Narrating the Globe: The Emergence of World Histories of Architecture is a collection of essays from architectural historians from around the world and the first comprehensive examination of the nineteenth-century architectural history survey as a literary genre. The book, to be published in fall 2023 by the MIT Press, is edited by Petra Brouwer, Martin Bressani, and Christopher Drew Armstrong.
The nineteenth century saw the emergence of a new genre of architectural writing: the grand history of world architecture. This genre often expressed a deeply Eurocentric worldview, largely dismissing non-Western architecture through narratives of historical progress and stylistic beauty. Yet even as nineteenth-century historians worked to construct an exclusive architectural canon, they were engaged in constant debate over its categories and constraints. Narrating the Globe traces the emergence of this historical canon, exposing the questions and problems that prompted the canon’s very formation.