SAH 2021 Session - Designing the Global Countryside - Abstracts due June 3

Petros Phokaides's picture

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Call for Papers
June 3, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Environmental History / Studies, Rural History / Studies

The question, how to shape the “countryside,” has arguably been the central design problem of twentieth-century architecture and planning in the global arena. While architectural histories of modernization have mostly focused on urban projects, the question of the countryside was integral to the problems these schemes sought to address. Entangled in social and environmental geopolitics of colonial regimes, decolonized nation-states, Cold War bipolarity, asymmetries of international trade, and programs of developmental aid, the countryside appeared as a theater that an expanding set of “experts” in both national and international context sought to control. Recent scholarship has drawn critical attention to some of these dimensions challenging the rural-urban dichotomy in architectural historiography (EAHN 2016: The Modern Village; EAHN 2018: Modernism and Rurality). This session seeks to expand and deepen this discussion by inviting historical studies of the various forms of architectural and spatial typologies generated to intervene in the countryside. It seeks to historicize how the countryside figured as a global spatial and design problem seen through scientific and aesthetic assumptions tied together by the idea of “development.”

We take development both as a doctrine and a set of practices focused on raising the “productivity” of land and labor that originated in the late 19th century and continues in various forms into the very present. We welcome case-based papers that focus on architectural, infrastructural or planning projects that were part of broader developmental attempts to reconfigure rural landscapes across multiple spatial scales and different temporal and geographical contexts: from colonial irrigation infrastructures and land reform schemes to national rural development projects, to transnational corporate agricultural landscapes and beyond. Studies that examine the countryside as a critical site for reconceptualizing socio-ecological patterns and reforming long-established traditions of indigenous economies, customary laws, and intricate human/non-human relations are particularly welcome.

Session Chairs: Ijlal Muzaffar, Rhode Island School of Design, and Petros Phokaides, National Technical University of Athens

Submission Guidelines:
Abstracts must be under 300 words.
The title cannot exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Abstracts and titles must follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
Only one abstract per conference by an author or co-author may be submitted. A maximum of two (2) authors per abstract will be accepted.
Please attach a two-page CV in PDF format.

Abstracts are submitted online. Follow the link.