Call for Papers: The Politics of Architectural Destruction

Whether inflicted intentionally or collaterally, whether wrought by invading forces or internal factions, and whether upon civic, domestic, or sacred buildings, architectural destruction and the destruction of built environments has always been an important, highly charged aspect of political, religious, ethnic, ideological, and other forms of conflict. And yet, until recently, little systematic analysis has been devoted to the meaning of architectural destruction in the context of conflict. How has architectural destruction been used as a deliberate technique of war, conquest, or armed liberation? What have been the long-term cultural and social implications of architectural destruction for populations subject to it? What is the relationship between the destruction of symbolic structures and the creation of new ones by the forces responsible for destroying earlier structures? How have processes of architectural appropriation or modification related to episodes of destruction?

“˜The politics of architectural destruction’, an international, interdisciplinary conference organised by the Department of History and the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and to be held at Castletown House, aims to promote thoughtful, wide-ranging analysis of architectural destruction as an aspect of historical and contemporary conflict. As it is our goal to treat this global, transhistorical, interdisciplinary issue in the widest possible light, we invite the participation of scholars working across historical periods, geographical areas, and scholarly disciplines.

Please submit a 500-word abstract, one-page c.v., and contact details by 1 June 2009, to Dr Terry Dooley, and Dr J. M. Mancini,, with the subject heading “˜Architectural destruction submission’. As it is anticipated that the conference organisers will also edit a book on the subject of the conference, please indicate whether you wish to be considered as a potential contributor to the published volume and in what capacity you might contribute.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 June 2009