Special Series: Vernacular Architecture Studies

The Editorial Board of the Vernacular Architecture Studies Series, also known as the “Special Series,” is looking for interested authors.  The Series supports the publication of short, well-illustrated books that introduce, clarify, and explore central issues in the theory and technique of vernacular architecture studies.


What is it? (The Mission Statement)

The Special Series in Vernacular Architecture is an initiative by the VAF intended to encourage and support the publication of short (100 page manuscripts), well-illustrated (100 images) monographs that introduce, clarify, and explore central issues in the theory and technique of vernacular architecture studies. Published in conjunction with the University of Tennessee Press, Special Series volumes are targeted toward a wide audience that includes the academic community, public sector organizations, and the general public. The tightly focused monographs are envisioned as affordable educational tools helping researchers understand ways of approaching the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. The range of topics within the series will span practical instruction in field survey and documentation methods to critical exposition on the theoretical frameworks that guide interpretation. 

Who are Special Series books for?

Intended audiences for the series include:

  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Architectural history, planning, and historic preservation professionals
  • General public

What has been done?

Two volumes have appeared in the series, both published by the University of Tennessee Press:

Thomas Carter and Elizabeth Cromley, Invitation to Vernacular Architecture: A Guide to the Study of Ordinary Buildings and Landscapes (2005)

Thomas Hubka, Houses Without Names: Architectural Nomenclature and the Classification of America’s Common Houses (2013)

Who should write these books?

Authors should have proven expertise in the subjects about which they are writing.  They could be a sole author, or work jointly with someone with complementary expertise.  The editorial board can help pair up potential authors.  Proposals for edited volumes are also welcome.

How should they be written?

Books in this series can employ different approaches, such as:

  • How-to guides that explain techniques used by vernacular architecture scholars
  • Surveys of fields that relate to vernacular architecture, showing how other scholarship might be applied to vernacular architecture issues
  • Discussion of theories and strategies for understanding vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes

Books in this series might also:

  • Synthesize the work of many scholars
  • Be based entirely on new research
  • Highlight the methodological issues of a work that the author has produced in another form
  • Contain previously published articles, or a combination of previously published and new material, written by a number of authors
  • Involve several scholars of different disciplines examining the same issue

What sort of topics are appropriate?

The range of topics is vast and interested authors are welcome to suggest anything that might fit the parameters outlined above. The editorial board is also particularly seeking volumes that consider:

  •  How to determine a building’s construction date and subsequent alterations from material evidence
  • Environmental aspects and sustainability of vernacular architecture
  • Perspectives such as sensory experience and mobility as people interact with architecture and landscape
  • Urban cultural landscapes and their relationship to vernacular architecture
  • Common approaches to altering or adapting buildings over time
  • Mass-produced or market-driven building and building design
  • Approaches to commercial buildings
  • Approaches to institutional buildings
  • Immigration, ethnicity, and trans-nationalism as expressed in vernacular architecture

What is the process?

Steps related to the process of proposing a topic, manuscript review and production can be found here.

What help or support can authors expect?

  • The VAF Board has committed to providing a subvention for publication in order to obtain high-quality images and paper stock, with the goal that these be attractive and legible volumes.
  • The Editorial Board can help organize a roundtable or workshop at VAF’s annual meeting in order to gather ideas, determine interest, and/or test-drive approaches if an author would benefit from that sort of involvement.
  • The Editorial Board is happy to discuss ideas.  Contact Series Editor Tom Carter at tcarter@arch.utah.edu.

Who is on the Editorial Board?

Besides the Series Editor, Tom Carter, the Editorial Board consists of:

Gretchen Buggeln, Valparaiso University (ex officio)

Annmarie Adams, McGill University

William Moore, Boston University

Sarah Scarlett, Michigan Technological University

Elaine Stiles, University of California, Berkeley

Aaron Wunsch, University of Pennsylvania

© Vernacular Architecture Forum

For more information or questions contact
the secretary or the webmaster.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software