Dean Chahim

Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities

Dean Chahim, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities

Dean Chahim’s fellowship is made possible through the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Humanities Council, the University Center for Human Values, the Metropolis Project, and the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Chahim’s research examines the relationship between engineering, political power, and the production of urban environments. His current project is an ethnography and history of flood control engineering and urbanization in Mexico City. It examines how engineers, under political pressure to enable urban growth, have transformed flooding into a routinized and spatially diffuse form of environmental suffering that disproportionately affects the urban poor.

He received his PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University in 2021 and will begin as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso in September 2022. Chahim also holds a B.S.C.E. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in International Development and Social Change from the University of Washington. Before beginning his graduate training, he worked as an environmental engineer and volunteered as a community organizer in Seattle.

In the Spring, Chahim will teach a course on Design Justice, Engineering, and the Urban Environment, focused on how engineering design can be reimagined as a liberatory, collective project that challenges – rather than reinforces – systems of domination, inequality, and environmental exploitation in cities.