Profs. Menna Agha and Ozayr Saloojee co-edit Journal of Architectural Education on theme of Infidelities

April 11, 2024

Assistant Professor Menna Agha and Associate Professor Ozayr Saloojee are among the theme editors of the spring 2024 issue of the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE).


The theme is “Infidelities” which emerged in response to a series of questions: “What does it mean to be loyal? To a discipline, its institutions, to a practice, to yourself?” The Western-Muslim divide was the main inspiration.

Dr. Saloojee is also the Associate Editor, Design of the JAE, published by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.


“As Muslim people of colour working at the margins of architecture, art and social practice, we have always felt like infidels since we are not loyal to the discipline and its institutions, but neither are we loyal to the multiple belongings of ourselves,” says the editorial by Dr. Agha and co-editors Dr. Aya Musmar and Dr. Nishat Awan.


“Yet, infidelity is neither refusal, criticality nor counter politics,” they write. “It is a fertile ground that emerges through a certain discomfort with institutional power, social and moral codes, and rules that attempt to regulate behaviors. It has the potential to create transversal relations across difference.”


The process of editing the issue was marked by the violence impacting Palestine and Israel, said JAE Executive Editor Nora Wendl. “Aya Musmar, Nishat Awan, Menna Agha, and Design Editor Ozayr Saloojee found their lives and communities swiftly upended, as were the lives and communities of those contributing here.”


The editorial by Agha, Musmar, and Nishan states: “What started as a complete disbelief in the silence and complicity of the West, and the force of a realization that some of us will never be included within definitions of what counts as human, has now been replaced by other feelings, ancient emotions, ideas, and loyalties that we had forgotten but that now give us solace.”

The issue contains two editorials and 29 articles by 33 contributors under the subheadings Catastrophe & Belief, Resolution & Ephemerality, Refuge & Relation, Heartbeats & Drumbeats, Making & Unmaking, Knowing & Un-Knowing, and (Im)precision & (Un)Learning.


Agha, Saloojee, Musmar, and Awan co-wrote an article, To Know No Nation Will Be Home Until One Does, about Shahzia Sikander, a Pakistani-American artist “whose multimedia practice subverts and expands the conventional edges, scales, histories, and methods of Central- and South-Asian painting tradition.”


The issue also contains an interview, In Conversation with Olivier Marboeuf, between Agha and Olivier Marboeuf, a writer, performer, independent curator and film producer of Caribbean origin.