Ginger Nolan Wins the 2022 SAH | Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment from the Society of Architectural Historians


The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce that Ginger Nolan has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 SAH | Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment. A collaboration between SAH and Places Journal, the award supports the production of a major work of public scholarship that considers the history of race and the built environment through a contemporary lens.

Nolan is an assistant professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. Her research examines relationships between architecture, media, infrastructures, and race in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has published two books with the University of Minnesota Press: Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Racial Science and Twentieth-Century Design (2021) and The Neocolonialism of the Global Village (2018). Her work has been recognized by the Graham Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Terra Foundation, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.

Nolan’s project, “Responding to Racialized Risk: African American Insurance, Churches, and Co-Ops,” will examine the strategies that African Americans developed to contend with their exclusion from access to financial capital, affordable housing, and other infrastructures of household risk management. Her proposed article will draw on archives of African American insurance companies, banks, church-sponsored housing projects, and rural co-operatives, as well as articles and ads in African American magazines. The article will also address continuing barriers faced by non-EuroAmericans in accessing infrastructures of risk management, highlighting how those infrastructures are still integral to the global-northern conquest of space and capital.

Nolan will receive a $7,500 honorarium to fund archival research and travel, which will begin this year. Her research will culminate in a public lecture presented by SAH and the publication of an article in Places.

Established in 2021, the SAH | Places Prize was envisioned by Charles L. Davis II, associate professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and co-chair of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group.

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