Amber N. Wiley is awarded the prestigious H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship for one year of worldwide travel to visit architectural and cultural sites throughout the Americas, Africa and Asia.
by SAH News | Dec 01, 2013
Amber N. Wiley, visiting professor at Tulane School of Architecture, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH). The prestigious fellowship awards $50,000 to a recent graduate or emerging scholar for one year of travel to experience architecture and landscapes firsthand.
Wiley has taught architecture, urbanism and preservation courses at Tulane since 2011. Her research interests are centered on the social aspects of design and how architecture affects urban communities as a literal and figural structure of power. While teaching traditional architectural history classes, Wiley and her students also have experimented with integrating architecture into digital and public humanities. Wiley holds a B.A. in architecture from Yale University, an M.A. in architectural history from University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, and a Ph.D. in American studies from George Washington University.
“Amber Wiley is the perfect inaugural H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellow. She is teaching world architecture to her students at Tulane but has admitted that she has never actually visited many of the buildings in her lectures,” said SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga. “Amber is exactly the type of professional who Allen Brooks hoped his fellowship would help—a bright and promising architectural historian who will benefit from seeing and experiencing the buildings, landscapes and cityscapes that she will be teaching about for the rest of her career. Allen saw the fellowship as an opportunity for learning, reflection and professional and personal growth.”
Wiley plans to use the fellowship to travel to countries located in the Americas, Africa and Asia that have complicated histories and are influenced by indigenous cultural practices, colonialism, war, shifts in political economy, stark inequities and heritage tourism.
“I am dedicated to teaching and bringing lesser-known histories of design and culture to my students, who will go out into the world with the lessons they have learned and address issues of society through design in informed and empathetic ways,” said Wiley.
Her 12-month voyage will include sites throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. Touring these countries will give Wiley firsthand knowledge of the sites she teaches about and the chance to study preservation practices on the international level.
“This opportunity is pivotal and life-changing, and I feel honored and blessed to receive this award that carries forward the legacy of the esteemed H. Allen Brooks,” said Wiley. “This award isn't just for me—it's for my future students who will reap the benefits of what I will learn along this journey, and I believe that is exactly what Dr. Brooks intended.”
The H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship was established in 2010 by a bequest from noted scholar and architectural historian H. Allen Brooks, who wished to afford others the opportunity to learn through travel as he had. The fellowship is not for the purpose of doing research for an advanced academic degree, but rather to acquire knowledge through experiential, contemplative study that will contribute to future scholarship and to society. Brooks was an active member and past president of SAH and is best known for his groundbreaking 1972 book, The Prairie School: Frank Lloyd Wright and His Midwest Contemporaries.
SAH awards more than 40 fellowships and grants each year. For more information on the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship and other opportunities, visit www.sah.org/fellowships-and-grants. Follow Wiley’s year-long journey through photos and journal entries posted to the SAH website and blog.
The Society of Architectural Historians promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH is headquartered in Chicago’s historic Charnley-Persky House, one of the few extant residences designed with the combined talents of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. The Society publishes its quarterly print and online Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH) and the Buildings of the United States book series, organizes study tours and hosts the SAH Annual Conference, which will be held in Austin, Texas, in 2014. SAH’s other digital resources include SAH Archipedia, a media-rich online encyclopedia of American architecture, and SAHARA, a shared online image archive for teaching and research. To learn more about SAH or to become a member, visit sah.org.
- Amber Wiley