Call for papers: Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Annual Conference

Members of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC), representatives of affiliated societies, and other scholars who wish to chair a session or present a paper at the 2009 Annual Conference in Toronto from May 20-24, 2009, are invited to submit proposals by October 15, 2008. The conference will take place at Ryerson University in the heart of downtown Toronto.

With the theme of “From Theory into Practice: Thinking Critically About Architecture, History and Theory”, the conference is chaired by George Thomas Kapelos of Ryerson University and Sharon Vattay. The conference will coincide with the annual Festival of Architecture and Design, and specifically with Doors Open Toronto (May 23-24)an annual event that celebrates the city’s architecture by providing free access to buildings that are not generally open to the public. Attendees will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to visit architectural sites throughout the city on their own over the course of Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.

The goal of the 2009 conference is to stimulate debate and discussion on the role of history and theory in the making of architecture in Canada. Recognizing that the SSAC is an organization with a broad and multidisciplinary constituency, the theme presents a challenge to the participants to consider the study of architecture from a number of different perspectives, for example:

*Why do we study architecture? Is it to inform architectural practice? Is it to ensure that our architectural resources are protected for the future? Is it to engage with an ongoing debate about the making and remaking of culture?

*How has the expanded field of knowledge and interdisciplinary studies changed the way we look at issues in architecture and heritage?

*What are the assumptions and presuppositions that we bring to the study of architecture?

Whether our interests lie in the vast array of subjects our members are exploring in their work, such as architectural and/or urban history, regionalism, sustainability, modernism, architectural practice, heritage, preservation, or landscape, the 2009 conference theme will encourage its membership to promote the quality of thought that we are bringing to the subject of the study of architecture in Canada. To facilitate the presentation of these ideas and concepts, members are encouraged to submit session proposals, perhaps through the following approaches:

*If you are affiliated with a post-secondary institution, we encourage you to formulate questions relating to your particular area of study, for discussion among your students and peer groups. The 2009 conference will welcome paper topics and sessions based on courses developed at critical thinking in the study of architecture and encourage the participation of graduate students.

*If you are engaged in the public sector, we encourage you to engage with your colleagues to reflect upon the ways in which your work, be it documentation, implementation, or policy formation, may provide a critical lens to the study of architecture in Canada.

*If you are working in the private sector, as a researcher, architect, planner, landscape architect, heritage consultant, we ask you to consider ways in which thinking critically about the study of architecture can inform your work.

*If you are engaged in any way in the study of architecture in Canada, we ask you to reflect upon ways in which the study of architecture can support community activities, local culture and identity.

Submissions should clearly state the overall session theme and should ideally include four individual paper abstracts. If approved by the scientific committee, sessions that do not have proposed paper contributions will be circulated to the membership and advertised for contributions.

For session proposals: Session proposals should include a brief description of the theme and would ideally be accompanied by up to four paper abstracts (each session will be afforded a maximum of two hours). Session Chairs are strongly encouraged to solicit graduate student papers. For those proposed sessions that are not accompanied by four paper abstracts, the abstracts submitted individually through this call, or a subsequent call for individual papers, will be used to round out the sessions.

The proposals (in the language of your choice) should include the title of the session, the name and affiliation of the Session Chair (along with contact information) and a brief description. Individual papers are to run maximum 20 minutes each and sessions are to run approximately two hours in length.

For individual papers: Those interested in presenting a paper that corresponds to the themes outlined below, should send an abstract (maxiumum 250 words, in the language of your choice). In addition to the themes below, an open session will be organized. The proposals should include the title of the paper, the name, affiliation, CV and contact information of the presenter, and a brief abstract, which will be used for publication in the Conference program. Abstracts should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. The content of the paper should be a product of original research that is primarily analytical and interpretive rather than descriptive in nature. Each paper will have to adhere to the 20 minute maximum.

Deadline for submission for sessions and papers is October 30, 2008.

Submissions and inquiries to be sent to Conference Co-Chairs: George Kapelos at and Sharon Vattay at

A Scientific Committee will review the session proposals and abstracts and will contact applicants according to the scheduled dates below. The Scientific Committee, along with the chosen Session Chairs, will also review all of the draft papers and provide comments to individual presenters.

The schedule is as follows:

*October 30, 2008 Session proposals and abstracts due (review and selection by Scientific Committee)
*November 30, 2008 Announcement of Sessions and call for further individual abstracts if required for sessions with less than four papers
*January 15, 2009 Individual Abstracts due (review and selection by Scientific Committee and Session Chairs)
*February 15, 2009 Notification of individual presenters
*March 31, 2009 Draft papers due (Scientific Committee and Session Chairs review and recommendations)
*April 30, 2009 Papers returned to authors with comments