Cephas’ research particularly focuses on how technology and labor converged with formulations of race and class identities to shape urban landscapes during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was a 2019 W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 2020 to support his continuing work on the Black Architects Archive, an interactive digital repository of architectural practice that maps the genealogy of black architects from the nineteenth century to the present. Cephas also currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Education. His book Fordism and the City: How an Industrial Aesthetic Shaped the Urban Imaginary is under review with University of Minnesota Press, and he has a second book project in progress, titled Migration, Monument, Memory: Architecture and Urban Form across Detroit’s Contested Histories.
Cephas received his Ph.D. in History of Architecture and Urban Planning from Harvard University in 2014, and also holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan and served as the 2011 Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Cephas is also the founding director of Studio Plat, a geospatial research and development practice that examines the past, present, and future of cities.
Jay Cephas comes to the Princeton School of Architecture from his former position as Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Northeastern University, where he was affiliate faculty in the Masters of Urban Planning and Policy Program, the Africana Studies Program, and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks.