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Each year the History of Architecture and Built Environment (HABE) research group in ESALA welcomes guest speakers and colleagues to present an evening seminar on their research. The events are a fantastic opportunity to hear about the latest research in the fields from researchers working in the UK, Europe and beyond. These events are free and open to all.
This academic year, the AH&T Seminar Series will run as live hybrid events. Links to the relevant event registration pages are available below.

Please contact Dr Alistair Fair and Prof. Alex Bremner if you have any questions or access requirements: and


Semester Two

30 January 2024 |  Digital vs. Analogue: Analysing Creative Practices in Medieval Architecture (after 1190) | James Hillson | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

13 February 2024 | Schooling the Mufassal: Provincial Sites and Spatial Politics of Education in Colonial Eastern India | Tania Sengupta | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

5 March 2024 | Writing Global Histories: The Belgian Friendship Building | Kathleen James-Chakraborty | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

19 March 2024 | Modelling the Metropolis: The Architectural Model in Victorian London | Matthew Wells | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

2 April 2024 | Roman Architecture 1800-1850: An Alternative Modernity | Richard Wittman | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place > 

Semester One

19 September 2023 | Architectures of Informal Empire: American Campusbuilding in the ‘Near East’ | Yasmina El Chami | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

3 October 2023 | Deconstructing British Colonial Architecture in Fortress Island Malta | Conrad Thake | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place > 

17 October 2023 | Standardized Paradise: Towards a Total Efficiency in Modern Zlín | Vendula Hnidkova | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

24 October 2023 | ‘Kingsway Leads the Way to Modern Living’: British Profit Seeking and Modernism in Decolonising West Africa | Ewan Harrison | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

14 November 2023 | Inventing architectural history: James Fergusson’s Handbook of Architecture (1855) | Petra Brouwer | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

28 November 2023 | Picturing the City: Alberti on Urbanism and Power | Caspar Pearson | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >


Semester Two

17 Jan 2023 | Prior Art: Patents and the Nature of Invention in Architecture | Professor Peter Christensen (Rochester University) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

31 Jan 2023 | Early Hong Kong and Malaria: Tracing the Idea of a Colony through Visual Evidence | Dr Christopher Cowell (Trinity College, Dublin) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place > 

14 Feb 2023 | KwaThema: Placing a South African Township Between Extraction and Repair | ProfessorHannah Le Roux (University of the Witwatersrand) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

28 Feb 2023 | Culinary Racism and the Food Axis of Empire | Professor Swati Chattopadhyay (University of California, Santa Barbara) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

14 Mar 2023 | ‘Feminist bricks’: Women Writing Paris around 1789 | Dr Anne Hulztsch (ETH Zurich) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT | Book your place >

4 Apr 2023 | Hostile Waters in the Americas: The French Fort of La Balise | Professors Adrian Anagnost and Leslie Geddes (Tulane University) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 BST | Book your place >

Semester One

27 Sep 2022 Spatial Revolution in the Soviet Steel City: Magnitogorsk, 1929 | Professor Christina Crawford (Emory University)| Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

11 Oct 2022 A Vision of Welfare. Brenda Colvin and the women who shaped the post-war landscapes of Britain | Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr (Manchester Metropolitan University) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

25 Oct 2022 Crypto Ruins: The Architectural Aftermath of a Digital Crash | Dr Joel McKim (Birkbeck, University of London) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

1 Nov 2022 Preserving Historic Hospitals: Edinburgh and Montreal (roundtable) | Professor Annmarie Adams (McGill University), Jan Kubanek (ERA Architects Inc.), Ève Wertheimer (ERA Architects Inc.), Rab Bennetts (Bennetts Associates), Iain Tinsdale (Bennetts Associates), Dr Harriet Richardson (ESALA). Chair: Dr Alistair Fair (ESALA) | In person - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT

22 Nov 2022 Building Greater Britain: Architecture, Imperialism, and the Edwardian Baroque Revival | Professor Alex Bremner (ESALA) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT

6 Dec 2022 Sui generis: LGBTQ+ venues in London since the 1980s | Dr Ben Campkin (The Bartlett, UCL) | Hybrid - Event Registration | 17:15 GMT


Previous series


Semester One

12 Oct 2021 | Siam Perfected: Renaissance, Rebirth, and Reincarnation | Associate Professor Lawrence Chua (Syracuse University) | Virtual | 17:15 BST

19 Oct 2021 | Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul | Assistant Professor Ünver Rüstem (Johns Hopkins University) | Virtual | 17:15 BST

26 Oct 2021 | The Diaspora’s Leaven: Architecture and Enculturation in Colonial Lagos (1890s-1920s) | Assistant Professor Adedoyin Teriba (Vassar College) | Virtual | 17:15 BST

2 Nov 2021 | Inessential Colors: Architecture on Paper in Early Modern Europe | Assistant Professor Basile Baudez (Princeton University) | Virtual | 17:15 GMT

9 Nov 2021 Serlio's Unpublished Sixth Book on Dwellings and British Architecture c. 1700 | Honorary Professor Ian Campbell (University of Edinburgh) | Virtual | 17:15 GMT

16 Nov 2021 | Housing is More Than Houses: Lessons for the Living New Deal | Professor Barbara Penner (The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London) | Virtual | 17:15 GMT

23 Nov 2021 |Book talk: Philip II of Spain and the Architecture of Empire, Penn State University Press (2021) | Dr Laura Fernández González (University of Lincoln) | Virtual | 17:15 GMT

Semester Two

18 Jan 2022 Afro-Confraternal Chapels as Artistic Spaces in Colonial Lima |  Assistant Professor Ximena Gómez (University of Massachusetts Amherst) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

25 Jan 2022 Art Nouveau, Regionalism, and Corporate Identity: The Architecture and Material Culture of the Magasins Réunis | Dr Peter Clericuzio (ESALA) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

1 Feb 2022 From the Earl of Mar to Lord Bute: Reconstructing Flower Biographies | Professor Mark Laird (University of Toronto) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

10 Feb 2022 Mineral Statistics: The Museum of Economic Geology circa 1851 | Professor Zeynep Çelik Alexander (Columbia University) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

15 Feb 2022 The Free People of Color Who Built Antebellum New Orleans | Assistant Professor Tara A. Dudley (University of Texas at Austin) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

1 Mar 2022 From Columns to Totem Poles: Race, Ornament, and the Organic Nationalism of Ruskinian Gothic | Associate Professor Charles L. Davis II (University at Buffalo, SUNY) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

8 Mar 2022 | How Chinese Architecture Became Modern | Professor Nancy S. Steinhardt (University of Pennsylvania) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST

15 Mar 2022 | Peter Moro and Partners | Dr Alistair Fair (ESALA) | Virtual - Event Registration | 17:15 BST


During the academic year 2020/2021, the Seminar Series took the form of pre-recorded interviews. Interviews on Method encompasses a cycle of conversations between ourselves and scholars of architecture and the built environment across the globe and at all career stages, conducted in the early months of 2021.

We chose to centre our discussions on methods for the study of architecture and the built environment for a number of reasons. Our series has always showcased works-in-progress, but turning focus to methods presented an opportunity to scrutinise the mechanisms and techniques of that work. The conversations span a diversity of methods, including environmental studies, economic history, filmmaking, heritage, the study of colonialism, history of the book, print history, oral history, and exhibition. The result is a public and durable record of emergent and changing approaches to research and teaching on the history of architecture and the built environment during the current moment.

The interviews will be published on the Architectural History and Theory Seminar Series Media Hopper channel. Our interviewees include:

  • Samia Henni (Cornell University)
  • Iain Jackson (University of Liverpool)
  • Heather Hyde Minor (University of Notre Dame) and Carolyn Yerkes (Princeton University)
  • Laurajane Smith (Australian National University)
  • Margaret Stewart (University of Edinburgh)
  • Jason E. Nguyen (University of Toronto)
  • Jessica Varner (University of Southern California)
  • Ana María León (University of Michigan)

View the Media Hopper channel >



Semester one

24 Sep 2019Erasing the Ketchaoua Mosque: Catholicism, assimilation, and civic identity in C19th France and Algeria | Professor Ralph Ghoche (Barnard College) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

8 Oct 2019Early Modern Machines and the Architecture of the Worksite | Dr Elizabeth Merrill (Warburg Institute) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

22 Oct 2019Modernist Piranesi | Professor Victor Plahte Tschudi (The Oslo School of Architecture and Design) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

5 Nov 2019The Renaissance Superstructure | Dr Morgan Ng (St John’s College, Cambridge) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

19 Nov 2019“Better than Gold”: Commercial Property Development in Post-war Britain | Dr Alistair Kefford (University of Leicester) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

Semester two

28 Jan 2020 | ‘Cranks and Laymen’: consolidating the role of the ‘expert’ architect and the layman public in architectural criticism, 1935-1940 | Dr Jessica Kelly (University of the Creative Arts) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

11 Feb 2020 | Living on Campus: The American College Dormitory in the Twentieth Century | Professor Carla Yanni (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

25 Feb 2020 | CANCELLED OWING TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION – TO BE RESCHEDULED LATER IN 2020  | Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan (University of Portsmouth) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

10 March 2020 | Sharing Stories from Jamestown: The building of mercantile Accra | Professor Iain Jackson (University of Liverpool) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm

24 March 2020 | The invention of a genre. James Fergusson’s Handbook of architecture (1855) | Professor Petra Brower (University of Amsterdam) | Minto House, Elliott Room | 5.15pm



25 Sep 2018 | Modern Playhouses: Theatres, Leisure, Citizenship & Urbanity in Britain, 1945-85, Dr Alistair Fair | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

9 Oct 2018 | A Corpus of Thirteenth-Century Brick Rum Seljuq Minarets, Dr Richard Piran McClary | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

23 Oct 2018 | Civic Centre: Architecture, Civic Design, and the Municipal Project in Early Twentieth Century Britain, Dr Neal Shashore | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

6 Nov 2018 | Architectural movements and motilities: entangled architectural histories of the British world, Professor Julie Willis | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

20 Nov 2018 | British Breakfast on Air: TV-am and the Construction of a Postmodern SpaceDr Léa-Catherine Szacka | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

4 Dec 2018 | CANCELLED. WILL BE RESCHEDULED IN SEMESTER 2. | An Athenian Sentinel? The urban evolution of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, Dr Kirsten Carter McKee | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

29 Jan 2019 | The Gothic Cathedral: Glare, Glass, Gloom?, Dr Tom Nickson | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

12 Feb 2019 | Building the global factory: Mundane Architectures of Globalization, Dr Elke Beyer | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

26 Feb 2019 | Architectural Copying and the Rise of Printing during the Renaissance, Professor Michael J Waters | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

5 March 2019 | The wandering body and wondering eye: architectural reckoning in the Renaissance, Professor Niall Atkinson | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

12 March 2019 | An Athenian Sentinel? The urban evolution of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, Dr Kirsten Carter McKee | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

26 March 2019 | After the Shock City: Urban Culture and the Making of Modern Citizenship, c. 1918-39, Dr Tom Hulme | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm

2 April 2019 | Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction, Professor Mari Lending | Minto House (Elliott Room) | 5.15pm-6.30pm



3 October | Dr Valerie Wright (University of Glasgow) 'It wis sold as utopia': Lived experience in Queen Elizabeth Square, Gorbals c. 1964-2016 

17 October | Dr Agnès Bos (University of St Andrews) Late Gothic churches in Paris and the question of the ‘Renaissance Gothic’ in France 

31 October | Professor Elizabeth McKellar (Open University) Landscapes of London: Reconceptualising the modern suburb 1660-1840 

7 November | Professor Peter Scriver (University of Adelaide) Re-imagining ‘Internationalism’ in the Architecture of Expo’67

21 November | Professor Andrew Leach (University of Sydney) Mannerism and Modern Architecture, Again

5 December | Dr James Legard (University of Edinburgh) Before "Vitruvius Britannicus": Rethinking the Origins of the British Architectural Plate Book 

16 January | Dr Emily Goetsch (University of Edinburgh) Monuments and Manuscripts: translating forms and ideas between media in medieval Iberia

30 January | Dr Marija Drėmaitė (Vilnius University) | Baltic modernism in the context of Soviet architectural awards

13 February | Dr Carolyn Yerkes (Princeton University) Piranesi's Precious Metals

CANCELLED: TO BE RESCHEDULED | 6 March | Professor Nicholas Bullock (University of Cambridge) | May 1968 and the Architecture of Revolt 

20 March | Dr Otto Saumarez Smith (University of Oxford) | Flumes and Verrucas: A Short History of the Early Years of the British Leisure Centre 

3 April | Dr Ann-Marie Akehurst (Independent Scholar, York) Plain Truth: taking Architecture seriously with the Early Religious Society of Friends 



27 September | Dr Barnabas Calder (University of Liverpool) | Brutalism: the best architecture there has ever been 

4 October 2016 | Professor Florian Urban (Glasgow School of Art) | The New Tenement - Re-housing the Inner City 

18 October 2016 | Dr Andres Kurg (Estonian Academy of Arts)Against Stagnation: Estonian Collective Farms and Postmodern Architecture in the Soviet Union 

1 November 2016 | Professor Iain Boyd Whyte (University of Edinburgh)Modernity, Architecture and the City 

15 November 2016 | Professor Philip Goad (University of Melbourne)Bauhaus Australia: modernism, migration and exile 

22 November 2016 | Marrikka Trotter (Harvard University)Floodmarks, Casts, and Fragments: Soane and Gandy's Proleptic Extinction 

29 November 2016 | Dr Leslie Topp (Birkbeck, University of London)Freedom and the Cage: Modern Architecture and Psychiatry in Central Europe 1890-1914

31 January 2017 | Dr Dagmar Motycka Weston (University of Edinburgh)The Thematic Content of Le Corbusier’s Musée Mondial: Nature and Perspectivity 

14 February 2017 | Dr Thomas-Leo True (The British School at Rome)Palazzo Gallo at Osimo: researching an unattributed Renaissance cardinal’s palace at the periphery of the Papal States 

28 February 2017 | Dr Alex Bremner (University of Edinburgh)The Expansion of England? Rethinking Scotland’s Place in the Historiography of British Imperial Architecture 

14 March 2017 | Professor Anthony Geraghty (University of York)Architecture about Architecture: Castle Howard and the English Baroque 

28 March 2017 | Diane Watters (Historic Environment Scotland)Cardross Seminary: Fate, Failure or Tragic Myth? 



Dr Hannah Malone (University of Cambridge)Death, architecture and propaganda in Fascist Italy

Dr Robin Schuldenfrei (Courtauld Institute of Art)Urban Objectivity: The Theory and Architecture of the Werkbund Display Window

Simpson Visiting Professor, Professor Barry Bergdoll (Columbia University)Reading Mile High: Frank Lloyd Wright takes on Chicago

Jack Self (REAL Foundation and Architectural Review)Designing With Capital

Professor Christine Stevenson (Courtauld Institute of Art)Is Your Joiner Famous? The Natural History of the Artificer in Late Seventeenth-Century England

Dr Katie Jakobiec (University of Edinburgh)Grain, Stone, Ink: The Stuff of the Polish Renaissance

Dr Elizabeth Petcu (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)Fabrications of Flesh: Wendel Dietterlin and the Dissection of Architecture

David Hemsoll (University of Birmingham)What was it that Brunelleschi thought he was doing?

Professor William Whyte (University of Oxford)Feeling faithful: The Victorian Church and the Architecture of Affect

Professor Mark Crinson (University of Manchester)Compartmentalized worlds: Race, architecture, and colonial crisis in East Africa



Dr Giovanna Guidicini (Glasgow School of Art)Wilderness and tamed nature in Early Modern Scottish celebrations

Jonathan Massey (California College of the Arts)Risk Design

Elain Harwood (English Heritage)The British New Towns 1945-75 and the importance of Cumbernauld

Dr Elizabeth Darling (Oxford Brookes University)Between moribund traditionalism and inventive modernism? : the problem of BBC Broadcasting House

Dr Cole Roskam (University of Hong Kong)Non-Aligned Architecture: China's Designs on and in Ghana and Guinea, 1955-1992

Dr Michael HallThe Holiness of Beauty: George Frederick Bodley and the Aesthetic Movement

Dr Richard Williams (Edinburgh College of Art)The Creative City: It's War! (How to Write a History of the So-Called Creative City: History, Theory and Practice from WW2 to the Present)

Dr Ralph Ghoche (Barnard College, New York)The Problem of Ornament: Organicism and its Afterlife

Dr Louis P Nelson (University of Virginia)Architectures of Empire in Jamaica: the Scottish Connection