Maggie Freeman is a PhD candidate in History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. She has a Master's degree in History of Religions from the University of Copenhagen and a Bachelor's in Art History from Mills College. She has worked at museums including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Oakland Museum of California, among others. Maggie is the Global Coordinator of art non-profit Slow Art Day, the host of podcast Nomads, Past and Present, and a podcast host for the New Books Network. She has lectured in architectural history and Islamic architecture at MIT and Northeastern University.
Maggie's research interests encompass the histories and material cultures of nomadism, the uses of architecture by nomadic peoples, and historical interactions of empires and nomadic populations. Her primary focus is on how the built environment of the Middle East is experienced and affected by nomadic peoples. Her dissertation, Principles for Desert Control: Architecture, Imperialism, and Nomadic Peoples during the British Mandate, examines how the built environment was mobilized and manipulated to control nomadic peoples under the authority of the British Mandate in Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine, and how nomadic groups responded to and influenced building projects intended to control or surveil them. She has presented and published on a wide variety of topics related to nomadism, rural architecture in the Middle East, and British Mandate history.