GAHTC had its origins in informal conversations between Mark Jarzombek and Vikramaditya Prakash, while they were at work on the second edition of A Global History of Architecture (Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash; Wiley 2006, 2010). The purpose of that textbook, which was organized by time-cuts rather than, for example, nation-states or regions or styles, was to offer a framework for instructors in breaking free of the Eurocentric canonical categories that structure the current historiographical narrative. After the publication of the first edition, it became clear that the problem was not just which material to include, but also the deep-seated uncertainty of teachers in presenting this material. This was a problem particularly for junior faculty who are just starting their teaching careers, most of whom had limited exposure to the larger world of history outside of their Ph.D. preparation. And yet, these people were often tasked with preparing and presenting material that, however interesting, appeared strange and daunting to them, since it lay outside the zone of familiar 'research'. The solution for many teachers was to simply add in a lecture or two encompassing 'non-western' material. Another problem entailed the continuing dominance of modernism in histories of architecture; if one looks at the existing body of research in architectural history, one might think that all known history about architecture is confined to the last two hundred years.Cover for Global History of Architecture

What is needed, consequently, is not so much a discussion about how to teach the students, but how to teach the teachers.   To do that, we came up with the idea of a special forum where teachers could self-produce ready-to-teach, lecture materials, which they could then share with each other, and in the process, take the ghost out of the global perspective. That is how the idea of GAHTC was born--as a free, online resource of global architectural history teaching materials created and curated by a collaborative of teachers.

To revise and enrich the global survey, what is needed is not the slow march of traditional research but rather a rapid-response mechanism that could deal directly with the crisis of teaching within an expanded field. 

The ambition of the GAHTC is to address the needs of educators in diverse disciplinary contexts by providing practical lecture materials for teaching global architectural history at the survey level. This effort does not preclude more advanced level education, but the main purpose of the Collaborative is to transform the discipline 'from below'—that is, to help shape the discourse of architectural history by reshaping its teaching at the survey level. Teaching materials produced by the GAHTC will emphasize trans-national and trans-geographical perspectives, providing alternatives to architectural and art history courses organized by nation-based or style-based categories such as Italian', 'French', 'Chinese' and 'The Renaissance'.

Generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the GAHTC will dedicate its newest grant of a $1.5 million to promoting the development of survey course material in the history of architecture, thus strengthening its position within humanities teaching, while also sponsoring teacher-to-teacher conversations that support pedagogy with a global perspective.

To accomplish these goals, the GAHTC has created six new funding opportunities for research and teaching. You can find more information on the various grants here

GAHTC1 and GAHTC2: Content Creation

Phase 1 of the GAHTC supported the collaboration of a community of scholars from around the world committed to infusing a global perspective within the academic preparation of architectural historians.  It attracted 98 members from the USA, Europe, Canada, Peru, Australia, India, China, Turkey and South Africa and hosted two conferences, in Boston and Chicago, with 50 and 65 registered attendees each. A third members’ conference in Seattle united 90 participants. The rapid growth of the organization, not anticipated in the original planning of GAHTC, is a testament to the timeliness of the effort and the breadth of the interest in GAHTC’s resources.

With the success of the GAHTC1 (2013-2016), we realized not just the viability of the project, but even more importantly, the enormous scale of the problem. For that reason, GAHTC2 (2016-2019) was designed to be even more proactive in helping teachers develop curriculum.

The Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative lecture library now has over 200 lectures on its free, teacher-to-teacher platform and continues to grow as scholars from all over the world join the GAHTC, and contribute their research, helping the collaborative to thrive.

As the GAHTC has developed, so too has the core impetus behind its inception.  The third edition of A Global History of Architecture (Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash; Wiley, 2017) has just been published.  It features full color and longer narratives telling better global stories.


The GAHTC is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with administrative connection to MIT's School of Architecture and Planning and its History Theory and Criticism Program.

Coming soon!

Map Builder Tool 

This tool will be embedded into our website and will allow any member to create a map, save that map to their profile, and share their map in a map gallery on GAHTC.org. Working with a designer and cartographer, we are developing the map builder to have a number of basic base maps to choose from (political boundaries, satellite imagery, terrain, etc.) with a toolbar to allow for members to draw, lines, points, circles, rectangles, irregular shapes and text. 

Advanced Search 

 To this end, our web developer will build an advanced search function that allows users to narrow their search by geography, with the search results shown on a 3D globe. Search result relevance will be designated through a heat map. 

Current Modules in the Works

Targeted Acquisition Grants

  1. Between Constantinople and Karakorum: The Architecture of Pre-Modern Russia
  2. Global Conservation: Preservation, Reuse and Sustainability
  3. Sites and Systems of Indigenous North America (Pre-Columbian Cites and Settlements): The Olmec, Zaptotecs and Mixtecs of Oaxaca, the Mayan of the Yucatan, and the Puebloans of the San Juan and Colorado River Basins
  4. Southern African Formations of Spatial Culture
  5. Japanese Architecture: History Through Production Systems 
  6. Soviet Constructivism: ‘Design and Politics’ and ‘Utopia in Tatters’
  7. The African City: A Global Architectural History
  8. Church architecture in the Principality of Moldova, 1457-­‐1600
  9. West African Modernism
  10. Indigenous Architectures and the Living Landscape of North America
  11. Oceania’s Pathways: Voyaging and Vernacular Architecture
  12. Gothicness
  13. Continuity and Change in the Architecture of Sub-Saharan Africa
  14. Shaping Place in Mesoamerica
  15. Asian Architecture on the Cultural Borders   
  16. The Quintessence of Pre-Columbian Cities
  17. Place-Making and World Seeking on the Swahili Coast
  18. The Forgotten Women of WWII Architecture
  19. The Architecture of Japan

Research-to-Teaching Grants

  1. The Architecture of Public Housing in the Cold War Middle East: The Example of Iran (1948-68)
  2. Patron Kings of Hindu Temples

Emerging Scholars Grants

  1. Globalizing the Video Architectural History Timeline Project
  2. Infrastructural Turn

Untargeted Field Initiated Grants

  1. Technologies of Movement (Part III)
  2. Port Cities Between Global Networks and Local Transformations
  3. Wood Architecture in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia
  4. History by Timecuts
  5. Mobile Architectures

Global Connections Fellowship
  1. Globalizing Asian Histories
  2. Our North is the South: Intercultural Processes in Latin American Architecture 

Recent GAHTC Events

Architectural Research in Europe Network Association (ARENA), "Pedagogical Challenges of a Global Architectural History Education," Paper Session, London, UK, November 2018.

"Curating a GAHTC Syllabus," Workshop, World History Association. Milwaukee, WI, June 2018.

"Pedagogical Approaches to Re-Centering the Architectural Canon," Round Table, Vernacular Architecture Forum. Alexandria, VA, May 2018.

"Curating a GAHTC Syllabus," Workshop, NERWHA, Cambridge, MA, April 2018.

“GAHTC Roundtable," Roundtable, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference. Glasgow, Scotland, June 2017.

“Are We Teaching Global Yet?” Roundtable, Society of Architectural Historians  Annual Conference. St. Paul, MN, April 2018.

“Global Education: Pedagogy and Reality.” Paper Session, American Association of Geographers. New Orleans, LA, April 2018.

“The New Global: Architectural History Education and the Ethics of Millennial Citizenship." Paper Session, ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture). Denver, CO, March 2018.

Recently Added Modules

Upcoming GAHTC Events

AHA, Chicago, Panel and Exhibitor, January, 2019.

College Arts Association (CAA), "The GAHTC and Globalizing Architectural History," Paper Session, New York, NY, January 2019.

World History Association & Global Urban Humanities Project, "Decolonizing Architectural History," Paper Session, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 2019.

European Architectural History Network & SAH New Zealand and Australia (SAHANZ), Sydney, AU, July 2019.

GAHTC Members' Conference, Miami, FL, April 2019.