Deep History: Physiology, Cognitive Science, and Architecture
A new framework for history has emerged alongside developments in cognitive science, evolutionary biology, sociobiology, and ecology. Deep history takes as its subject the full duration of the human species; it aims to understand culture as inextricable from biology and our psychological and intellectual lives as inherently physical and geographical. Necessarily employing a multidisciplinary approach towards material evidence, deep history converges with issues also investigated by architects such as experience, perception, and embodied cognition. This session aims to interrogate and strengthen this relationship between the newly articulated human subject put forth by the biological sciences and disciplinary developments in architecture and architectural history.
One possible set of questions deals with the impact of these emerging sciences on architectural discourse and practice. How have architects and architectural historians drawn on the work of fields ranging from anthropology to neuroscience to environmental archaeology, and how have exchanges with these disciplines changed over time? What are our options for engaging these fields besides passively receiving popularized accounts or elaborating theories into unsubstantiated claims? A parallel set of questions deals with the impact of architects and architectural ways of thinking on the biological sciences. How have—and how can—architectural modes of thought and representation contribute to these fields? Thirdly, this session will investigate frames for understanding architecture that run deep into the past: what would a deep history of architecture look like?
Papers may articulate the trajectory or current state of conversations between architecture, deep history, and/or the sciences. Or, papers may test specific approaches to an architectural deep history through case studies, shedding light on the built environment of a specific time and place. Collaborative, multidisciplinary, and historiographic papers are welcome. Session chairs: Matthew Allen, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Lian Chang, Harvard University, email@example.com. To submit an abstract, please visit the SAH website and follow their online abstract submission process.