‘To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize “how it really was.” It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger.’ Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History (1940).
This special issue of Fabrications seeks to explore the trope of “haunting” to open new scholarly ways of thinking about the reconfiguring of the histories of past places and their representations. Despite the recognition of memory studies in the 1990s as a discrete field of academic inquiry which built on a rich tradition of scholarship and theory, there has been a more hesitant uptake in challenging how we might re-think the persistence and fallibility of memory in connection to architectural history. This special issue therefore invites papers that explore how the architectural past reverberates – in sometimes troubled ways – in our present consciousness. How can complex concepts of the traumatic (as in Maria Tumarkin’s Traumascapes (2005), the uncanny, and the haunted, be reconsidered in architectural history today? How might we productively review historical places as memory theatres for moments of dangerous recall?
In particular, we seek new explorations on:
- How the life and death of architects and their creations may haunt archival scholarship or present experience?
- Why particular architectural typologies or spaces are often perceived as ‘haunted’ by confluences of fiction, memory, and acts of commemoration or desecration?
- Or how can architectural history and heritage engage more productively with the disconcerting affects of decay and ruination?
For example, Stephen Cairns and Jane M. Jacobs’ Buildings Must Die: A Perverse View of Architecture (2014), and Caitlin deSilvey’s Curated Decay (2017), point to new ways of interrogating the materiality and functionality of buildings and places over time.
In this issue we also welcome scholarly challenges to historiographical conventions and authorial voices in capturing the reverberations and atmospheres of historical sites and their representations.
How to submit your paper
Papers should be submitted via the journal's online submission system by 7th June 2018.
Guidelines on how to submit your paper can be found on the journal's Instructions for Authors page.