New and Reconsidered Research Methods in Architectural History

Research methods and practices are political. The scope, subject, mode of address, the accessibility of evidence, and the researcher’s orientation all condition our encounters with the events and objects we study. As architectural historians in the early phase of our careers, we have the opportunity to orient our field toward broader forms of engagement with material evidence. How can we research when archives are unavailable, non-existent, or inaccessible? How can we retain the ambition to construct an inclusive global architectural history? As we continue to realign our research towards engaged, activist, and decolonized methods, we seek opportunities to continue shaping a more inclusive disciplinary field.

We seek to confront questions of methodology head-on and consider how our methods might help reconsider the received architectural historiography and its disciplinary boundaries. In rethinking how we relate to the subjects of our research and to each other when discussing our scholarship, our ambition is to foster a more horizontally-organized space within SAH for emerging scholars to discuss methods. Authors interested in engaging methodological claims will select a portion of their work and other comparative works that align with or diverge from their approach.

Program Format:

The participants and intended audience for these workshops are emerging ABD scholars and/or scholars 1–3 years after graduation from a PhD program. Each workshop will last approximately 75 minutes and begin with two or three presentations by doctoral candidates and emerging scholars about their chosen research methods. Following the presentations, we will host an open discussion for approximately 45 minutes.

Following the workshops, the committee will convene a concluding roundtable where invited scholars known for their research in the field will share their perspectives on methodology. This third event in the series will highlight how methods are implemented as a body of scholarly work advances over the course of one’s career.

Method Acts Schedule:

Please note this is a tentative schedule and is subject to change.

  • Workshop 1: February 27, 2024, 1 PM PT/3 PM CT/4 PM ET 
  • Workshop 2: March 12, 2024, 1 PM PT/3 PM CT/4 PM ET
  • Virtual Roundtable: March 25, 2024, 1 PM PT/3 PM CT/4 PM ET

Method Acts is organized by SAH Graduate Students Advisory Committee members Charlette Caldwell, Lisa Beyeler-Yvarra, Mania Taher, Sben Korsh, and Sylvia Faichney.