CFP: UHA/VAF Panel February 28, 2018

17 Jan 2018 11:15 AM | Christine R Henry

Ninth Biennial Conference of the Urban History Association

“Cities at the Crossroads” - October 18-21, 2018, Columbia, SC 

UHA Vernacular Architecture Forum Panel:

“Crossing into the Ordinary”

The Vernacular Architecture Forum invites paper proposals for a VAF-sponsored session at the Ninth Biennial Conference of the Urban History Association, “Cities at the Crossroads,” to be held October 18-21, 2018 in Columbia, SC.

This session will explore how analysis of the physical forms of ordinary built environments contributes to our understanding of cities, reflecting the conference theme of the interdisciplinary nature of the field of urban history.  Students of vernacular architecture use a variety of methods – from art history and cultural geography to anthropology and folklore and beyond – to explore how buildings and landscapes can help us understand the lives of ordinary people.  Scholars of vernacular structures and cultural landscapes have increasingly brought these methods to the analysis of urban development from their original context of rural, preindustrial settings.

Questions to be explored in this session might include

  • How might the methods used by scholars of vernacular landscapes improve our understanding of the complex social, economic, and political dynamics of cities?
  • How does vernacular fieldwork – the careful recording of buildings and their settings – operate within the context of the urban landscape?
  • Has consideration of “everyday” architecture and environments, based in the work of Lefebvre, Crawford, and others, changed our approach to urban history?

Papers could examine issues from a variety of periods, scales, and locations, and could involve questions of investigative method, theoretical foundations for the application of vernacular approaches to urban situations, or specific building forms.

The session will be structured as a series of short research presentations (10 minutes) that highlight application of vernacular theoretical frameworks to specific subjects, followed by a discussion among paper authors, session organizers, and the audience about the role of vernacular architecture approaches in contemporary urban history.  Panel participants should be prepared to convey their research findings succinctly and then apply them to the larger conversation with other session attendees.

Paper proposals should include should include an abstract of up to 150 words with up to four keywords, along with a one-page CV, including address and email.  These should be submitted as a single PDF file.

The submission deadline is February 28, 2018.  Proposals and inquiries should be sent to the session chairs: James Buckley at the University of Oregon, Portland ( and Arijit Sen at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (

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