Asst. Prof. Menna Agha to lecture on Nubian displacement at CUNY

October 8, 2023


Assistant Professor Menna Agha will give a talk on the legacy of Nubian displacement on November 16 at the City University of New York (CUNY).


The in-person lecture, “Nubian (Dis)places,” will take place at the Bernard and Anne Spritzer School of Architecture at CUNY’s City College of New York from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It is part of the Fall 2023 Sciame Lecture Series, “Crosscurrents: Architecture, Landscape, and Spatial Practices in Southwest Asia and North Africa.”


A poster for upcoming events at the City University of New York, featuring a series of lectures and panel discussions on various topics and dates, including 'Nubian (Dis)places' by Assistant Professor Menna Agha on Thu, Nov 16.

Dr. Agha is an assistant professor of design and spatial justice at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. She is a third-generation displaced Egyptian Nubian, which infuses her research interests in race, gender, space, and territory.

In this talk, Agha will discuss the concept of displacement as a form of spatial literacy and how displacement has shaped the understanding and representation of Nubian history. In the context of Nubian contemporary history, displacement often refers to the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the resulting flooding of Nubian villages along the Nile River.


This event led to the resettlement of many Nubian communities, and it had a profound impact on their way of life, cultural practices, and historical narratives.


Different narratives have emerged regarding Nubian history, including both traditional oral histories and more recent academic interpretations, says Agha. These narratives can vary widely, reflecting the perspectives of different groups and individuals, and Agha will explore how they contribute to our understanding of Nubian heritage and identity.


Among her publications are Nubia Still Exists: The Utility of the Nostalgic Space; The Non-work of the Unimportant: The Shadow Economy of Nubian Women in Displacement Villages; and Liminal Publics, Marginal Resistance.


Suggested Reading: Agha, M. (2020). Emotional Capital and Other Ontologies of the Architect. Architectural Histories, 8(1).