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Revivalism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives


The Welsh School of Architecture are hosting a conference to examine the legacies of the past and the past’s recreation under the broad label of ‘revival’ across time, place, and discipline: how and why has the past been reworked, recreated, or revived; what are the minimum requirements for work(s) to be considered a revival; can revivals be counter-cultural?

The conference also wishes to examine how revivals have been interpreted (both positively and negatively); and how revivals can be and are set against the source material that inspired them.

  • Date: Monday 19 February 2024
  • Location: Welsh School of Architecture |Cardiff University
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, University of Cambridge

The past often informs the present in many, interconnected ways. For example, Howard Colvin in his well-known essay on the ‘Gothic Survival and Gothick Revival’ offers a nuanced reading of medieval architecture’s perpetuation in C17–C18 Britain (‘Gothic Survival’) and the style’s quite separate revival. Like the ‘Gothic Revival’, references to and recreations of the past can take many different forms across the arts and humanities; these revivals can leverage mimesis, or perhaps they are more frivolous and based upon loose associationism. Revivals’ form, fidelity, function, and motivation are therefore varied and crucial to understanding and mapping the materiality and ideas from history to its continued relevance, recycling, and recreation in the present.


Date: 19 February 2024
Location: The Welsh School of Architecture

9.00–9.30 Refreshments
9.30–9.45 Welcome
9.45–10.45 Plenary - Revivalism, Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin (University of Cambridge)
10.45–12.00 Session 1 - Fiske Kimball and the Politics of the Colonial Revival - Prof. Jean-François Bédard (Syracuse University, NY) , The English Temporary Triumphal Arches ‘Revival’ in Shanghai, 1887–1903 Di Zhao (University of Cambridge) Mapping Revivals, Defining Style: The Alhambresque in the Long Nineteenth Century, Dr Lieske Huits (Leiden University)
12.00–12.45 Lunch
12.45–14.00 Session 2 - The Tudor Revival Houses Tim Horne (Historic England), James Wyatt’s Westminster: A Turning Point in the Gothic Revival? Dr Murray Tremellen (University of York), Southwark Cathedral’s Reredos: Restoration and Revival Regina Noto (Brown University)
14.00–15.15 Session 3  -  Notions of Present and Past in Giambattista Tiepolo’s Renaissance-Revival, Dr Torsten Korte (FHNW Basel and the University of Bern), The Medievalisms of Victorian Stained Glass, Martin Crampin, (University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies), Guises of the Picturesque: Revivifying the British Surface, Prof. Em. Stephen Kite, (Cardiff University)
15:15–15.30 Refreshments
15.30–16.20 Session 4 - Prototype of earnest revivalism: Old Somerset House, London, and the establishment/ notion of a national style, Dr Manolo Guerci (Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent), Reviving the Ruins: Spolia and Sandown Castle in the Tapestry of Architectural Revivalism, Christopher Moore (Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent)
16.20–16.50 Session 5 - Roundtable: The Recreation of The Past