CfP: States of Emergency: Architecture and Urbanism during the First World War

Call for Papers: States of Emergency: Architecture and Urbanism during the First World War

Erin Sassin, Assistant Professor of History of Art & Architecture, Middlebury College
Sophie Hochhäusl, Assistant Professor for Architectural History & Theory, University of Pennsylvania
“Far greater than the infamy of war is that of men who want to forget that it ever took place, although they exulted in it at the time,” wrote the Austrian journalist Karl Kraus in 1918 in The Last Days of Mankind, revealing humanity’s abyss on the eve of World War One. Histories of architecture and design have long emphasized the wartime advances in mechanization and standardization that opened new fields of inquiry in the aftermath of World War One. They often foreground how conflict created the technological frameworks for the emergence of interwar modern architecture with its widespread use of material developments in concrete, steel, and communication infrastructures. However, in-depth studies of the architecture and urbanism of the First World War itself are still rare, and even more so are civilian responses to the state of emergency. Indeed, the first industrialized global war of trenches, tanks, and submarines was also one of food banks, bread lines, and ration cards.
At the centennial of the conclusion of the First World War, the anticipated collection of essays reassesses what this cataclysmic global conflict meant for architecture and urbanism from a human, social, economic, and cultural perspective. It probes how underdevelopment and economic collapse manifested spatially, how military technologies were repurposed by civilians, and how cultures of education, care, and memory emerged from battle. The projected volume places an emphasis on the everyday tragedy of war as experienced by combatants and civilians across five continents—from refugee camps to military installations, and villages to capital cities.
The full call for papers is available here.
Information on Submission
500 word abstracts (for preliminary inclusion) due by 1 July 2019.
7000 word articles due by 15 September 2019.
Please include approximately five illustrations with captions suggestive of your work in the abstract.
Please contact Sophie Hochhäusl ( and Erin Sassin ( with any questions.

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