Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture
Affiliated faculty, Department of Art History


Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi joined the faculty of Barnard in 2018. She specializes in histories of architecture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with focus on African and South Asian questions. Her work examines modernism, urbanism, and migration through diverse forms of aesthetic and cultural production. She is interested in problems of historicity and archives, decoloniality, spatial politics of heritage, and feminist historiography.

Professor Siddiqi's book manuscript Architecture of Migration analyzes a history and visual rhetoric of the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya, and the spatial politics and constructions of territory engendered in the site. Through the architecture of refugees and the spatial practice, material culture, and iconography of humanitarianism, the book examines a long tradition of migration and coloniality. Drawing from historical, ethnographic, and visual approaches, the manuscript is based on several years research in East Africa, South Asia, and Europe. Siddiqi is also developing a manuscript that engages the intellectual work of Minnette de Silva, a cultural figure from Ceylon/Sri Lanka, and one of the first women to establish a professional architectural practice. This research informs her broader work on architectural modernism, craft, urbanism, and heritage politics in the Indian subcontinent, and on East African and South Asian historical intersections.

Professor Siddiqi is the author of The L!brary Book (Princeton Architectural Press) and co-editor of Spatial Violence (Routledge), and her writing appears in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, The Journal of Architecture, Humanity, Architectural Theory Review, Grey Room, e-flux ArchitectureThe FunambulistHarvard Design Magazine, The Avery Review and the volume Things Don't Really Exist Until You Give Them A Name: Unpacking Urban Heritage. She was awarded fellowships by the Harvard University Mahindra Humanities Center, the New York University Provost and Gallatin School, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Graham Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Archaeology, and a Master of Architecture degree and professional license. She practiced architecture in Bangalore, Philadelphia, and New York and her professional background includes work for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations including the United Nations Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Women’s Refugee Commission.


Academic Focus: 

architectural history and theory,  migration, urbanism, modernism and modernity in Africa and South Asia


Fall 2018. Architectural Histories of Colonialism and Humanitarianism. This course examines the connected histories of colonialism and humanitarianism through architecture. In doing so, it takes seriously the problematics of decolonizing the study of architectural history.

Fall 2018. Histories of Architecture and Feminism. Working in the Barnard College archives and in dialogue with scholars building feminist historiographical intersections with architecture, art, urbanism, geography, territory, ecology, technology, and material culture, this course examines how histories of architecture and feminism are narrated and shaped.

Awards & Honors: 

Fulbright Scholars Program Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship, 2016-2018
American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Fellowship, 2016-2017
Graham Foundation Grants to Individuals, 2016

Presentations / Recent Lectures: 

“New Methods for the Old”: Modern Architecture, Craft, and the Labors of Minnette de Silva.” Tradition or Trans/formation? Craft, Practice and Discourse, Department of Fine Arts, Jaffna University and Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design, 2018.

“Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration.” Structural Instabilities: History, Environment, and Risk in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, 2018.

“Domesticating the Margin in East Africa.” African Studies Workshop, Center for African Studies, Harvard University, 2018.

“Learning from Dadaab: Architectural History in a Refugee Camp.” Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT Lecture Series, 2018.

“From Sri Lanka to the World: Minnette De Silva, Architecture, and History.” The Collins/Kaufmann Forum for Modern Architectural History, Columbia University, 2018.

“Humanitarian Homemaker, Emergency Subject.” Situating Domesticities in Architecture, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore, 2017.


Thank you for your interest in my work, and please contact me with any questions. These and other writings should be available through most libraries, and if not, please contact me for access.

Spatial Violence, co-editor. London: Routledge, 2016. Volume in Special Issues as Books series adapted from Architectural Theory Review 19:3 (December 2014), co-edited with Andrew Herscher.

Writing With: Togethering, Difference, and Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration.” In “Structural Instabilities,” edited by Daniel Barber and Eduardo Rega, e-flux Architecture (2018).

“Crafting the Archive: Minnette De Silva, Architecture, and History.” The Journal of Architecture (December 2017), 1299-1336.

“Architecture Culture, Humanitarian Expertise: From the Tropics to Shelter, 1953-1993.” The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 76.3 (September 2017), 367-384.

“Traversals: In and Out of the Dadaab Refugee Camps,” with Alishine Osman. In “Urban Divides,” edited by Meghan McAllister and Mahdi Sabbagh, Perspecta 50, Yale (September 2017), 173-191.

“In Favor of Seeing Specific Histories.” Grey Room 61 (Fall 2015), 86-91.


500H Diana Center

Office Hours: 

Thursday 10am-12pm
or by appointment


Ph.D., New York University Institute of Fine Arts

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