SAH 2016 - Pasadena/LA

SAH 2016 – Pasadena/LA

Post-War Architecture and African Legacy: Which Tradition? : Conferences

SAH 69th Annual Conference, Pasadena/LA (USA), April 6-10 2016


In recent years there has been an international resurgence of interest in modern architecture and urbanism in Africa. Since the 1990s, much has been written about the work of modern architects in Africa and about colonial and post-colonial architecture in sub-Saharan regions. However, the concept of traditional African architecture has largely been treated as the background to Western and Eastern modern architecture on the continent, rather than as a subject for consideration in its own right.

This panel focuses on the notion of traditional Africa and its key role in the development of post-war architecture and culture. Beginning in 1945, university programs sponsored lectures and courses on vernacular African architecture; journals and magazines published a growing number of articles on the topic; and international congresses and meetings focused on the indigenous sub-Saharan reality. As a result, the interest in Africa has deepened, challenging the modernist idiom and affecting architectural design in Africa, Europe, and the US.

The session invites papers that cover the period between the end of World War II and 1957, the year of Ghana’s independence and the beginning of the post-colonial era. Papers are welcome that concentrate on the sub-Saharan regions and other areas engaged in the spread of African architectural knowledge. Topics might include, but are not limited to, the concept of “traditional” African architecture as it developed in the period (as a civilizational “other,” a promising alternative, a source of timeless truths and universal values, etc.), the effect of traditional Africa on post-war architectural design, the diaspora of ideas and the people discussing them, and the development of the theme in architectural publications and conferences.

Session Chair:

Dainese Elisa, University of Pennsylvania, [email protected]


Submission Guidelines:
  1. Abstracts must be under 300 words
  2. The title cannot exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  3. Abstracts must follow the Chicago Manual of Style

Send your CV (not to exceed 5 pages) to the session chair (Dainese Elisa, [email protected]) and the SAH office ([email protected]). Please submit abstracts no later than June 9, 2015. A maximum of two (2) authors per abstract will be accepted. For more information see the website of the conference of the Society of Architectural Historians.

— This activity is part of Afrobridge, a research supported by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme —