Mellon Fellowship Lecture Series | Ayala Levin

Tue, Nov 8, 2016, 12:00 pm

To advance the growing field of urban humanities, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative offers a year-long fellowship to visiting scholars, architects, critics, curators, and artists, providing an opportunity to engage in urban research with support from academic resources across campus. Mellon Fellows teach courses and conduct research in an inter-disciplinary manner with departments outside their field.

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities invites the University community to attend an afternoon lecture delivered by current Princeton-Mellon Fellow Ayala Levin and titled Post-Tropicality: Architecture in Postcolonial Nigeria and Ghana, 1960s-1970sAyala will be in conversation with Lucia Allais (Architecture). Please register here.

Levin will address questions of tropical architecture within the context of decolonization by focusing on the campus of the University of Ife in West Nigeria, designed by Israeli Bauhaus graduate Arieh Sharon in 1961-1979. In lieu of a response, Lucia Allais will approach similar themes through a nearby case study: the National Museum of Ghana in Accra, originally designed by Jane Drew and Max Fry in 1957, with a proposed addition by Franco Minissi in 1964.


Ayala Levin is an architectural historian specializing in architectural and urban planning international aid in postcolonial African states. In her dissertation, which she has recently completed at Columbia University, she critically examines the export of Israeli architectural and planning development models to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Ethiopia in the 1960s-1970s. At Princeton, Levin will continue to explore architectural aid in the global south as a site of knowledge production by situating the emergence of environmental planning in the US in conjunction with the work of American architects, planners, and landscape architects in Africa from the mid 1950s to the late 1970s.

Levin has received various grants and awards, including Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship (SSRC-IDRF), and the Graduate Research Fellowship of the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University. She is a contributor to the Systems and the South project of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, and a project co-chair in the Global History of Architecture Teaching Collaborative. Before joining the Princeton-Mellon Initiative, she has taught at Pratt Institute and Columbia University, and held a European Research Council postdoctoral position at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

School of Architecture, Betts Auditorium