CfP: The 8th Savannah Symposium: MODERNITIES ACROSS TIME AND SPACE. Savannah, USA. 7.-9.2.2013. Deadline: 15.7.2012

February 7-9, 2013

Keynote Speakers: Mark Jarzombek, MIT and Dell Upton, UCLA

The art historian T. J. Clark spoke for many scholars when he declared that modernity marked a special historical transition when “the pursuit of a projected future – of goods, pleasures, freedoms, forms of control over nature, or infinities of information” overcame tradition and ritual. He distinguished the last 500 years against all previous time, and the west against the rest of the world. But such a bold assertion has opened itself to diverse interpretations. Is there a single modernity? If so, how was it created, disseminated and adopted? Or, alternately, are there actually multiple modernities? How then can we appreciate the diversity of different cultures and different times?

The 8th Savannah Symposium seeks papers investigating modernity and/or modernities in the broadest and most critical terms. Studies addressing any aspect of architecture, landscape or the imagined environment are welcome, as are works that address empirical, methodological, or theoretical approaches. The significance of the split-level house in mid-twentieth-century suburbanization is as relevant to the topic as postcolonial reinterpretations of world architecture. Investigations of attempts to assert modernity, as suggested by the origins of the very word “modern” deriving from the Latin modernus from modo, “just now,” (marking a 5th-century desire to distinguish the Christian era from the Pagan era) are as welcome as discussions of cultural hybridity where modernity is actively negotiated. Studies focusing on particular sites or examples of modern architecture are welcomed as are interpretations of who determined the modernity, when and where did it occur, and how was it presented and promoted?

Suggested topics for the symposium might include:

* Modern buildings across cultures and times
* Global processes of modernization and their consequences for the built environment
* Modernity as a way of seeing and shaping the world
* Architectural and planning apparatuses of the modern global state
* Ideas of newness in architecture and urbanism
* Anti-historicism in architecture throughout time
* Reactions against aspects of the modern world-local, regional, national and global
* Preservation as a 20th-century modern value
* What does it mean to teach “non-western” topics in a western architecture program, particularly, but not inclusively, twentieth and twenty-first-century subjects?
* How is the modern architectural canon defined by its classical language?
* Can one even speak of a global modernity without evoking a western ideological framework for knowledge?
* What are the urban and shelter needs of the rapidly expanding global city?
* How do you talk about modernity and urbanism without Asia or Africa or South America?

Papers are invited from scholars and practitioners in, but not limited to, architecture, architectural history, urban history, planning, historic preservation, landscape design, art history, geography, archaeology, cultural history, sociology, political science and anthropology.

Participants will be invited to submit developed essays for an edited thematic volume to be proposed.

How to Participate: Send one-page abstracts (300 words maximum) and curriculum vitae to Patrick Haughey [ ] and Daves Rossell [ ]

c/o Department of Architectural History
Savannah College of Art and Design
102 Eichberg Hall
229 MLK Jr. Blvd.
P.O. Box 3146
Savannah, GA 31402-3146

Electronic submissions are preferred.

For more information about the symposium (and past symposia), visit our website at

Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2012.

E.G. Daves Rossell
Savannah College of Art and Design