Ultra: Positions and Polarities beyond Crisis

38th conference
38th conference
Michaelmore, Roeger & Russell, Chester House, Belair 1966, State Library of South Australia BRG 346/28/6/2.

38th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand

Hosted by the University of Adelaide, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and convened by James Curry and David Kroll.

Ultra: Positions and Polarities beyond Crisis

On the far side or beyond a limit, the term ‘ultra’ invokes an intensity of experience or conviction that falls outside the usual, the ordinary or the moderate; an attitude, stance, or position that may arise as much from emotion as it is informed by reason, particularly in moments of crisis when normality ceases to hold.

In the writing of architectural history extreme positions tend to suspend or stand outside the critical norms of the disciplinein which, arguably, the cautious discerning of significance isthe default practice. Positive can become ultra-positive as careful empirical observation and critical argumentation are transcended by the rhetoric of celebration. Commemoration,on the other hand, can evoke comparable rhetorical excess where the end of a golden era, for example, or the loss of a distinctive regional architecture or construction traditionbecome the focus of ultra-sad lamentation, or ultra-criticalclaims of abject failure where once dominant narratives no longer appear to sustain belief or explanatory power.

Operating as both a polemic and a call for insightful newinquiry into the discipline through which we think, Ultrainvites participants to reflect upon the polarities of architectural discourse as well as the spectrum of positions between these. What are the implications of crises, past and present, in framing (or re-framing) the critical perspectives that architectural historiography may offer beyond such moments of confusion and/or extraordinary conviction? The conference seeks broad ranging responses to this question and its theme that will reflect on-going work in several established and developing areas of current SAHANZ scholarship.

SAHANZ Panel at EAHN Annual Meeting

Historiography, Get It Right

Dr. Macarena de la Vega (University of Melbourne and Prof. Gevork Hartoonian (University of Canberra) invite you to join “Historiography ,Get It Right,” the SAHANZ-sponsored panel they are hosting, as part of the 7th International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network in Madrid. The panel will run from 11:30pm until 2:00am (AEST) on Thursday, June 16th.

Papers to be presented include:

  • No (More) History: Reassessing Priorities in Today’s Architectural Historiography – Carmen Popescu
  • Towards Non-Eurocentric Historiographies: Challenging Europe’s Position in the Formation of Architectural Histories – Marianna Charitonidou
  • Latin American Architecture as the Architecture of Resistance – Patricio del Real
  • Comparative Histories of Architecture: History, Architecture, or Idealism? – Pedro P. Palazzo
  • History Curated. Architecture Museums – Custodians of the Past, Critics of the Present? – Christina Pech
  • Variety, Contingency, Modernity in Architectural History – Pollyanna Rhee
  • Polished Fascism: Histories of the Architectural Right for Historiography to Go Left – María González Pendas
  • Women, Gender, and Architectural History – Mary McLeod

More information about the EAHN Annual Meeting, including on registration, can be found here.

CFP: Writing Alternative Histories of Disaster Relief: Architecture and Humanitarianism

CFP:  Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) 76th Annual International Conference in Montréal, Canada, April 12–16, 2023. 

Submission Deadline
June 7, 2022

The architectural discourse on disaster relief has always been entangled with humanitarianism, but architectural humanitarianism is an imprecise concept that resides in the linkages between architecture and the two kinds of aid, humanitarian aid and development aid. The epistemological perceptions and the theoretical distinctions between these two kinds of aid became blurred with development aid supported by the 1947 Marshall Plan and the institutionalization of humanitarian aid with the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the founding of different United Nations (UN) bodies. This session is a call to rethink the architectural discourse on disaster relief from the inception of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863 to the present, taking the perspective of the entanglement between architecture, humanitarianism, and disaster relief. The session sets out to correct the canonical histories of disaster relief that are largely dominated by the narratives of UN interventions, instead exploring the collaboration between architects and humanitarian organizations, such as the League of Red Cross Societies (LRCS), the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), whose contributions have largely been overshadowed by the UN. The session aims to improve understanding of how these “forgotten” agencies approach disaster relief differently and, in the articulation of their approach, rely on spatial typologies designed by architects. Scholars are invited to scrutinize the various roles of architects in disaster relief over time—as imperial commissioners, state professionals, and humanitarian developers—and elucidate the way differences in mandate have impacted architectural ideologies and their main conceptions. By tracing how the notion of “disaster relief” has changed in the contexts of imperialism, colonialism, postcolonialism, and neoliberalism, this session will demonstrate how the ideas of racism, citizenship, and class are fundamental to discussing architectural “aid” typologies and the everyday built environment in disaster zones.

This session is organized by Dr. Cathelijne Nuijsink (ETH Zürich) and Dr. Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat (Tel Aviv University) for the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) 76th Annual International Conference in Montréal, Canada, April 12–16, 2023. Please submit an abstract ( < 300 words) no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 7, 2022 through the Society of Architectural Historians website:

Applications for David Saunders Founder’s Grant Now Open

David Saunders

SAHANZ annually offers The David Saunders Founder’s Grant in memory of the founder of the Society, to support research by emerging researchers in the disciplines of architectural history and theory. Applications can be made to apply for funds to assist in field-work, archival assistance, printing and reproduction costs in preparation for publication. The award cannot be used to fund conference travel or registration. The Grant amount is AUD $3000. The deadline for applications is 29 June 2022. Click here for more information and the application form.

Para-colonial – Colonial – Post-colonial: Influences and Transactions in the Architecture of Oceania

'Raising the Union Jack in Apia', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/raising-union-jack-apia, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Sep-2014

Call for Papers:

Para-colonial – Colonial – Post-colonial: Influences and Transactions in the Architecture of Oceania (1840–1990)

Joint symposium convened by Christoph Schnoor (Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand) and Michael Falser (Technical University, Munich, Germany) 

The beginning of global contact with the South Pacific is often automatically associated with the first explorative travels of James Cook in the 18th century. However, it was the late 19th century which culminated in a complex process of multinational developments, backwards and forwards, battles even. Imperialist interests already dated back many centuries, but in realising the trading potentials in this part of the world, the major colonising powers – such as Great Britain, France, USA, the German Reich and others – occupied and took ‘possession’ of island countries in the Pacific during the latter part of the 19th century. This development reached its first peak around and after 1900. However, before this direct colonial impact, trading firms and missionaries had already caused a first – ‘para-colonial’ – wave (indirect, not yet official colonial), introducing and implementing foreign concepts and customs. This dynamic process of constant negotiations and change of power continued well into the first half of the 20th century: in the context and aftermath of the First World War, countries neighbouring the Pacific from the west, east and south – like the USA and Japan to Australia and New Zealand – took over Mandated Territories from collapsing German colonies in the region, but at the same time acted themselves as de-facto colonisers in the concerned island countries from the Marianne Islands to Papua-New Guinea all the way to Samoa. Today, the impact of these 100 years of para-colonial, colonial and postcolonial experiences of more than a century is still widely felt. The recent apology for the dawn raids of the 1970s offered by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflects this.

Knowledge on colonial architecture in the South Pacific is still sparse. Connections with pre- colonial settings and the post-colonial afterlife of this built legacy are often missing. In this sense, this call for papers particularly welcomes contributions within the targeted time span c. 1840– 1990, embedded in the larger South Pacific region. These contributions would attempt to link their concrete architectural case studies of buildings, ensembles and urbanist projects with reflections on the influences of and transactions between locals and foreigners, colonials and colonised, and their changing allegiances, even across changing political powers.

Contributions to the symposium will be published in form of conference proceedings or as a peer-reviewed themed volume.

Additional information can be found in the full call for papers, which can be downloaded below.

Please submit your abstracts no later than 10 January 2022 via email to conference email: colonialoceania.ltg@ed.tum.de

CFP_Architecture of Oceania (1840-1990),  Auckland-NZ  29 June – 1 July 2022

2021 AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place on Saturday 13th of November 2021, 3:30-5:30 pm ACDT (Adelaide) online via Zoom, as part of the 38th Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) hosted by The University of Adelaide, School of Architecture and Built Environment.

The agenda and documentation for the AGM can be found HERE.

If you are planning to attend the AGM, please ensure that your membership is current. Click HERE for membership registration or EMAIL the Secretary for information.

Survey to Map Female Voices

Prof. Jua Cilliers and Gill Armstrong are undertaking a research project to map female voices in built environment research. They have a short 5-question survey, which they have asked to have forwarded to they membership of SAHANZ, as they would like to include voices in the architectural history space. Heritage and understanding place is very dear to both, and they are eager to have representation from the many researchers who self-identify as female in architectural history.

If this project interests you, please get in contact with Gill at Gillian.armstrong@uts.edu.au, and she can send you a 1-page outline for further information.

2021 David Saunders Founder’s Grant

The 2021 David Saunders Founder’s Grant has been awarded to Jasper Ludewig for his project ‘Mapping the Global Moravian Network, 1720-1920’.

Jasper is a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Newcastle, NSW.

‘Mapping the Global Moravian Network, 1720-1920’ uses digital humanities techniques to visualise and analyse the global history of the modern Moravian movement. Whether in Jamaica, Greenland, South Africa, Victoria or Far North Queensland, the Moravians constructed a similar environment everywhere. Although architecture played a fundamental role within the Moravians’ global corporate geography, the nature and consistency of its application remain almost entirely overlooked by historians of architecture. This project, therefore, seeks to account for over three hundred Moravian settlements established on every continent except for Antarctica from the early eighteenth- to the twentieth centuries. It will produce a freely available online database using software designed by the Time Layered Cultural Map project at the University of Newcastle. The final ‘publication’ will consist of an interactive database of settlements, connecting a public audience to digitised archival material from numerous institutions, as well as a series of accessible thematic essays that analyse the place of architecture within the long and global history of the Moravian network.

Image: Moravian settlements from around the world, 1720-1920, Moravian Archives Herrnhut

Fabrications Reviews Editor

Isabel Rousset has joined the Fabrications team as Reviews Editor. Isabel is an architectural historian specializing in German modernism. Her research on this topic has appeared in the Journal of Architecture, the Journal of Urban History, and Architectural Theory Review. Having previously held funded research positions at the Technical University of Berlin and the University of Sydney, Isabel is currently teaching architectural history at Curtin University.

The Reviews Editor will solicit and edit reviews of books, exhibitions and other works. If you are interested in reviewing a specific title for the journal, please email: isabel.rousset@curtin.edu.au

Fabrications: JSAHANZ is published in three issues each year by Taylor & Francis.