Manu Sobti 2011


Manu P. Sobti, Associate Professor

Manu P. Sobti is an Islamic architecture and urban historian, currently teaching urban design and architectural history at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning (SARUP), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee USA. He has a B.Arch from School of Architecture - CEPT (Ahmedabad, India), a SMarchS. from MIT (Cambridge), and a Ph.D. from the College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta). Sobti's research focuses on the history of early-medieval cities along the Silk Road and in the Indian Subcontinent, medieval suburbia, urban hydraulics, and recently the global politics of food.
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In recognition for his work on urbanism and urban history, he has received several prestigious awards, including UWM’s Global Research Fellowship Award from Global Studies & CIE (2010-11), the Virginia Commonwealth University and Qatar Foundation’s Hamid Bin Khalifa Research and Travel Fellowship for Islamic Architecture and Culture (2009), UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies Fellowship (2009-10), the Aga Khan Program Research Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (1993-95), and multiple grants from the National Council for East European and Eurasian Research in Seattle (2009), the Graham Foundation of the Arts in Chicago (2008), the French Institute for Central Asian Studies in Tashkent (2003), the Architectural Association in London (2001).

He has published widely in journals, books and monographs, and presented his research at more than 50 national and international venues. He is currently completing a manuscript entitled The Sliver of the Oxus Borderland: Medieval Cultural Encounters between the Arabs and Persians (Brill Publications 2011) – a comprehensive work that collates his noteworthy fieldwork in libraries, repositories and archives on the historical geo-politics of the Oxus River (the Amu Darya) in Central Asia. Sobti also directs an intensive overseas India Study Abroad Program, joining students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, CEPT Ahmedabad INDIA, CCA Chandigarh INDIA and recently the Chinese University in Hong Kong in an urban-mapping exercise that documents cities in the Indian subcontinent. Returning students participate in an advanced design studio focusing on global urbanity and his offerings of electives.

Ph.D. in Architecture - College of Architecture & Urban Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA. 2005
Masters of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS) - Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT - Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA. 1995
Bachelors Degree in Architecture (B.Arch.) - School of Architecture, Center for Environment Planning & Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad INDIA. 1993

Research Focus
Urban History
Urban Typology and Morphology
Architectural History and Theory
Islamic and Non-Western Architecture and Urbanism
Russian Art and Architecture
Silk Road Studies
Cognitive Design Processes

ARCH 533: Signature Buildings in Geopolitical Context (Fall-Spring semesters)
ARCH 533: Urban Space Descriptions (Fall semester)
ARCH 533: The Urban Politics of Disaster (New Orleans Workshop - Fall semester)
ARCH 645/855: India Urban Design Studio (Spring semester)
ARCH 410: Architectural Design Studio (Fall semester)
ARCH 800: Graduate Introductory Studio (Summer semester); India Winterim & Urban Mapping Workshop (Winterim semester)

Selected Work
“Stepping Outside the Comfortable Confines of the West” in International Journal of Urban Morphology 11 – 1 (forthcoming 2007, Birmingham UK), pp. 145 – 46.
“The City in Suburbia – Urban Metamorphosis and Change in Central Asian Cities after the Arab Invasions” in The Proceedings of the 9th European Scholars of Central Asian Studies Conference, Krakow (forthcoming 2007, Cambridge Scholars Press).
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“Towns and Villages; Settlement Patterns; Nomadic and Pastoral Societies; Building Techniques and Materials” in The Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World - Islamic Section (forthcoming 2007, Schlager Group).
“Women, Gender & Architecture in Central Asia” and “Women, Gender and the Urban Built Environment in Central Asia” in The Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures (forthcoming 2007, E. J. Brill Publishers). “Hegel” in The Encyclopedia of The Age of Imperialism, 1800 – 1914 (forthcoming 2007, Greenwood Publishing)
“Not Mere Courtyard Houses: Socio-Cultural Reflections in the Pathan Mohallas at Bhopal, India” in The Courtyard House - Between Cultural Expression and Universal Application (Ed. Nasser Rabbat), (forthcoming 2007, Ashgate Publications & Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard and MIT).
“Abstraction & Diagramming - Critical Processes in Psychological Theory as applied to Design Learning” in the Conference Proceedings of the Beginning Student Design Conference, San Antonio 2005 (2006).

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