Ayala Levin Assistant Professor

Ayala Levin specializes in architectural and urban planning in postcolonial African states. Her research and teaching interests include twentieth century architecture and urbanism, non-western modernisms, and the production of architectural knowledge as part of north-south or south-south exchange. She is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the export of Israeli architectural and planning models to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Ivory Coast in the 1960s-1970s. In addition, she is co-editing two projects: A Journal of Architecture special issue on the Modern Village, and the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative Systems and the South book project. Her next research project will explore 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’s research has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Program, 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, among others. Before joining Northwestern University, she was a fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities, and participated in the European Research Council project “Apartheid: The Global Itinerary” at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Levin has previously taught at Pratt Institute and Columbia University, and co-chaired a project for the Global History of Architecture Teaching Collaborative.

Program Area: Architecture and Urbanism, global modern and contemporary

Regional Specialization: Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Europe and the USA.

Regional Interests:  Architecture and urbanism in post-colonial African states, the global south as a site of knowledge production.

Selected publications:

"Haile Selassie's Imperial Modernity: Expatriate Architects and the Shaping of Addis Ababa," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 75 No. 4, December 2016; (pp. 447-468).

“Basic Design and the Semiotics of Citizenship: Julian Beinart’s Educational Experiments and Research on Wall Decoration in Early 1960s Nigeria and South Africa,” ABE Journal [online] 9-10 (2016).