About GAHTC

GAHTC had its origins in informal conversations between Mark Jarzombek and Vikramaditya Prakash, while they were at work on the second edition of A Global History of Architecture (Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash; Wiley 2006, 2010). The purpose of that textbook, which was organized by time-cuts rather than, for example, nation-states or regions or styles, was to offer a framework for instructors in breaking free of the Eurocentric canonical categories that structure the current historiographical narrative. After the publication of the first edition, it became clear that the problem was not just which material to include, but also the deep-seated uncertainty of teachers in presenting this material. This was a problem particularly for junior faculty who are just starting their teaching careers, most of whom had limited exposure to the larger world of history outside of their Ph.D. preparation. And yet, these people were often tasked with preparing and presenting material that, however interesting, appeared strange and daunting to them, since it lay outside the zone of familiar 'research'. The solution for many teachers was to simply add in a lecture or two encompassing 'non-western' material. Another problem entailed the continuing dominance of modernism in histories of architecture; if one looks at the existing body of research in architectural history, one might think that all known history about architecture is confined to the last two hundred years.

Cover for Global History of Architecture

What is needed, consequently, is not so much a discussion about how to teach the students, but how to teach the teachers.   To do that, we came up with the idea of a special forum where teachers could self-produce ready-to-teach, lecture materials, which they could then share with each other, and in the process, take the ghost out of the global perspective. That is how the idea of GAHTC was born--as a free, online resource of global architectural history teaching materials created and curated by a collaborative of teachers.

To revise and enrich the global survey, what is needed is not the slow march of traditional research but rather a rapid-response mechanism that could deal directly with the crisis of teaching within an expanded field. 

The ambition of the GAHTC is to address the needs of educators in diverse disciplinary contexts by providing practical lecture materials for teaching global architectural history at the survey level. This effort does not preclude more advanced level education, but the main purpose of the Collaborative is to transform the discipline 'from below'—that is, to help shape the discourse of architectural history by reshaping its teaching at the survey level. Teaching materials produced by the GAHTC will emphasize trans-national and trans-geographical perspectives, providing alternatives to architectural and art history courses organized by nation-based or style-based categories such as Italian', 'French', 'Chinese' and 'The Renaissance'.

Generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the GAHTC will dedicate its newest grant of a $1.5 million to promoting the development of survey course material in the history of architecture, thus strengthening its position within humanities teaching, while also sponsoring teacher-to-teacher conversations that support pedagogy with a global perspective.

To accomplish these goals, the GAHTC has created six new funding opportunities for research and teaching. You can find more information on the various grants here

GAHTC1 and GAHTC2: Content Creation

Phase 1 of the GAHTC supported the collaboration of a community of scholars from around the world committed to infusing a global perspective within the academic preparation of architectural historians.  It attracted 98 members from the USA, Europe, Canada, Peru, Australia, India, China, Turkey and South Africa and hosted two conferences, in Boston and Chicago, with 50 and 65 registered attendees each. A third members’ conference in Seattle united 90 participants. The rapid growth of the organization, not anticipated in the original planning of GAHTC, is a testament to the timeliness of the effort and the breadth of the interest in GAHTC’s resources.

With the success of the GAHTC1 (2013-2016), we realized not just the viability of the project, but even more importantly, the enormous scale of the problem. For that reason, GAHTC2 (2016-2019) was designed to be even more proactive in helping teachers develop curriculum.

The Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative lecture library now has over 200 lectures on its free, teacher-to-teacher platform and continues to grow as scholars from all over the world join the GAHTC, and contribute their research, helping the collaborative to thrive.

As the GAHTC has developed, so too has the core impetus behind its inception.  The third edition of A Global History of Architecture (Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash; Wiley, 2017) has just been published.  It features full color and longer narratives telling better global stories.

Support

The GAHTC is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with administrative connection to MIT's School of Architecture and Planning and its History Theory and Criticism Program.


Coming soon!

GAHTC.org

GAHTC has hired 100Danish as the new web developer. The 100Danish team, led by Trevor Collins and his team will help s to improve the dissemination of our library content, while also digitally connecting our community of scholars.

We have a plan for the following website updates that we believe will not only be helpful to our community, but will importantly shore-up the long term sustainability of the site and its content.

  • Advanced Search: Imperative to the wide dissemination of our library content is the ability to efficiently search for and access materials. Our advanced search feature will provide users with the ability to search for content using three criteria: object of study, location and date. The search also has a filter allowing users to indicate exact time periods using a sliding scale. Results are then displayed on a rotating globe, with the most relevant results demarcated in red, and receding in color, in the style of a heat map. Users however are not required to input search criteria to view results. They may select the “Browse All” option, at which point our entire library content will be displayed on the globe, and users can spin, zoom, and click to discover new content.
  • Explore Teaching Material: This page allows users to browse our library content in a different manner, one not necessarily directed by search terms. Rather, relevant information, such as module title, author and abstract are displayed at a glance on a series of “cards” or “tiles”. This is a design change from the existing site. The display is more visual, accessible and interactive. The number of clicks needed to access module and lecture content have been reduced, providing users with quick and comprehensive access to our teaching library.
  • Map Builder: Many of our members have the need to create editable maps so as to best convey material visually. We have addressed that need by developing a Map Builder. Users can choose a location, then a display for the map, such as terrain, political boundaries, or satellite view.
  • Creating Custom Maps:The Map builder allows users to alter their map using basic edit functions, similar to those found in power point. Functions such as dropping locations pins, adding text and photos, as well as drawing a variety of shapes, and adjusting their opacity will allow users to customize their maps easily.


Recently Added Modules


Upcoming GAHTC Events

SAH, Seattle, WA, April-May 2020.


Recent GAHTC Events

European Architectural History Network & SAH New Zealand and Australia (SAHANZ), Sydney, AU, July 2019.

World History Association & Global Urban Humanities Project, "Decolonizing Architectural History," Paper Session, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 2019.

SAH, Providence, RI, April 2019

  • We hosted a full day Teacher-to-Teacher workshop on globalizing your teaching content, open to all SAH members.
  • We conducted a round-table on the subject of “Globalizing Architectural HistoryEducation.”
  • We chaired a GAHTC session titled “The Untold Histories of the Peripheral Architecture and Cities.”
  • Eliana presented on the topic of Global History at the first SAH Colloquium “Vectors of Change: Emerging Challenges in the Study of the Built Environment.”

GAHTC Members' Conference, Miami, FL, April 2019.


AHA, Chicago, Panel and Exhibitor, January, 2019.

College Arts Association (CAA), "The GAHTC and Globalizing Architectural History," Paper Session, New York, NY, January 2019.

"Curating a GAHTC Syllabus," Workshop, World History Association. Milwaukee, WI, June 2018.


"Pedagogical Approaches to Re-Centering the Architectural Canon," Round Table, Vernacular Architecture Forum. Alexandria, VA, May 2018.


"Curating a GAHTC Syllabus," Workshop, NERWHA, Cambridge, MA, April 2018.


“GAHTC Roundtable," Roundtable, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference. Glasgow, Scotland, June 2017.


“Are We Teaching Global Yet?” Roundtable, Society of Architectural Historians  Annual Conference. St. Paul, MN, April 2018.


“Global Education: Pedagogy and Reality.” Paper Session, American Association of Geographers. New Orleans, LA, April 2018.


“The New Global: Architectural History Education and the Ethics of Millennial Citizenship." Paper Session, ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture). Denver, CO, March 2018.


Current Modules in the Works

Targeted Acquisition Grants

  1. Between Constantinople and Karakorum: The Architecture of Pre-Modern Russia
  2. Global Conservation: Preservation, Reuse and Sustainability
  3. Southern African Formations of Spatial Culture
  4. Soviet Constructivism: ‘Design and Politics’ and ‘Utopia in Tatters’
  5. The African City: A Global Architectural History
  6. Church Architecture in the Principality of Moldova, 1457-­‐1600
  7. West African Modernism
  8. Indigenous Architectures and the Living Landscape of North America
  9. Oceania’s Pathways: Voyaging and Vernacular Architecture
  10. Gothicness
  11. Continuity and Change in the Architecture of Sub-Saharan Africa
  12. Asian Architecture on the Cultural Borders   
  13. The Quintessence of Pre-Columbian Cities
  14. Place-Making and World Seeking on the Swahili Coast
  15. The Forgotten Women of WWII Architecture
  16. Japanese Architecture
  17. Parallel Lives: A Biographical Approach to Early Modern Architecture
  18. The Global History of Synagogues
  19. Etruscan Architecture in a Global Context: Life, Death and Transition
  20. The Politics of Social Housing is Inter-War and Post-War Turkey


Emerging Scholars Grants

  1. Globalizing the Video Architectural History Timeline Project
  2. Taverns and Temples
  3. Persian Gardens
  4. Armenian Churches
  5. A Global Historiography of Persian Architecture: The Making and Breaking of Cultural Heritage


Untargeted Field Initiated Grants

  1. Port Cities Between Global Networks and Local Transformations
  2. Wood Architecture in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia
  3. Mobile Architectures
  4. Architectural Representations
  5. Spirit Roads: From Roads and Tracks to Other Worldly Connections
  6. Educational Sites in the Islamic World


Global Connections Fellowship

  1. Globalizing Asian Histories
  2. Our North is the South: Intercultural Processes in Latin American Architecture 
  3. A Global Sea: An Architectural of History of the Caribbean