CfP: Built and Thought. European and Transatlantic Correspondence in the Historiography of Architecture. Madrid, 18–19 November 2021

Call for Papers: Built and Thought. European and Transatlantic Correspondence in the Historiography of Architecture. Madrid, 18–19 November 2021

AhAU, Association of Historians of Architecture and Urban Design

… 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.
The Association of historians of Architecture and Urbanism (AhAU) invites all researchers with an interest in the historiography of architecture to present their scientific papers in the framework of the 3rd AhAU International Congress. The gathering will be a multidisciplinary forum open to issues and areas of knowledge that have to do with the theme of discussion.
The full call for papers with the theme panels and more information about the congress can be downloaded here or accessed at the congress website.
Proposals will be individual and should count 700-1000 words. Each must indicate its chosen area and be sent in with two representative images, a selected bibliography, and a brief resumé of the author (maximum 2 pages). Rather than a copious series of presentations, the congress once again aims for a series of debates where the speakers can deliberate on the various issues raised by the theme at hand.
The official languages of the congress will be Spanish and English. Some sessions may be held entirely in English, depending on the number of proposals received in this language.
For all communication with the organization and the submission of abstracts and final papers, please use this email address:
Deadline for submitting proposals/abstracts: 15 February 2021.

Share this post

News from the field

On the Traces of Misery

“Miserabilia” investigates spaces and spectres of misery in the imagination and reality of the contemporary Italian urban context. The main objective is the definition of tools for the recognition and investigation of the tangible and intangible manifestations of...