture and Planning

October 08 2010 - October 10 2010

Is architecture a cult of the externalised object? It would seem so: of 46 images of prize winning entries on the 2009 World Architecture Festival website, for example, only four show interiors.[2] So efficiently are interior and exterior sealed off from each other that they are frequently treated as discrete professional domains. However, inside and outside are always ready to be reversed and today's spaces may seem even more involuted, fragile and unsettled than those of the past.

If interiority is a way of thinking of ourselves as being-in-the-world, to the exclusion of whatever we fail to integrate, how do we draw the lines and name the territories today? What constitutes interiority? What does it have to say about the institutionalised containment of refugee centres or gated communities; the improvised urbanism of Freetown's shanties or Brazilian favela; or, indeed, the openness of the Pacific? What is it like to negotiate the pae [3] from inside? Where are the spaces of Self and Other? How do global and regional flows circulate in interiors, and how do we register difference? When is a set of walls an interior, when is an object a container, and when is a container a world?

Interstices invites you to unsettle the dichotomy of interior and exterior; to redefine and reorient the concept of the interior for the present, and project it towards the future.

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Fri 8 October 2010

Writing Architecture:


Brisbane, Australia

July 22 2010 - July 23 2010



Presentations are invited, that address innovative approaches to critical and creative work about buildings and places, in Queensland and elsewhere, through text and or images. Scholarly papers, as well as new examples of critical and creative work, are welcome. A broad range of disciplinary approaches to architecture, writing and photography are encouraged, including perspectives from literature, philosophy, anthropology, aesthetics, the fine arts, design, psychology, cultural studies, art history, creative writing, sociology, journalism, and others.


Hosted by:

The ATCH (Architecture Theory Criticism History) Research Centre in the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland, with financial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

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Thu 22 July 2010

Separateness and Kinship

Transatlantic Exchanges between New England and Britain 1600 – 1900

University of Plymouth, UK

July 14 2010 - July 17 2010

This three day conference will explore issues arising from the relationship between Britain and New England in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the light of recent developments in the reading of transatlantic connections. In the run up to the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, and in the context of new critical perspectives on transatlantic studies, such as post colonial theory with its emphasis on the whole Atlantic rim, feminism, discussions of displacement and debates about national identity, what does it now mean in the early twenty-first century to revisit with an interdisciplinary perspective the cultural and ideological exchanges between Britain and New England 1600-1900?

The conference will include contributions from literary scholars, art historians and specialists in the history of architecture and material culture.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Lawrence Buell, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University and Susan Manning, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Grierson Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh

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Wed 14 July 2010

Symposium Scenography Expanding 2: On Artists/Authors

A Symposium

Military museum and Belgrade Fortress Belgrade, Serbia

July 09 2010 - July 11 2010

Throughout the past decade, scenographic practice and performance design have continuously moved beyond the black box of the theatre toward a hybrid terrain located at the intersections of theatre, architecture, exhibition, visual arts, and media. This terrain and its spaces are constructed from action and interaction. They are defined by individual and group behaviour, and are contrasted by distinct behavioural patterns.  It is proposed here that such spaces result from a trans-disciplinary understanding of space and a distinct awareness of social agency. These two factors of “expansion” are seen as the central driving forces in contemporary scenographic practice and theory. 

In preparation for the Intersection Project of the Prague Quadrennial in June, 2011, we invite researchers in practice and theory (artists, curators, programmers, directors, dramaturges, critics, and theorists) to participate in 3 international scenography symposia held in Riga (February 2010), Belgrade (July 2010) and Évora (September 2010). The overall aim of these symposia is to unfold the wide range of disciplines, genres, theoretical, and artistic positions that comprise the relationships between spectator, artist/author and curator in contemporary scenographic/performance design practice. 

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Fri 9 July 2010

Recreating Renaissance and Baroque Spectacle:

The Hispanic Habsburg Dynasty in Context

University of Edinburgh

July 06 2010 - July 07 2010

The aim of this conference is to re-create or reconstruct Renaissance and Baroque Festivals by an interdisciplinary approach. This includes the presentation of the project’s online exhibition in which the project’s investigators re-create music played in Festivals and a 3D model of the city with the reconstruction of the ephemeral architecture displayed in it.

The organisers of this two-day conference seek contributions related to any aspect of Early Modern European festivals and are especially interested in proposals which relate to the festivals of the Hispanic Habsburg dynasty. Proposals from any field of the Humanities in a broad sense are welcome, with an emphasis on, but not limited to, the visual arts, music and performing arts. Ultimately, we are interested in any study that would bring back the pageantry and senses of those magnificent events.

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Tue 6 July 2010

Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste:

The Social Science of Garbage

July 01 2010

We are inviting academic editorial contributors to a new reference work on consumption and waste, or the social science of garbage. 

Archaeologists and anthropologists have long studied artifacts of refuse from the distant past as a portal into ancient civilizations, but examining what we throw away today tells a story in real time and becomes an important and useful tool for academic study. Trash is studied by behavioral scientists who use data compiled from the exploration of dumpsters to better understand our modern society and culture. Why does the average American household send 470 pounds of uneaten food to the garbage can on an annual basis? How do different societies around the world cope with their garbage in these troubled environmental times? How does our trash give insight into our attitudes about gender, class, religion, and art? The Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste explores the topic across multiple disciplines within the social sciences and ranges further to include business, consumerism, environmentalism, and marketing. Each article ranges from 600 to 3,000 words. We are now making assignments due July 1, 2010. 

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Thu 1 July 2010

Scenography Expanding 3

Evora, Portugal, 27-29 September 2010

Call for Papers

June 30 2010

In his 2008 Whitechapel Gallery talk, Boris Groys pointed toward „exhibition practice as the cure that heals the originally ailing image, that gives it presence, visibility; it brings it to the public view and turns it into the object of the public`s judgement. However, one can say that curating functions as a supplement, like a pharmakon in the Derridean sense: it both cures the image and further contributes to its illness“ .

The ambivalent gestures of curatorial practice in both „healing“ and, possibly, „infecting“ or „contaminating“  come into particular, - and contested - focus when the object that is exhibited is nothing more but the remnant of a past performative event.  Can the scenographic object be „helped“ by the curators effort in order to achieve a status of autonomy beyond ist original co-authored mode of production? Or must it be transformed into another genre (installation) to be exhibited?  Can we identify an intrinsic essence of the scenographic object in relation / in contrast to exhibition space and public viewing?

In the third and last symposium before the June 2011 Prague Quadrennial for Perfomance Design and Space (PQ), curators and artists from the performing arts, visual arts and spatial design disciplines are invited to enter into a transdisciplinary dialogue on the challenges of exhibiting the ephemeral, the fleeting, the immaterial – the performative event and the scenographic space.

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Wed 30 June 2010

Master of Advanced Studies, Scenography (MAS)

A postgraduate programme of the Zurich University of the Arts Institute for Design and Technology

Application deadline

June 30 2010

The two-year part-time MAS Scenography programme offers graduates and design professionals a creative platform to explore and develop their individual design language and practice. The programme investigates and relates historical and contemporary positions in architecture, art, theatre and exhibition design to the transdisciplinary approach of scenography.  
Tutors, lecturers and workshop-leaders in the academic year 2009/2010:
Bill Drummond
Etoy / Michel Zai
Peter Greenaway
Holzer Kobler
Francis Kéré
Kuehn Malvezzi / Wilfried Kühn
Ingo Niermann
Rimini Protokoll / Stefan Kaegi
Christoph Schlingensief
Philip Ursprung
et al.
Course Director:
Stephan Trüby AADipl.
Beginning of new semester: September 2010
Application deadline: 30.6.2010

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Alexandra Carambellas
Limmatstrasse 45-47
P.O. Box
CH-8031 Zurich
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
+41 (0)43 446 62 05
For further information concerning the programme and info events please visit: http://sceno.zhdk.ch

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Wed 30 June 2010

The Communicative Role of Architecture

Leicester School of Architecture De Montfort University

June 21 2010 - June 22 2010

Keynote Speakers:

Peter Carl

Kenneth Frampton

Eric Parry

Alberto Perez-Gomez

David Leatherbarrow

Joseph Rykwert

Dalibor Vesely

Dagmar Weston

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Mon 21 June 2010

Second Annual Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Symposium

St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota

June 17 2010 - June 19 2010

We would like to invite AHRA members to attend the 2010 Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Symposium to take place at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota.  St. John's is located about 90 minutes north of Minneapolis.

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Thu 17 June 2010

Straining Pulp-theory from Architectural Discourse:

IsPa Symposium

Newcastle University

June 14 2010

The 14th of June 2010, a symposium will be held at Newcastle University. The objective of the symposium is to engender as well as provide an informal platform for real philosophic engagement with the subject of architecture. Ed Winters and Andrew Ballantyne will be giving keynote presentations. The Aesthetics Research Group from Durham University’s Department of Philosophy and the Tectonic Cultures Research Group from Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape will also participate. The intention of bringing these scholars together on this platform is not merely to raise questions about architecture, but also in a Wittgensteinian sense, bring clarity to an otherwise metaphysically muddled discourse.

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Mon 14 June 2010

PLiC - Public Life in the In-Between City

Haifa, Israel

June 06 2010 - June 10 2010

The conference will critically re-examine the forms, appearance, meaning and performance of publicness in spaces of dispersed urban surroundings, the fastest growing habitat of humans on earth.

Keynote speakers:

Marc Augé, Peter Bishop,
Margaret Crawford, FKL architects, Franz Oswald, Tom Sieverts, Peter Wall and more.

Please send 500 word abstract by 15 December 2009

Enquiries: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Sun 6 June 2010



June 01 2010

The editors Anne Massey (Kingston University) and John Turpin (Washington State University) invite contributions to the journal’s 2011 special issue 'Living in the Past: Histories, Heritage and the Interior'.   

This issue will examine the theme of the interior as a marker of history.  Deeply embedded in historical processes, interiors are mutable spaces, shaped and re-shaped over time.  The issue will seek to reveal the numerous ways in which interiors register and mark the passing of time and question the ways in which time and the effect of social, cultural, political and economic factors shape our understanding and assessment of the interior. 

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Tue 1 June 2010

Decolonizing Architecture

Tate Modern and the Delfina Foundation

May 24 2010 - May 27 2010

The Delfina Foundation (London, United Kingdom) and decolonizing.ps (Bethlehem, Palestine) are pleased to present the Decolonizing Architecture programme of residencies and events, in collaboration with Tate Modern.

Edifices built and used under colonial rule carry the ideologies and power relations, which informed their construction and use. In Bethlehem, Algiers, Johannesburg or Berlin, de-colonizing the architecture of a liberated landscape is necessary to re-envision collective identities based on new geo-political terms. This process encourages both, imaginative and practical planning about the areas that already have or will be released from direct colonial control, opens up an 'arena of speculation' about the future of these sites and the people who inhabit them.

How can the architecture of domination be reused, recycled or re-inhabited by those it dominated?  What are the processes involved in planning and implementing the decolonisation of a site?  How can one inhabit the house of one’s enemy? This residency programme and series of events will explore some of the ideas that inform the work of Decolonizing Architecture and review case studies spanning the visual arts, architecture and film. 


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Mon 24 May 2010

The Geography of Seventeenth-Century British Architecture: Historiography and New Horizons

SAHGB Annual Symposium

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art 16 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA

May 22 2010

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Sat 22 May 2010

City Debates 2010: Security [of/in] the City

Department of Architecture and Design American University of Beirut

May 12 2010 - May 14 2010

The Masters Program in Urban Planning and Policy and Urban Design (MUPP/MUD) cordially invites to you to "City Debates 2010: Security [of/in] the City" between May 12 and 14, 2010.

City Debates 2010 “Security [of/in] the City” brings in a number of world renown scholars in order to explore the ways in which the growing obsession with security or protection from physical harm has justified what urban scholars have termed “a bunker mentality” and/or “an architecture of fear.” We would like to raise questions on who gets protected and who gets constructed as a “threat” and how, the ways in which “acceptable” levels of harm get defined in relation to other priorities such as civil liberties and democracy, the discourses of security constructed as techniques of government, social control, and optimization in cities around the region, while focusing on their repercussions on urban space, public policy, and governance. 

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Wed 12 May 2010

New Publications

Claude Bragdon and The Beautiful Necessity

Edited by Eugenia Ellis and Andrea Reithmayr

This book is about the American architect, theatre designer, mystic and theorist Claude Fayette Bragdon (1866-1946). Although Bragdon was active exclusively in the States – initially in upstate New York and later in New York City – by no means is his work of local significance only. An exceptionally early advocate of the ‘spatial’ nature of architecture, influenced by mystical and Theosophical beliefs that had a strong impact on avant-garde art and architecture in Europe too, and personally acquainted with such key figures as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Bragdon’s work is deservedly attracting more and more attention. One of the mini-reviews included in the back cover of the catalogue is by Professor David van Zanten, a leading expert on Louis Sullivan.

This publication serves as the catalogue for an exhibition in Rochester, NY (where the Bragdon archive is held), that runs from April to October 2010. Alongside extensive illustrative material, the catalogue also includes essays by eleven scholars that address different aspects of Bragdon’s work.

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Tue 1 June 2010

At the Edge of the City: Reinhabiting Public Space toward the Recovery of Beirut’s Horsh Al-Sanawb

Edited by Fadi Shayya, urban planner and architect

Since the early 1990s, Beirut’s Park, Horsh Al-Sanawbar, was sealed off from the lives of many Beiruti residents and visitors, with numerous justifications for their exclusion. At the Edge of the City is a contemporary critique of urban governance and spatial production in Beirut. The undertaking is advocating in scope, multidisciplinary in approach, and journalistic in style. The book is an edited volume envisioned to be an eye-catching reference, where essays analyze and document historical and contemporary issues related to the woods, the park, and public space in Beirut while vivid visuals document and illustrate dimensions that stimulate the senses and intellect. The book includes essays, policy memos, personal experiences, art contributions, infographics, photographs, and newspaper articles.

The project started with an awareness of the imperative nature of communicating practice-based research to a wide audience and of informing political change avenues with contemporary empirical findings and conceptual frameworks. In a context of blurred boundaries between public and private space, and structural confusion of meanings between public and private spheres, post-war Beirut’s public space has been both: a political space for negotiating the prevalence of the state as a system of authority and governance, and a cultural space for manifesting liberal (and neoliberal) private interests (rooted in Lebanon’s trade history and geography). A distinctive feature of the politics and culture of public space in Beirut is their spread across different income groups, classes, political and sectarian affiliations, as well as social structures and powers.

The book is supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and published by DISCURSIVE FORMATIONS, Beirut, 2010.


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Tue 1 June 2010