Call for Applications: Building the Modern Worlds: Keywords Workshop

Building the Modern Worlds: Keywords Workshop

Application Due Date Link opens in a PDF reader: July 11, 2022
Workshop Dates: August 1-24, 2022


The Building the Modern Worlds: Keywords workshop is an opportunity for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, art, architectural and urban history, or a related field to participate in a virtually hosted workshop led by Professor Swati Chattopadhyay in August 2022. The goal of the workshop is to mentor students in methods of conducting research on nineteenth-century architectural history and creating scholarly content for publication in a digital platform.

The long nineteenth century was foundational to the modern world. Colonialism, long-distance trade, capitalism, slavery, plantation economy, and the industrial revolution connected distant parts of the world, wreaked havoc, destroyed landscapes as well as economies and livelihoods, generated new ways of thinking about buildings, cities and landscapes, and gave rise to new spaces, new technologies and new publics. New building types such as the railway station and tall office building were created. A host of terms from City Beautiful to slum were coined during this time, and other terms given a new turn to describe and comprehend the emergence of new social and spatial relations. This project aims to reflect on what these terms meant, who coined them, how they were they connected, and how might these terms help us today to understand the modern world we have inherited.

For the purpose of this project we are defining keywords as short entries that will explicate some aspect of the built environment of the long nineteenth century. We are interested in why a term was/is used, what it designates in terms of built works, and how it helps us understand the relation between space (built and natural) and cultural, social, economic and political processes. Instead of following a traditional chronological or national/regional approach to architectural history, the project and the chosen platform encourage cross-referencing and cross-tagging to help readers discover non-linear relations across time and space. For more on the project inception and rationale see, Swati Chattopadhyay, “Keywords for Building the Modern World,”Link opens an external site PLATFORM, June 13, 2022.

The workshop will meet three times a week in 2-hour sessions between August 1 and August 24 with follow-up exchanges culminating in a project discussion with outside reviewers in October 2022. Each workshop participant will contribute a keyword related to the architecture of the long nineteenth century (500-1,000 word entries) to the project. Workshop participants will be selected through an application process. Those interested in participating in this workshop will need to submit an application Link opens in a PDF reader by July 11.