Samia Henni

Samia Henni's teaching and research interests include the history and theory of the built environments in relation to colonialism, displacement, gender, Islam, and wars from the first European colonization to the present. She is the author of the award-winning Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (2017), the editor of War Zones: gta papers 2 (2018), and the curator of Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria (2017–19).

She is working on a book provisionally titled Colonial Toxicity: The French Army in the Sahara. Henni taught at Princeton University, ETH Zurich, and Geneva University of Art and Design. She studied at the École polytechnique d'architecture et d'urbanisme in Algiers; Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio; The Berlage Institute in Rotterdam; and at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Henni received her Ph.D. in the history and theory of architecture (with distinction) from ETH Zurich.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Architectural history
  • Architectural theory
  • Conflicts, revolutions, counterrevolutions, and wars
  • Colonial histories, postcolonial, and anticolonial theories 
  • Natural resources extraction and nuclear energy 

Related News

Classes (Selected)

  • ARCH 6805 Practicum: Tell Me About Your ArchiveThis course exercises history of architecture and urbanism's capacities for affecting contemporary events through critical associations with the past. The workshop culminates in an exhibition, publication, symposium, curricular initiative, or other public occasion. Enrollment of qualified graduate students from associated fields is encouraged.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Silver FILAF book award, Architecture of Counterrevolution, Festival International du Livre d'Art et du Film (2018)
  • Theory of Art book award, Architecture of Counterrevolution, Festival International du Livre d'Art et du Film (2018)
  • ETH Medal, ETH Zurich (2016)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • "Colonial Toxicity," lecture, Ecology and Environment Forum, Sharjah Architecture Triennial (2019)
  •  "Designing for the "Milieu Féminin:" France's Attempts to Keep Algerian Women Away from Islamic Customs," Aga Khan lecture, Harvard GSD, Boston (2018)
  • "From Counterrevolution to Counterinsurgency," lecture, The Cooper Union (2018)

Publications (Selected)

  • "Boumedienne and Niemeyer: Militarism and Modernism," in Jason Oddy, Oscar Niemeyer in Algeria. New York: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City (2019)
  • "Colonial Prescriptions in Paris," Perspecta 52: The Yale Architectural Journal (2019)
  • "Reflections on the Authority of Architecture, Or a Brief and Unfinished Cartography of Disciplinary Spaces," in Kapwani Kiwanga: Structural Adjustments. Chicago: Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (2018)