THE GEOGRAPHY OF SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH ARCHITECTURE: HISTORIOGRAPHY AND NEW HORIZONS
Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
Annual Symposium 2010
22 May 2010
To be held at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 16 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA
Analyses of seventeenth-century British architecture have more often than not focused on the introduction, rise, and interpretation of Classicism; patronage at Court; the impact of the Civil War and Restoration; and the rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire. Ironically, these topics have both illuminated and circumscribed our understanding of architecture in Britain during the 1600s: the emphasis on Court patronage, for example, has created a focus on the metropolis of London, and the primacy of Classicism has led to an emphasis on Italy’s influence to the exclusion of other countries with which Britain interacted politically and culturally. Furthermore, the use of ‘Britain’ as a synonym for ‘England’ has paradoxically often served to exclude Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, while the architectures of Britain’s Atlantic and South Asian colonies have traced their own careers in the literature. These tendencies in the historiography of seventeenth-century British architecture misrepresent the complexity of Britain’s geography in the 1600s: a period during which the status of Wales, Scotland and Ireland was constantly at issue; when England established colonies in North America and the Caribbean; when England was ruled by the House of Orange; and the Stuart court went into exile in France. The way in which the geography of seventeenth-century British architecture has been defined is also indicative of agendas and political interpretations of successive generations of architectural historians.
The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain invites proposals for twenty-minute papers that interrogate our current understanding of seventeenth-century ‘British’ architecture and explore the geographical horizons of Britain’s architecture in the 1600s. We particularly welcome papers that address the historiography of seventeenth-century British architectural history, and that draw on interdisciplinary methods.
Papers might consider but need not be limited to:
• The importation of foreign architectural influences into Britain in the seventeenth century.
• Architectural interactions between continental Europe and Britain in the 1600s.
• The exportation and appropriation of seventeenth-century British architectural modes beyond Britain.
• Colonialism and plantation architecture in Ireland and the Americas.
• Borderland architecture of the 1600s.
• Representations and interpretations of British national pasts in seventeenth-century architecture.
• Expanding the ‘geography’ of British seventeenth-century architecture to include neglected architects and neglected building types.
• The treatment of English architecture within the historiography of Scottish, Welsh or Irish architectural history.
• How the architecture of seventeenth-century Britain has been interpreted by later periods as part of the myth and reality of national identity.
• Revivals of Britain’s seventeenth-century architecture in different periods and different countries.
The convener for the symposium is Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner. Proposals of no more than 300 words for papers of twenty minutes should be sent to Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post: Department of the History of Art, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Submissions must be received by 14 December 2009, and notices of acceptance or rejection will be sent out by 15 January 2010. It should be borne in mind that publication of the proceedings is anticipated.
It is the expectation of the Society that speakers will be able to obtain independent financial support for their travel and accommodation. There are, however, limited support funds for situations where this is not possible. Applications for such support should be made with the proposal.
For further information about the Society please visit www.sahgb.org.uk
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