CFP: 2 Sessions at EAHN (Edinburgh, 10-13 Jun 20)

Edinburgh, June 10 - 13, 2020
Deadline: Sep 20, 2019

[1] Drive-In Architecture, Carriage to Motor Age
[2] Genius Loci: The Politics of Pre-Modern Architectural Style


[1] Drive-In Architecture, Carriage to Motor Age

From: Erik Wegerhoff
Date: 10 July 19

Session chairs:
Sigrid de Jong, Leiden University
Erik Wegerhoff, ETH Zürich

The drive-in is the place where the vehicle and the building collide. Just as architecture by its nature is static, the vehicle is by definition dynamic. What happens at this – controlled – collision, when mobility and immobility meet? In what ways is architecture challenged by the moving object, what concessions does a building make to accommodate movement, and how does it signal that movement here, temporarily, comes to a halt? Finally, how does drive-in architecture accommodate the driver or passenger, whose status changes from that of a mechanically moved body to a moving subject?

This session investigates the drive-in not so much as a building type (as Kenneth T. Jackson, John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, Richard Longstreth and others have done) but as a phenomenon. The drive-in is seen as a challenge to architecture and its tradition of tectonics as much as to the car or carriage and the promise fulfilled by its movement. In that sense, it looks for the semantic dimension of the drive-in as it can be located in relation to architectural theories. Opening the chronological scope, we are asking for in-depth case studies comprising drive-in structures from early modern to contemporary times, and thus from carriage to motor age, explicitly including drive-ins long before that term was invented. Furthermore, we are interested in accounts of the experiences of these spaces, and how the collisions between mobility and immobility are ‘solved’ in texts or theoretical concepts.

For a detailed session description and information on how to submit an abstract, please see the conference website:


[2] Genius Loci: The Politics of Pre-Modern Architectural Style

From: Zachary Stewart
Date: 13 July 19

Chairs: Zachary Stewart and Lizzie Swarbrick

Frequently encountered in the historiography of pre-modern architecture is the theme of genius loci – a paradigm in which factors such as climate, local resources, and local traditions are understood as determinative for the building practices of a given region, country, or nation.

Writing on Gothic architecture is a striking case in point. The style was a pan-European phenomenon. Yet, almost from the beginning, it was interpreted in patently ethnic, regional, or national terms. Late medieval observers in northern Europe saw it as French (opus francigenum). Early modern observers in southern Europe saw it as German (maniera tedesca). And antiquarians, archaeologists, and architectural historians active during the era of the formation of modern nation states, in an effort to advance competing domestic claims to Gothic, coined a series of stylistic labels – 'Perpendicular' for England, 'Flamboyant' for France, 'Sondergotik' for Germany – that continue to be employed into the present day.

Thus have medieval architectural historians struggled to examine the buildings of smaller regions with more heterogeneous architectural traditions. Scotland – a land whose medieval edifices have been characterised as 'dour', 'embattled', and even a 'fag-end' – is exemplary in this regard. Smaller buildings less sympathetic to foreign fashions have typically been viewed as crude. Larger buildings more sympathetic to foreign fashions have typically been viewed as mannered, wilful, or downright bizarre (cf. Roslin Chapel). Such interpretations not only uphold a simplistic centre-versus-periphery model of historical explanation but also assume that national styles are real ontic categories.

Raising the stakes for a re-evaluation of issues of place, space, and identity is the politically febrile atmosphere in which we now live and work. Indeed, nativism draws on the idea that countries have distinctive (if not inviolable) cultures, and architecture plays a dual role in such discourse in that old buildings can be used as evidence for certain values and new buildings can be used as vehicles for certain ideologies. Consequently, this panel seeks to interrogate the relationship between architecture and regional or national identities in the pre-modern period, with an emphasis on the buildings of medieval Scotland. Possible topics for papers include:

- Definitions of nationalism
- Investigations of 'schools', 'groups', and/or 'styles'
- Attributions of buildings to various regional or national idioms
- Explorations of social networks that supported or subverted the exchange of architectural ideas

Please submit a proposal in English of no more than 300 words by 20 September 2019 to Zachary Stewart ( and Lizzie Swarbrick ( with the following information:

- The title of the paper
- Your name
- Your professional affiliation
- A short curriculum vitae (maximum of two pages)
- A mailing address, email address and telephone number

Please note: papers may not have been previously published, nor presented in public. Only one submission per author will be accepted by EAHN 2020. Each speaker is expected to fund his or her own registration, travel and expenses to Edinburgh.

CFP: 2 Sessions at EAHN (Edinburgh, 10-13 Jun 20). In:, Jul 15, 2019 (accessed Jul 5, 2020), <>.

Contributor: ArtHist Redaktion

Contribution published: Jul 15, 2019

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