University of Southern California (USC)

University of Southern California (USC)

Los Angeles, CA


USC Architecture Adds Two New Faculty

By Melissa19
Jun 7, '18 7:09 PM EST

USC Architecture has hired two new faculty members that will start in the fall semester.

Faiza Moatasim will be joining the USC School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor. Her appointment is a result of an open-rank urbanism/urban design faculty search that was held this spring. Professor Moatasim joins USC from Hamilton College, where she has been a Visiting Assistant Professor and a postdoctoral fellow since 2015. Her research interests include modern architecture and urban planning, modern colonial and post-colonial urbanism, low-income housing, and urban informality. Her current work examines the interplay between formally and informally planned spaces in the high-modernist city of Islamabad, Pakistan.

Moatasim's book manuscript, "Elite and 'Ordinary' Informalities: The Making of Islamabad by the Rich and the Poor," offers a contemporary history of the national capital of Pakistan by focusing on low- and high-income residential and commercial spaces that exist outside of the official planning framework. While existing scholarship on planned modernist cities frames informal urban phenomena as inherent contradictions to the 'ideal' plan, her work demonstrates that users of all income groups, sometimes with official consent, participate in informal spaces because they provide opportunities for resistance and accommodate aspirations of both the rich and the poor. Additional research projects include published work on history, materialities, and modalities of street hawking in Islamabad; and a major second book project on how public and private security have indelibly shaped contemporary urban built environments.

She received a B.Arch from the National College of Arts in Pakistan; an M.Arch from McGill University; and a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from the University of Michigan.

Ginger Nolan will also join the School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2018. Professor Nolan's appointment comes as a result of an open-rank, architectural theory faculty search held this past semester.

Professor Nolan joins USC from the University of Basel, where she has been a postdoctoral fellow since 2016. Her work is situated at the intersections of architecture, media theory, and race studies. Specifically, she examines how constructions of race have been formulated through spatial, aesthetic, and technological practices.

Nolan is currently finishing a book manuscript, "Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Architecture, Technology, and the Making of Magical Thought," to be published by the University of Minnesota Press. The project has received support from the DAAD, the Social Science Research Council, the Terra Foundation, and the Graham Foundation for Art and Architecture. She is also currently researching the architectural-infrastructural constitution of citizenship (and non-citizenship), examining how the expansion of cash-crop agriculture in the Americas and Africa required new architectures and infrastructures to link rural, colonized, enslaved, and landless peoples to systems of governance and commerce. Related to this project, she has a short book forthcoming in the University of Minnesota Press's Forerunners series, entitled "Semiotic Poverty in the World: From Villagization to Global Village."

Nolan holds a Ph.D. in Architectural History & Theory and Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University; a Master of Architecture from MIT; and a BA in Comparative Literature from Brandeis University. Her work has been published in Grey Room, Thresholds, Al (Architecture and Ideas), Avery Review, Architectural Theory Review, and Volume magazine.