“I had to learn to read the archives against the grain.”

In This Episode

Nina Stritzler-Levine speaks with historian, theorist, and exhibitor Samia Henni about her approach to architectural history informed by her experience growing up in Algeria in the aftermath of French colonial rule. With targeted attention to the crucial role of the archive, both personal and collective, Henni poignantly highlights the significance of personal histories in combating colonial erasure.

Download a transcript of episode 2.

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Samia Henni is a historian, a theorist, an educator, and an exhibition maker of the built, destroyed, and imagined environment. She teaches at the Department of Architecture, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University. She is the author of the multi-award-winning Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (EN, gta Verlag, 2017; FR, Edition B42, 2019) and the editor of War Zones (EN, gta Verlag, 2018). She received her PhD (with distinction, ETH Medal) in the history and theory of architecture from the gta Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. She taught at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, ETH Zurich, and the Geneva University of Art and Design. She has created various exhibitions, including Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria (2017–19, Zurich, Rotterdam, Berlin, Paris, Johannesburg, Prague, Philadelphia, and Ithaca) and Housing Pharmacology at the Museum of Marseille History and Right to Housing at Grobet-Labadié Museum in Marseille, which were part of the exhibition Traits d’union.s curated by Alya Sebti, Katerina Chuchalina, and Stefan Kalmar at Manifesta 13 in Marseille (August–November 2020).
The Fields of the Future podcast amplifies the voices and highlights the work of scholars, artists, and writers who are injecting new narratives into object-centered thinking. Join us for engaging conversations between BGC faculty and fellows and their guests.