Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2320
Location:Room 4.09, Minto House, 20 Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JZ
BA (Hons), MArch (Deakin), PhD (Cantab), FRHistS
Alex joined Architecture at the University of Edinburgh in 2005. He read for his PhD at the University of Cambridge (Gates Scholar 2001-04), where he specialised in the history and theory of Victorian architecture. Between completing his doctorate and arriving at Edinburgh, Alex was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (Yale University). He is a recipient of both the Hawksmoor Medal (Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain) and the Founders’ Award (Society of Architectural Historians, USA) for outstanding scholarship in the field of architectural history. His most recent book Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire c.1840-70 (Yale UP) also received the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion for 2013 from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.
Alex's research interests include the history of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British architecture, architecture and empire, national identity and its relationship to the wider built environment, and religious architecture (particularly Anglican and non-conformist cultures in Britain and its colonial empire during the nineteenth century). He teaches in all areas of the MA Architectural History programme at Edinburgh. He lectures in years 1 and 2 on topics ranging from Ancient Egypt to the present day. He also offers special subjects at Honours level (years 3 and 4) in the history of Victorian architecture and the history of British imperial and colonial architecture.
Alex is currently Deputy Editor of Architectural History, the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, and a UK representative of the pan-European e-COST network 'European Architecture Beyond Europe'.
Victorian architecture; nineteenth-century theory; British imperial and colonial architecture; post-colonial history and theory; architecture and nationalism; religious architecture.
Alex's research focuses primarily on the history and theory of British imperial and colonial architecture. He is currently working on a study of British architecture in the Caribbean, considering the post-slavery economy, the move to autonomous government, and its architectural cosequences across the region and within a wider Atlantic context. He is also engaged in editing two volumes for Oxford University Press: one (with Jonathan Conlin), through the British Academy, looking at the life and times of the noted English historian and public intellectual E. A. Freeman (1823-92), provisionally titled Making History: Edward Augustus Freeman and Victorian Cultural Politics (2014); the other, a companion volume for the Oxford History of the British Empire series entitled Architecture and Urbamism in the British Empire (2015), which, when complete, will be the first comprehensive overview of the subject in print.
More recently Alex has published a study of Anglican church architecture in Britain and its colonial empire during the mid-nineteenth century with Yale University Press, entitled Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, c.1840-1870. This study focuses on the intellectual origins and motives underpinning the transformation in ecclesiastical design during this period, reassessing the ways in which High Victorian theory affected attitudes towards the role of Anglicanism and its ecclesiological manifestations in the non-European world.
It is cross-disciplinary and considers ecclesiastical architecture in the context of contemporary debate on missionary theology, scientific theory, sexuality, race, national identity, and the political economy of art. It will examine buildings and designs both in and intended for Canada, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The study will be the first comprehensive and systematic analysis of the topic. Alex's edited volume on religious architecture in the British empire, entitled Ecclesiology Abroad: The British Empire and Beyond (Victorian Society, 2012) was described by The Times as a 'pioneering' account of 'how Christian architecture became yoked to the Empire's cause', demonstrating 'the spiritual seal on the expansion of Empire and its most visible and enduring outward sign.' He recently received an AHRC Early Career Fellowship to complete his work on religious architecture in the British empire.
From January 2014 Alex will be resident at the British School in Rome as the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art's 'Rome Fellow'. He will be conducting research on the two Anglican churches in that city by the celebrated English architect G. E. Street (1824-81).
Architectural History 1 ('Intro. to World Architecture' & 'Revivalism to Modernism')
Architectural History 2 ('Order and the City' & 'Culture and the City')
Texts and Theories in Western Architecture
Victorian Architecture: Themes and Ideas 1840-1910
Architecture and Empire in Britain and the British Colonial World 1783-1947
This article was published on Jul 14, 2011