Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2018 Award Winners
By Helena Dean
Society of Architectural Historians
23 April 2018
On April 20, 2018, the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) presented awards to the 2018 recipients of the SAH Publication Awards at the organization’s 71st annual international conference. Two of the award recipients are College of Environmental Design alumnae Mrinalini Rajagopalan (M.Arch ‘03, Ph.D. Architecture ‘07) and Michele Lamprakos (M.Arch ‘91).
The SAH Publication Awards seek to honor excellence in the fields of “architectural history, urban history, landscape history and historic preservation scholarship as well as architectural exhibition catalogues.”
Rajagopalan was awarded the Alice David Hitchcock Book Award which is given annually to the “most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar.” Rajagopalan received this award for her book Building Histories: The Archival and Affective Lives of Five Monuments in Modern Delhi (The University of Chicago Press, 2016).
Building Histories focuses on five medieval monuments in Delhi: the Red Fort, Rasul Numa Dargah, Jama Masjid, Purana Qila, and the Qutb complex. Rajagopalan argues that “these monuments entailed the careful selection, manipulation, and regulation of the past by both the colonial and later postcolonial states.” Rajagopalan attempts to redefine the historic monument and transform it from a symbol of the past to a culturally malleable object with many stories to tell.
Lamprakos received an honorable mention for the Spiro Kostof Book Award which seeks to recognize “interdisciplinary studies of urban history that make the greatest contribution to our understanding of the growth and development of cities.” Lamprakos received the honorable mention for her book Building a World Heritage City: Sanaa, Yemen (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015).
Building a World Heritage City looks at the conservation of Sanaa which began in the 1980s as a major cultural heritage initiative. As opposed to elsewhere in the world where conservation efforts have been introduced at later dates to mitigate the effects of modernization, in Yemen both processes of constructing and conserving have been concurrent. Lamprakos looks the cultural effects of this practice and finds that it “has resulted in a paradox: unlike many other countries in the Middle East that abandoned traditional construction practices long ago, in Yemen these practices have not died out.”
Read more about the award and award recipients here.