Call for Papers

New Directions in Gothic Revival Studies Worldwide

13-14 July 2012, University of Kent, Canterbury

This conference will be the primary international academic event marking the bicentenary of the birth of the architect A.W.N. Pugin, bringing the field’s leading scholars worldwide to a broadbased conference at Canterbury. It will also be the first conference on the British Gothic Revival’s international impact that incorporates North America, and the first significant international conference on the subject since  ‘Gothic Revival: religion, architecture and style in Western Europe’ (Leuven, 1997).
There will be opportunities to visit key Pugin sites immediately before and after the conference.  In association with the Pugin Society, the Victorian Society and the Landmark Trust we will offer visits to The Grange and St Augustine’s in Ramsgate.  Further tours and walks will be organised over the following week to Gothic Revival sites in Birmingham and Staffordshire.
The academic sessions of the conference will be held on 13-14 July 2012 at the University of Kent in Canterbury.  We invite submissions of paper proposals, for delivery as  20-minute conference talks, on Pugin and topics related to the post-1830 Gothic Revival, with a view to showcasing the best of current work in the intersecting fields that make up Gothic studies in architecture.  Contributions on Pugin’s cultural legacy in non British contexts, e.g. Ireland, Continental Europe, North America, Australasia, &c., are equally welcome.  We are interested in making this conference interdisciplinary, and so, are keen to consider papers from not only Architectural History, but also History, Art History, English and American Literature, Religious and Cultural Studies.
This conference is organised by CREAte, the Centre for Research in European Architecture of the Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent, following our successful hosting of the AHRA conference on ‘Scale’ last year. An international peer review board appointed by CREAte will review submissions.  Professor Martin Bressani (McGill University) and Professor Jan De Maeyer (KADOC, Leuven University) will act as external academic
advisers to the review process.  A book with edited versions of conference papers is under active consideration.
The conference will also feature plenary addresses by:
  • Professor Emeritus Stephen Bann, University of Bristol ‘Pugin and the French Connection’.
  • Professor Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design of the Museum of Modern Art, New York ‘Pugin and the Paradoxes of Historicism’.
  • Dr Margaret Belcher, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand ‘Pugin’s Letters’.
  • Professor Thomas Coomans, ASRO, Catholic University, Leuven ‘The English Gothic Revival’s impact in the Congo’.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
  • the Gothic Revival after 1830, including twentieth-century revivals
  • Architecture’s social agency from Pugin onwards
  • Architecture’s role in historical revivalism
  • Re-theorising Pugin’s functionalism;
  • How Gothic architecture provides a tool to analyse the nineteenth century
  • Literary versus architectural Gothic
  • Spectrality, spiritualism, and the revival of Gothic
  • The space of cultural memory / the sense of place.
Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words.  Last date for submission of abstracts:  30 September 2011. Notification of acceptance of abstract:  31 December 2011.
Conference website:
Please submit your abstract to:
For any enquiries, please contact Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, CREAte,