Huma Gupta is the Aga Khan Assistant Professor in Islamic Architecture at MIT. As an architectural historian, urban policy expert, and filmmaker, she specializes in the history and theory of informality, forced migration, and biogenic architecture in the global south. Dr. Gupta's first book project The Architecture of Dispossession theorizes the relationship between state-building and dispossession through architectural transformations of migrant reed and clay dwellings in 20th century Iraq. Dr. Gupta holds a PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture and a Master's in City Planning from MIT. Previously, she was the Neubauer Junior Research Fellow at Brandeis University, Humanities Research Fellow at New York University-Abu Dhabi, and International Dissertation Research Fellow at the Social Science Research Council. Her work has been published by the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Journal of Contemporary Iraq and the Arab World, Yale University Press, Intellect Books, and Thresholds. Dr. Gupta's courses include Decolonial Ecologies (seminar), Climate Futures, Cities Past (Filmmaking workshop), Dwelling & Building: Cities in the Global South (lecture course), Earth, Reed & Water (seminar), Historiography of Islamic Architecture + Art (seminar), and Architecture & the Wealth of Nations (seminar).
As a practitioner, Dr. Gupta has worked on infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, municipal planning in Syria, eviction prevention and homelessness in the greater Boston area, and humanitarian response to housing needs for persons displaced due to climate, conflict, and development projects around the world. And she is currently producing a feature documentary film titled 'She Was Not Alone' about a nomadic woman fighting to stay with her beloved animals in the rapidly disappearing Iraqi marshes. The film project, directed by Hussein al-Asadi, was selected in the 80th Venice Film Festival's Final Cut Lab, Doha Film Institute's First Cut Lab, and Red Sea Film Festival's Souq. It is scheduled to premiere in 2024.