Call for Papers: Architectural Theory Review 20.1 Terra firma Editor Jennifer Ferng

Architectural Theory Review 20.1, issue: Terra Firma

The University of Sydney
Deadline: Dec 31, 2014

Call for Papers: 
Architectural Theory Review 20.1 Terra firma
Editor Jennifer Ferng

180 million years ago, Australia was once enmeshed as part of the 
Gondwanaland supercontinent, which included Africa, South America, and 
Antarctica. Early antiquarian maps drawn by maritime explorers 
envisioned the earth as a flat, infinite surface that unfurled 
seamlessly into interconnected continents and oceans. A Genovese chart 
named after Christopher Columbus depicted the Mediterranean region 
including Portuguese discoveries encased into a perfect circle (1488). 
The Earth as an object of study has long symbolized both physical 
ground and more fluid cosmological conceptions of the world across 

Beyond methods of cartographic writing, the earth summons intellectual 
forays into topographic descriptions, natural landscapes, and 
scientific theories. In observing the geological state of the Earth, 
Charles Lyell's uniformitarianism, which used the Great Flood as the 
basis of catastrophic development, signaled an important precursor to 
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. In this sense, slow-acting 
processes such as erosion and sediment deposition, have been proposed 
agents of geological change. Even John Ruskin and Viollet le Duc 
delineated the physical outlines of mountain ranges such as the Alps as 
perceptible signs of the forces underlying nature. Later 
twentieth-century writers such as John McPhee in Annals of the Former 
World mapped the American landscape through his road journeys across 
the country in the company of famed geologists. More recently, 
architectural history and theory as well as other humanities fields 
have explored geology, ecology, and landscape studies in diverse forms 
– one such notable trend is "landform building" where buildings have 
begun to emulate natural formations. Moving away from a human-centred 
world, approaches to deep history (Andrew Shyrock and Daniel Smail) and 
big history (David Christian and Cynthia Stokes Brown) evoke the 
immense scale of the past by beginning with the birth of the universe. 
Continental drift and plate tectonics not only begin to re-position 
human beings against the age of the earth but also summon global 
theories as attempts to explain the presence of mountains, valleys, 
volcanoes, and earthquakes.

Architectural Theory Review special issue 20.1 will address a wide 
spectrum of historical and contemporary topics dealing with the earth 
and its attendant representations throughout time. How have humanities 
fields in architecture, art history, history, and literature redefined 
the earth as point of polemics in light of cultural, scientific, 
political and social revolutions? We invite submissions that examine 
the following topics (but not limited to): cartography; architectural 
design in relation to volatiledisasters; energy and matter; geological 
thought in architecture; interior and external environments; mining and 
industry; natural history; scales of history in relation to the 
anthropocene era such as deep time; underground spaces.

The deadline for completed manuscripts is 31 December 2014. Please send 
all enquiries to editor Jennifer Ferng at 
All manuscripts can be uploaded via the journal website:
                 Ph.D. in Technologies for the Exploitation
                 of the Built Heritage .
                 Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Architecture
                 College of Engineering , University of Mosul 
                 Mosul - Iraq .
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