Robin Williams

Robin Williams

  • B.A., history of art and English, University of Toronto, 1987
  • M.A., history of art, University of Pennsylvania, 1990
  • Ph.D., history of art, University of Pennsylvania, 1993

"Sharing my passion for understanding the built environment."

Robin Williams | Chair, architectural history

Awards, recognition and honors

Awards

  • Presidential Fellowship for Faculty Development, Savannah College of Art and Design, Summer 2005
  • Inclusion in the annual "40 under 40" professional leaders as selected by The Savannah Business Report and Journal, vol. 5, issue 24 (Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2003): 13
  • Citation of Excellence from the Savannah Chapter, American Institute of Architects, for the Virtual Historic Savannah Project, 2002
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Implementation grant ($150,000) for the Virtual Historic Savannah Project, 2002
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public Programs, Special Projects Planning grant ($50,280); and Georgia Humanities Council grant ($9,766) both for the Virtual Historic Savannah Project, 2000
  • Georgia Humanities Council Public Programs Grant ($2,000) and Samuel Kress Foundation Foreign Participant Grant ($2,500), both for the Savannah Symposium on the City Square, 1999
  • Listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 4th ed. (1996)
  • School of Arts and Science Dissertation Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1992
  • Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1991
  • Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, 1990
  • Isaac Perry Essay Prize, Turpin Bannister Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, 1990
  • Thomas Ustick Walter Essay Prize, Philadelphia Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, 1989
  • Non-Service Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1989
  • Teetzel Graduating Fellowship in Art History, University of Toronto, 1986
  • Teetzel Traveling Award in Art History, University of Toronto, 1986
  • Sidney Key Memorial Scholarship for Academic Achievement, University of Toronto, 1986
  • Robson Scholarship in History, University of Toronto, 1985

Boards and committees

  • Member, Georgia Representative, Board of Directors, Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, 2013-2015
  • Member, K-12 Education Committee, Society of Architectural Historians, 2010-2013
  • Member, Historic District Board of Review, City of Savannah, 2010-2015
  • Member, Board of Directors, Society of Architectural Historians, 2007-2010
  • Member, SACS QEP Academic Committee, SCAD, 2008-2009
  • Member, Alice Davis Hitchcock Award Committee, Society of Arch. Historians, 2008
  • Member, Founders' Award Committee, Society of Architectural Historians, 2007
  • Reviewer, Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants Review Panel, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC, 2007, 2009
  • Member, Consulting Committee, Owens-Thomas House Slave Quarters Interpretation project, Savannah, 2006-present
  • Member, Historic District Ordinance Revisions Committee, Metropolitan Planning Commission, City of Savannah, 2001-2004; 2008-2009
  • Board Member, Georgia National Register Review Board, 1999-2002; Chairman, 2001-2002
  • Chair, SACS Criteria VI (Administrative Processes) Accreditation Committee, SCAD, 1997-98

Consulting, off-campus programs, exhibitions

  • Consultant, Glynn County Board of Education, Brunswick, GA, 2008 - documentation, research and guidance re. moving the Old Glynn Academy Building
  • Off-Campus Trips to New York, SCAD, 1999-2004; director, 2001, 2003
  • Director, Off-Campus Trips to Canada, SCAD, 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Faculty Liaison (lead faculty), Lacoste, France, fall 2005
  • Co-curator, "Jewels in the Crown: The Architecture of the Savannah Plan" exhibition, The Octagon Gallery (AIA), Washington, DC, Nov. 2000-Jan. 2001

Organizations

Society of Architectural Historians, Southeastern Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, College Art Association, Georgia Historical Society, Historic Savannah Foundation

Previous Positions

Professor, department of art history, SCAD, 1993-96; chairman and professor, department of architectural history, SCAD, 1996-present

Publications and presentations

Select publications

  • “The Challenge of Preserving Public Memory: Commemorating Tomochichi in Savannah,” Preservation, Education and Research 5 (2012): 1-17
  • “Preface” in Naga: The Master Architect Series (Images Publishing, 2013), 4-5.
  • “A Nineteenth-Century Monument for the State,” chapter 12 in The Pantheon: From Antiquity to the Present, eds. Tod Marder and Mark Wilson Jones (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  • "Harold Allen Brooks" [obituary], Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 70, no. 1 (Mar. 2011), 3-4.
  • "Savannah Plan" and "William Jay" entries, The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • "Savannah" entry, Encyclopedia of Urban Studies, ed. Ray Hutchinson (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference Publications, 2009).
  • Review of Ashley Callahan, ed. Georgia Inside and Out: Architecture, Landscape, and Decorative Arts, for the CAA.reviews (posted Jan. 28, 2008).
  • "Evolution and Adaptation: The Savannah Plan and its Impact on Architectural Development," in Vernacular Architectural Forum 2007, Savannah and the Lowcountry: Field Guide for the 28th annual meeting, eds. Marisa C. Gomez and E.G. Daves Rossell  (Vernacular Architectural Forum, 2007), 50-53.
  • "An architectural symphony without a soloist: an historical overview of Savannah." SAH News: Society of Architectural Historians, Newsletter, vol. XLIX, no. 6 (Dec. 2005): 6-8.
  • "Colonial Architecture: Overview" entry, New Georgia Encyclopedia (Georgia Humanities Council and University of Georgia Press, 2004).
  • "Savannah College of Art and Design: Architecture Program" entry, New Georgia Encyclopedia (Georgia Humanities Council and University of Georgia Press, 2004).
  • "The Image of Secular Power: The romanità of Italian State Architecture under the Sinistra, 1876-90," in Guglielmo Calderini: La costruzione di un'architettura nel progetto di una Capitale, ed. Giorgio Muratore (Perugia, 1996): 9-23
  • "Roma Capitale: Image and Myth. Glimpses of Research in Progress. Introduction" (Proceedings of Symposium at the Canadian Academic Centre in Italy), Annali Accademici Canadesi 8 (1992): 5-8 and 15-16
  • "An Unsung Protagonist of Roma Capitale: The Ministry of Public Instruction and Its Documents at the Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome," Annali Accademici Canadesi 8 (1992): 97-105
  • "First Unitarian Church and School, Rochester, New York, 1959-69," in Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture, ed. David B. Brownlee and David G. De Long (New York, 1991), 340-45
  • Catalogue entries on Piranesi's views of pilgrimage churches and obelisks in: Piranesi, Rome Recorded: A Complete Edition of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Vedute di Roma from the Collection of the Arthur Ross Foundation, ed. Malcolm Campbell (Philadelphia, 1989; rev. ed., 1990), cat. nos. 4, 5, 6, 16, 21, 25, 40, 46, 47, 54, 55, 86, 87, 117, 122

Conference papers

  • April 2013, Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Annual Meeting, Buffalo: “In the Hands of Politicians: Reinventing Rome in the Late 1800s”
  • Oct. 2012, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Athens, GA: "'Forest City': The Historical Role of Trees in Defining Savannah's Urban Identity"
  • Oct. 2011, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Charleston, SC: “A Monument for a Chief: The Origins of Public Commemoration in America and the Evolving Perception of Native Americans”
  • Oct. 2009, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Jackson, Mississippi: "The Curious Case of Savannah Pavement"
  • Oct. 2007, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee: "Reflections on Urban Change: Patterns of Destruction and Preservation in Downtown Savannah"
  • Oct. 2004, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee: "Savannah Houses: Towards a Definition of Local Typologies"
  • Jul. 2004, Organization of American Historians: 2004 Southern Regional Conference, Atlanta: "Virtual Historic Savannah Project"
  • Feb. 2002, 2002 Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference, Macon, Georgia: "Saving the Charles Ellis Elementary School in Savannah"
  • Apr. 2001, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, Toronto: "Towards a Non-Linear Exploration of Architectural History: The Case of the Virtual Historic Savannah Project"
  • Oct. 2000, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Lexington, Virginia: "Not Another Paper on the Savannah Plan"
  • Feb. 2000, College Art Association Annual Conference, New York City: "Secularizing the Pantheon in the Service of Politics"
  • Sep. 1999, Association for History and Computing, London: "Documenting Urban Form and Transformation in 4D: The Virtual Historic Savannah Project"
  • Jul. 1999, Syllabus99 conference, Santa Clara, California: "Using V.R.M.L. - the 3-D language of the internet - as a learning tool: The Virtual Historic Savannah Project"
  • Oct. 1998, 52nd National Preservation Conference, Savannah: educational session chair and presenter, "Animating the Past: The Virtual Historic Savannah Project"
  • Aug. 1997, International Conference of Society of Industrial Designers, Toronto: "The Savannah College of Art and Design: An Alternative Urban Campus" (case history presentation)
  • Feb. 1997, College Art Association Annual Conference, New York City: "The Victor Emanuel Monument on the Capitoline: From a Controversial Site to a Site of Controversy"
  • Sep. 1995, Guglielmo Calderini: la costruzione di un'architettura nel progetto di una Capitale conference, Rome: "La romanità dell architettura dello stato sotto la Sinistra"
  • Mar. 1995, Third Meeting of the International Society for the Classical Tradition, Boston: "In Caput Mundi: The Tradition of Secular Architectural Iconography on the Capitoline"
  • Mar. 1994, Antiquity and Antiquity Transumed: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Toronto: "From the Renaissance to Antiquity in the Risorgimento"
  • Dec. 1993, Roma speculum mundi? Traditions and Ideas of Rome in the Interplay of Myth, Iconography, History and Political Liturgy between Risorgimento and Fascism conference, Rome: "In Search of a Political Platform: The Site Debate for the Victor Emanuel Monument"
  • Apr. 1993, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina: "Pantheon Possessed: Antiquity as Propaganda in Late 19th-Century Rome"
  • Apr. 1992, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, New Mexico: "In Caput Mundi: The Tradition of Secular Architectural Iconography on the Capitoline"
  • Feb. 1992. Roma Capitale: Image and Myth symposium, Canadian Academic Centre in Italy, Rome: "Creating the National Capital: The Urban Works of the Royal Italian Government"
  • Apr. 1990, 13th Annual Whitney Symposium on American Art, New York City: "Drawing on History: Louis Kahn's Sketches for his First Unitarian Church"

Conference session chairing

  • Apr. 2011, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, New Orleans: Session Chair, "Architecture and Race in the Southern City" session
  • Oct. 2010, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Session Chair, "Savannah"
  • Oct. 2008, Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) Annual Conference, Greenville, North Carolina: Session Chair, "Constructing Race Relations in the New South" session

Select invited presentations

  • The Learning Center of Senior Citizens, Savannah: “Transforming Rome into the Capital of Modern Italy,” Feb. 4, 2013, and “Remembering Tomochichi in Savannah,” Feb. 20, 2013.
  • Cityworks (X)po, Roanoke, VA: “Learning to Look Up: Celebrating the Urban and Architectural Character of Your City,” walking tour, Oct. 20, 2012
  • Historic Savannah Foundation: "A History of Savannah at the Cutting Edge," May 11, 2010
  • Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, Savannah: "Savannah: A Model of Humane Urbanism and Architectural Subtlety" (introductory address), Apr. 26, 2006
  • Panelist, "Moving Historic Houses" Roundtable, Historic Savannah Foundation, May 3, 2005
  • Presenter, "Learning from Savannah" Roundtable, AIA Regional and Urban Design Knowledge Community, Washington, DC, Apr. 1, 2005
  • 18th-Century Studies Association Annual Meeting, Savannah: "Savannah's Urban and Architectural Identity in the 18th and 19th Centuries" (keynote address), Mar. 5, 2004
  • Panelist, "Should We Protect Architecture of the Recent Past?" Roundtable, Historic Savannah Foundation, May 3, 2004
  • American Cultural Resource Association Annual Meeting, Savannah: "Virtual Historic Savannah Project" (plenary address), Oct. 26, 2002
  • Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, Savannah: "Savannah Squares and 19th-Century Architecture" (plenary address), Mar. 7, 2002
  • SEASECS, Savannah: "An Introduction to Savannah's Architectural History" (plenary address), Mar. 2, 2000
  • North Carolina Association of Art Educators Annual Meeting, Wilmington, North Carolina: "Using New Technology to Explore the Heritage and Legacy of Savannah" (keynote address)