A railway station in Beer Sheva, Israel, in 1917. The Ottomans built the route to move troops during World War I.
Library of Congress A railway station in Beer Sheva, Israel, in 1917. The Ottomans built the route to move troops during World War I.

Three scholars have been named as recipients of the 2016 SAH/Mellon Author Award, which supports scholars working on their first book. The award is an initiative of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. None of the three books has been published yet. This year's recipients all focus on Germany before the Second World War:

Peter Christensen
Germany and the Ottoman Railways: Art, Empire, and Infrastructure (Yale University Press)

Christensen is assistant professor of art history at the University of Rochester, and he completed his Ph.D. According to the SAH, his book "examines the politics surrounding the construction of train stations, settlements, maps, bridges, monuments, and an archaeological canon within the context of the Ottoman railway network, taking into account political, geographic, topographic, archaeological, constructional, architectural, and urban perspectives. Christensen argues that the early internationalization of infrastructure construction bore some of the trademarks of imperialism while also syncretizing cultural difference in a new visual idiom that represented emergent nationalisms."

Itohan I. Osayimwese
Colonialism and the Archive of Modern Architecture in Germany (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Osayimwese is assistant professor of history of art and architecture at Brown University. According to the SAH, her book "considers the effects of colonialism, travel, and globalization on the development of modern architecture in Germany from the 1850s to the 1930s and argues that a rise of a new modern language of architecture within Germany during this period was shaped by the country's colonial and neo-colonial entanglements in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. This book will be published as part of the 'Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment' series edited by Dianne Harris."

Robin Schuldenfrei
Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany 1900–1933 (Princeton University Press)

Schuldenfrei is the Katja and Nicolai Tangen Lecturer in 20th-century Modernism at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. According to the SAH, her book "examines the disconnect between the Modern Movement’s democratic and utopian discourse and existing design and production structures. Schuldenfrei argues that this resulted in the emergence of modern luxury objects and elite architectural commissions that championed modernism's democratic ideals but were all too often out of the reach of the very people they purported to serve."

Applications for the next round of awards will open in March 2017.