<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   Next >  Last >> 
  • 15 May 2021 12:00 PM | Christine R Henry

    Welcome to the May 2021 issue of VAN.  Use this link for the full May 2021 issue, and if you missed the last issue because of some technical glitches on our end, here is the April 2021 issue link as well.   Don’t forget that we have our Virtual Conference 2021 at the end of this week, May 21-22.  Lots of great papers and some wonderful breakout sessions too.  See the VAF conference website for details. You will also find another preview image from the tours being planned for the VAF annual meeting and conference in San Antonio in May 2022--mark your calendars!  We have some updates on the team of volunteers who bring you VAN, and some wonderful highlights of publications, lectures, and awards shared by our members.  Lots of opportunities for conferences, jobs, and other resources are listed as well.

    Enjoy the news and hope you join us for the conference this week—free to members!


    VAN Editor

  • 15 May 2021 11:50 AM | Christine R Henry

    VAF’s website has all the details you’ll need to attend our conference virtually, including the schedule and information about the program.  This year we will have two days of events, on Friday afternoon the 21st of May and all day Saturday the 22nd of May.

    This year the conference is free to all VAF members, so be sure to check in advance to be sure you can log in.  Remember there are multiple membership levels, several quite affordable, and this might be a good time to join or suggest it to your colleagues and students.  If you are already a member, please consider a small donation to VAF.

    We are going to try something new at the end of the day Friday – break-out rooms where we can gather in smaller groups for discussion and socializing built around our programs and interests.  There will be rooms for B&L, the Special Series, for the African American Field Schools, for the New England Chapter, for a potential Tidewater Chapter, for continued discussion of field work after the panel earlier in the day, and for authors to present information about their new books. 

    Looking forward to seeing you then!

    Claire Dempsey

    VAF President


  • 15 May 2021 11:40 AM | Christine R Henry

    Session leaders Brent R. Fortenberry, Tulane University, and James Buckley, University of Oregon 


    • Sarah Lopez (University of Texas, Austin)
    • Arijit Sen (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
    • Elaine Stiles (Roger Williams University)
    • Danielle Willkens (Georgia Tech)

    The 2021 VAF Conference plenary session examines the nature of contemporary vernacular architecture fieldwork. Fieldwork Futures provides a space for reflection and discussion of the importance of field-based research in the work of vernacular architecture historians in the past and considers the possibilities for new practices in the future.

    Methods of documenting the physical qualities of ordinary buildings and landscapes have been at the heart of VAF members’ work from the organization’s inception. In the 21st century, new research and engagement questions challenge the way in which we investigate the material remnants of the past as embedded in the present. Tape measures and sketchbooks remain key tools for fieldwork, but fieldworkers now bring along digital technology to collect digital data and audio recorders to gather ethnographic information. Researchers and practitioners also have novel sociological and ethical considerations as they document everyday structures and map out the broader impacts of scholarship and knowledge production not just for the academy, but also for stakeholders and communities. Fieldwork in vernacular architecture studies now closely mingles the tangible and intangible past more than ever before, and champions community engagement as a critical component of the methodological and interpretive process.

    Four fieldwork scholars will present vignettes of their current methods of fieldwork to set the stage for a broad discussion of the social and technological challenges facing field-based research today.

    Sarah Lopez and Arijit Sen explore how their fieldwork integrates ethnography and community engagement in exploring the historic built environment in Texas and the Upper-Mid West. Elaine Stiles will discuss how fieldwork and survey efforts can incorporate the recent re-thinking of the historic preservation policy process, and Danielle Willkens examines how digital technology can be integrated into design engagement through an Atlanta case study.

    The session organizers will then facilitate a conversation among all attendees aimed at identifying key principles of field-based practice in our field.

  • 15 May 2021 11:35 AM | Christine R Henry

    At the end of our presentations on Friday, conference attendees will have opportunities to gather in smaller groups to chat, just like a real conference…. We have assembled seven breakout rooms, themed discussion groups for more informal conversation. Or maybe a zoom cocktail party? Please come. 

    Further discussion after the Plenary: Fieldwork Futures

    Jim Buckley and Brent Fortenberry

    Join the speakers Sarah Lopez, Arijit Sen, Elaine Stiles, and Danielle Wilkins to continue the conversation stimulated by our Panel on fieldwork.

    New Books

    Kim Hoagland

    Are you yearning for the book exhibit at an in-person VAF conference?  Are you afraid you're missing books that have been published during the pandemic?  In this fast-paced session, authors of newly published work will discuss their books and why you might want to buy them.


    Buildings & Landscapes

    Michael Chiarappa and Lydia Mattice Brandt, co-editors

    Have questions about how to publish your research in Buildings & Landscapes? Join the coeditors for an informal Q&A.  Potential topics for questions may include the peer review process, image permissions, or how to transform your conference paper into a research article.


    The VAF’s Special Series: Present and Future

    Thomas Carter, editor.

    Come, visit, and talk about the series, its mission, books currently in progress, and areas/subjects you think need to be covered. We also want your feedback on the possibility of a new introductory text, to replace Invitation to Vernacular Architecture. What would such a text look like? How can we make it more inclusive? Can you think of potential authors?


    VAF’s African American Field Schools

    Louis Nelson, University of Virginia

    The Andrew Mellon Foundation has generously awarded funding to VAF and UVa to sponsor and support multi-year summer field schools that will investigate African American cultural landscapes and historic sites. VAF’s goals in this effort are to elevate projects that center African American cultural landscapes and historic sites and to catalyze a new and more diverse wave of scholars and practitioners prepared to do this work. This round table is an opportunity to learn more about this initiative and to ask questions of the program lead.


    Tidewater Chapter for VAF

    Marcia Miller and Jeff Klee

    Let's catch up and talk about establishing a new Tidewater chapter. We can brainstorm ideas and field trips as well as talk more generally about how work is going in the time of COVID. 


    New England Chapter

    Nicole Benjamin-Ma and Peter Michaud

    Come catch up with friends of New England and the Chapter. Share your recent projects and your new research strategies.  How has COVID affected your work?  What are the advantages afforded by working from home and virtual programming? How can we incorporate these innovations into Chapter activities? Let’s use this opportunity to gather our thoughts about our experience as researchers and stewards over the past year.

  • 15 May 2021 11:30 AM | Christine R Henry

    A big welcome to Marisa Gomez Nordyke and Melanie (Fuechsel) Millman, who over the summer will be taking over the editorial duties of the newsletter.

    Marisa first got involved with VAF during the Savannah conference in 2007 when she and Daves Rosell were co-editors of the field guide.  Now living in Texas, Marisa is currently a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. As the new VAN Editor she will be coordinating the team and bringing you the new and improved monthly newsletter.

    Melanie joined the VAF in 2016 as a student ambassador with University of Mary Washington.  She works out of New Jersey as a CRM archaeologist (AECOM) specializing in GIS and graphic design. As news editor she’ll be bringing the VAN to social media. 

  • 15 May 2021 11:25 AM | Christine R Henry
    If you didn’t get your April VAN, you are not alone.  The VAF website had some technical difficulties when our platform made some changes.  Thanks to some eagle-eyed members who called it to our attention and to the diligent sleuthing of David Bergstone our website administrator, the wrinkles have been ironed out.  But it may have meant that your April VAN email went directly to your spam folder.  We are so sorry about that, and don’t want you to miss out.  So if you didn’t get your last issue, or if you just didn’t get a chance to read it last month, here is the April VAN issue link again.  And if you are looking for past issues, each full VAN issue is always available on the VAF website under the publications tab.  Happy Reading!
  • 15 May 2021 11:20 AM | Christine R Henry

    Dear VAF Friends and Colleagues:

    Some of you will have heard that the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded VAF (in partnership with UVA) a substantial grant to support a series of new field schools documenting African American places (buildings and cultural landscapes) in partnership with African American communities, institutions, scholars, and students. This is an important and exciting new opportunity and you can find the link to find out more about the program here.

    In short, the program will fund three different field schools, each to run for two seasons. Each of the funded field schools will have a leadership team that includes expertise in documentation, African American history and culture, and community engagement. Each field school is expected to build and sustain a relationship of mutual trust and reciprocity with their community partners and to offer public sessions that disseminate the work of the field school back to the community.

    If you are interested in applying, please review the website and then reach out to me to share your interest and begin a conversation about designing your proposal.


    Louis Nelson

  • 15 May 2021 11:00 AM | Christine R Henry
    San Antonio, San Jose Mission. Photo courtesy of Ken HafertepeBecause FDR wanted to keep Texas in the Democratic fold, VAF members will see many landscapes of the New Deal. These include several military installations, but also the River Walk, La Villita, and especially Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo. Federal funds allowed for a thorough reconstruction/restoration of the building, and the recreation of quarters for Native American converts and for soldiers assigned from the presidio in town. Though the mission church as a whole is heavily restored, the façade is remarkably intact, complete with “ultra-baroque” statuary and other carvings in stone. Also intact is the baptistry window, known, thanks to romantic myth making of the 1920s and 1930s, as “Rosa’s window.” VAFers will enjoy sorting out the very old from the relatively new and contemplating what was then (for Texas) the still quite novel idea of historic preservation.
  • 15 May 2021 9:50 AM | Christine R Henry
    VAF member Michael Allen recently received funding from the Divided City Initiative, an Urban Humanities Initiative, for the project “Mass Housing in the United States and Yugoslavia: Crossing the Transatlantic Divide.” Working with Vladana Putnik Prica of the University of Belgrade, he will be convening a workshop, symposium and edited volume examining connections between mass housing projects of the Cold War era in the US and Yugoslavia.  For more information, see the project website.
  • 15 May 2021 9:30 AM | Christine R Henry
    VAF member and Buildings & Landscapes editor, Lydia Mattice Brandt, has published a guidebook on the South Carolina state house grounds, examining two centuries of history of its landscape, buildings, and many monuments. The South Carolina State House Grounds: A Guidebook is now available from the University of South Carolina Press. Brandt also hosts a 4-episode podcast tour of the site, produced with Historic Columbia and a grant from South Carolina Humanities.
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   Next >  Last >> 
© Vernacular Architecture Forum

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software