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Constructions of tradition

Submission deadline: October 15, 2017

Dossier directed by Clara Ilham Álvarez Dopico, postdoctoral research fellow, University of Cordoba (Spain), and Bulle Tuil Leonetti, research engineer, InVisu, Paris (France)

Beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, the historical neighborhoods of cities stretching from North Africa to Southeast Asia faced unprecedented levels of demolition to make way for large-scale urban renovation undertaken either by newly elected local reformers or by colonial powers eager to reinforce their authority. In keeping with the well-known dialectic between vandalism and protection, this period also witnessed the blossoming, among the intellectual and artistic classes in metropolitan areas and the colonies, of a taste for architectural orientalism.

In response, local committees, associations, and commissions of various types were created to study, document, and attempt to protect structures that were threatened or in danger of disappearing altogether. Their combat led these scholarly entities to define the identity of the heritage they were defending by placing it within larger cultural categories; in doing so, these groups contributed to the invention of tradition and promoted the orientalization of local architecture.

This thematic dossier may include articles that take an interest in these organizations, the context in which they were created, their founder(s), their objectives, and their actions; submissions may also address the restorations or renovations realized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that shed light on the disconnect between talk of patrimonial protection, on the one hand, and phenomena of appropriation and transformation of historical architecture, on the other hand. All non-European geographic areas, from the Mediterranean basin to Central and Southeast Asia, may be included.

Submission deadline: October 15, 2017

Please send your submissions to abe[at]

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