2016 PhD Colloquium

Architecture, History, Action

2016 Princeton School of Architecture PhD Colloquium

The challenge of architecture history reaches to its disciplinary core. Where history seeks to account for the figures, events, and ideas of the past, architecture, as a socially entrenched spatial practice, necessarily projects into the future. "Architecture, History, Action", the 2016 PhD Colloquium at Princeton School of Architecture, offers five routes that run through, across, parallel, or counter to architecture history’s received modernist canon. Historians are often trained as sober raconteurs of the past, but in what way do their narratives intervene in the present? Can a scholar interpret the past reliably, while claiming a stake in the contemporary world? Drawing from anthropology, geography, ethnography, and advocacy, the scholars invited for this colloquium all write with a foot in the present. The world today demands that we claim the radical traditions of speculative thought and critical fiction. The work of the presenting scholars suggests that more than reflection, the work of history can also seek an active, living presence.

RSVP is required. Papers will be pre-circulate a week before each session.
Please email Megan Eardley ( for a copy of the paper.
All events to take place at 5:00pm, N107 School of Architecture, Princeton University.


March 3
Javier Arbona
Postdoctoral Scholar American Studies
Department University of California, Davis


March 31 Hadas Steiner
Associate Professor
School of Architecture and Planning University at Buffalo


April 7
Martin Bressani
School of Architecture McGill University


April 14
Nicholas D'Avella
Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
The Cooper Union


April 21
Andrew Herscher
Associate Professor of Architecture
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University of Michigan


Convened by Carson Chan, Martin Cobas, Megan Eardley, Curt Gambetta, and Elis Mendoza.

With kind support from:
Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities
Program in American Studies
Program in Media + Modernity
Program in Latin American Studies
Race and Citizenship in the Americas Network