Areas of Expertise: Built environment
Dr Yasmina El Chami is an architect and architectural historian with 12 years of research and practice experience across the Middle East and the UK. Her research examines the intersections of colonial and imperial histories with the production of architecture and the built environment.
Yasmina’s work has been recognised by several awards including the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain’s Hawksmoor Essay Medal (2020), the Presbyterian Historical Society’s Annual Research Fellowship (2019), and the Omrania CSBE, Chadirji, and Areen Awards for Excellence in Architecture (2010).
Yasmina joined ARU in 2022 after completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research explored the competing educational projects of Jesuit and Protestant missionaries in nineteenth-century Lebanon, and their entanglement with broader processes of French, British, and American imperialism in the Ottoman Empire.
Yasmina’s current research interests include transnational and postcolonial histories of modern architecture, the architecture of religious and ‘informal’ imperial actors in the Middle East, and histories of urban conflict and reconstruction.
Prior to her PhD, Yasmina worked in several international and Lebanese architecture studios, including Rafael Vinoly Architects & Planners (NY), Nabil Gholam Architects, Bernard Khoury/DW5, Hala Younes/AetA, and Mariagoup. Since 2013 she has taught design studios and lecture courses at the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University, the University of Cambridge, the Manchester School of Architecture, and De Monfort University’s Leicester School of Architecture.
El Chami, Y., 2021. An American “Garden” in an Oriental “Desert”: The Modernity of Timber at the Syrian Protestant College. Architectural Theory Review 25(1-2), pp. 199-215. doi: 10.1080/13264826.2021.1958354
El Chami, Y., 2021. A Supranational Jesuit Project in Nineteenth-Century Beirut: Multiplicities of the Local and Global at the Université Saint-Joseph. ABE Journal: Architecture Beyond Europe, 19, pp. 1-37. doi: 10.4000/abe.12690
El Chami, Y., 2018. The Place Beyond the Coast: A Spatio-Political History of Mount Lebanon’s Interior. In: Younes, H. (Ed.), 2018. The Place that Remains: Recounting the Un-built Territory (Milano: Skira), pp. 176-183.
El Chami, Y., 2015. Beirut: From City of Capital to Capital City. Urban Flux 45(5)., pp. 70–79.
El Chami, Y., Palate, S., (Eds.), 2019. Scroope: The Cambridge Architecture Journal, 28 [with editorial introduction: Introducing Concinnitas].
El Chami, Y., Palate, S., 20189. It All Starts with the Ground: Interview with Amanda Levete. Scroope: The Cambridge Architecture Journal, 28, pp. 8-21.
El Chami, Y., 2019. Inhabiting Territory: Nature, Conflict, and Capital, visual essay. Ground-Up: Journal of the Department of Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley, 8, pp. 29-34.
El Chami, Y., 2020. The Crisis of Heritage in Beirut: Conflict, Capital, and Reconstruction. Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Features.
El Chami, Y., 2013. Beirut, From City of Capital to Capital City: Reconstructing a Lebanese State Identity Within Neoliberal Economy. AA Projective Cities Publications.
El Chami, Y., 2012. From Multipli-city to Corporate City in Beirut’s Central District. AAProjective Cities Publications.
Architecture and Empire. The Architectural History Podcast, with Elsie Owusu, Tania Sengupta and Shahmima Akhtar, hosted by Matthew Roberts and Jessica Kelly, June 2021.