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Architecture and Endurance

European Architectural History Network Thematic Conference
Middle East Technical University, Department of Architecture
30 September-2 October 2021 

Due to the still ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Organizing Committee has decided to hold the EAHN Ankara meeting as an online event.

The conference will be open to the public without a fee.

Conference sessions will be accessible via the links on the Program!

Once you complete your registration via the Zoom interface, an e-mail will be sent to you by Zoom. You can join to the conference from this link.


In recent years, there is a tendency in architectural historiography to go deep into the specific histories of single buildings and sites; to produce biographies of buildings and sites in longue durée, often bridging successive cultural contexts that might have been conventionally perceived as unrelated. This is in line with recent scholarship on eastern Mediterranean and South West Asia, as one example, where instead of sharp breaks and clean starts, the continuities, borrowings and adaptations between Greco-Roman, Byzantine and Islamic cultures are traced which productively shed light on the latter. Increasingly, the entanglements of successive polities and cultures and not only synchronically but also diachronically intertwined nature of their histories is revealed. In this conference, we would like to critically explore “endurance” as an umbrella concept and analytical category vis-à-vis architecture. We are interested in particular historical case studies of “endurance” from any historical, geographical and cultural contexts. Cases that blur the boundaries between what has been conventionally defined as “Europe,” and “European” identities with their “others” are especially welcome. 

Keynote Speakers

Plenary Session I: Keynote Speech 


Endurance and human-thing entanglement from the Neolithic to the Present

Ian Hodder was trained at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and at Cambridge University where he obtained his PhD in 1975. After a brief period, teaching at Leeds, he returned to Cambridge where he taught until 1999. During that time, he became Professor of Archaeology and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1999 he moved to teach at Stanford University as Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Çatalhöyük in Turkey where he worked from 1993 to 2018. He has been awarded the Oscar Montelius Medal by the Swedish Society of Antiquaries, the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Fyssen International Prize, the Gold Medal by the Archaeological Institute of America, and has Honorary Doctorates from Bristol and Leiden Universities. In 2019 he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen’s Honor List. His main books include Spatial analysis in archaeology (1976 CUP), Symbols in action (1982 CUP), Reading the past (1986 CUP), The domestication of Europe (1990 Blackwell), The archaeological process (1999 Blackwell), The leopard’s tale: revealing the mysteries of Çatalhöyük (2006 Thames and Hudson), Entangled. An archaeology of the relationships between humans and things (2012 Wiley Blackwell).

Plenary Session II. Keynote Speech


Forms of endurance, structures of erasure: Rethinking Byzantium in Istanbul

Çiğdem Kafescioğlu (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1996) is professor at the History Department at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She works on aspects of early modern Ottoman urban, architectural, and visual culture. She is author of Constantinopolis/Istanbul: Cultural Encounter, Imperial Vision, and the Construction of the Ottoman Capital (University Park, PA, 2010), which won the Society of Architectural Historians Spiro Kostof Award in 2011; and co-editor of Companion to Early Modern Istanbul (with Shirine Hamadeh, Brill, forthcoming in October 2021). She has received scholarships from the Aga Khan Program, the Getty Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Kafescioğlu’s recent articles include “Picturing the square, the streets, and denizens of early modern Istanbul: practices of urban space and shifts in visuality,” and “Lives and afterlives of an urban institution and its spaces: the early Ottoman imaret as mosque.” Her ongoing projects engage with urban imaginaries; residential patterns and dynamics; and urban waterscapes. Her present book project explores visual, cartographic, and literary images of city and urbanity in their connections to transforming spatial, urban, and social practices in the early modern era.

Plenary Session: Presentation on VEKAM and Ankara Studies


How enduring are memory spaces? Urban history and the role of research centers

Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu, Professor of Ottoman Art and Architecture at the Department of Archeology and History of Art at Koç University, is also the Director of Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center in Ankara. She is a member of the International Executive Committee of Medieval and Modern Ceramics Association of the Mediterranean and a member of the National Committee of International Congress of Turkish Art. Her publications are on Ottoman cities, ceramics, Ottoman architecture and art. Her recent project was the organization of the Byzantine period Tekfur Palace in İstanbul as a museum for the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Latest News

Save the Date

Conference sessions will be accessible via the links on the program!

Call for Papers

Architecture and Endurance

Endurance is a state of surviving, remaining alive; the ability to continue a given task; the power of withstanding hardship. Its original meaning implies continued existence and ability to last. As such it has implications not only for how architecture is conceptualized but also for the ways within which architectural historiography is conceived.  

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Important Dates

Abstract submission deadline: 14 February 2021
Announcement of accepted papers: 20 April 2021

Speakers’ Registration

* The details of general admission will be announced in early July.

Early Bird Registration:  18 May 2021 – 2 July 2021
(Full: 90 € + Student: 50 €)

Registration: 3 July 2021
(Full: 110 € + Student: 60 €)

Payment Information

Payment of the registration fee can be made either via bank transfer or by credit card. Bank processing fee belongs to participants.

For payment by Credit Card, 3 Euros should be added to the registration fee for bank expenses.
Please fill in and sign the registration and payment form and send it to the e-mail address of the organization company (MPV) we are working with.

Download the Registration and Payment Form.


Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture

METU Faculty of Architecture and Culture and Convention Center are on METU Campus that received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1993-1995 cycle) for its re-forestation and landscape planning. The campus master plan was designed in 1961 in a national competition by the architect couple Altuğ Çinici and Behruz Çinici, who had also designed most of the buildings between 1961 and the  late 1970s. Middle East Technical University is a major example of modern campus planning and an exhibition site of several exquisitely detailed modern buildings in Turkey. The Faculty of Architecture, a masterpiece of brutalist architecture, was granted Getty Foundation’s “Keep it modern” award in 2017. Although the campus and the faculty are part of Turkey’s mid-20th-century modernist legacy the larger territory of the university is dotted with sites from much earlier layers of history starting from the Early Bronze Age, the remains of which are on display at METU Archaeology Museum within the Faculty of Architecture’s building complex. During the conference, a tour of the university grounds, the museum and the faculty building will be organized to assess their accumulated spatial history. 

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Scientific Committee
  • Catherine Blain, École nationale supérieure d’architecture et de paysage de Lille
  • Cânâ Bilsel, METU
  • Patricia Blessing, Princeton University 
  • Mark Crinson, Birkbeck University of London
  • Stylianos Giamarelos, The Bartlett School of Architecture 
  • Shirine Hamadeh, Koç University 
  • Mari Lending, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
  • Heleni Porfyriou, Department of Cultural Heritage of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-DSU)
  • Belgin Turan Özkaya, METU
Organizing Committee
  • Cânâ Bilsel, METU (Conference co-chair)
  • Belgin Turan Özkaya, METU (Conference co-chair)
  • Ela Alanyalı Aral, METU
  • T. Elvan Altan, METU
  • Zeynep Aktüre, IZTECH
  • Çiğdem Atakuman, METU
  • Pınar Aykaç Leidholm, METU
  • Güliz Bilgin Altınöz, METU
  • Burcu Erciyas, METU
  • Erdem Erten, IZTECH
  • Namık Erkal, TEDU
  • Esin Kömez, METU
  • Mari Lending, Oslo School of Architecture and Design
  • Lale Özgenel, METU
  • Pelin Yoncacı Arslan, METU
  • Elif Bilge, METU
  • Nesrin Erdoğan, METU
  • Gizem Güner, METU
  • Egemen Berker Kızılcan, METU
  • Elif Gökçen Tepekaya, METU
  • Orçun Sena Saracoğlu, METU

European Architectural History Network

European Architectural History Network supports research and education by providing a public forum for the exchange and dissemination of knowledge of the histories of architecture. Based in Europe, it is open to architectural historians and scholars in allied fields from all countries. The EAHN Office is hosted by institutions on a rotating basis; currently the EAHN Office is based at Middle East Technical University in Ankara. The Network has members from more than 30 countries and working in many different fields and disciplines. It is proud to represent a broad and multidisciplinary constituency with a diverse approach to the built environment. EAHN has a highly acclaimed open access journal, Architectural Histories, alongside a vibrant webpage. It holds biennial international conferences and co-hosts smaller thematic events in various locations in intermediate years.