SAH Historic Interiors Group CFP: - Emerging Scholars Symposium - Confronting the ‘Chamber of Horrors’: Taste in Interiors

The Society of Architectural Historians Historic Interiors Group (HIG), in collaboration with the University of the Arts, London (UAL), is seeking proposals for its 4th Annual Emerging Scholars Symposium, Confronting the ‘Chamber of Horrors’: Taste in Interiors. Despite being long mistrusted by academics for its apparently unreliable subjectivity, taste nonetheless remains a key component in any discussion of interior spaces. The very slippery subjectivity that makes taste suspect also imbues it with what Karin Tehve has called a “messy vitality.”  Reckoning with taste invites explorations of both the sources and limits of authority in aesthetic choices.

Graduate students, postdocs and recent graduates (2021-) from diverse disciplinary fields of study are invited to submit proposals for brief, 10-minute talks that explore the theme of taste in relation to the study and practice of historic interiors. Submissions from scholars located in Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to apply. Topics might include, but are not limited to, the role of tastemakers and influencers in shaping interior design, including those mediated by commercial, institutional, governmental and high and low cultural interventions; new approaches to studying the experiential and sensorial aspects of taste; intersections of food and design studies; reflections on the researcher’s own subjectivity; the codification of taste in design proscriptions; shifting attitudes to concepts of bad taste, tastelessness, and other rejections of hegemonic taste; and the relation of taste to axes of identity, including class, gender and race. Collisions of taste emanating from migration and cultural dissonances. The presentations will take place virtually via Teams on June 7, 2024.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words and a 2-page CV by April 1, 2024 to

Join the Society of Architectural Historians

Membership is open to all who have an interest in the history of the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life.

Become a Member

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610