Hassanaly Ladha

Architectural Activist, Designer, and Philosopher


I am an architectural activist, designer, and philosopher.

I am Associate Professor in Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at the University of Connecticut and write on the relationship between architecture and philosophy. I am also the director of The Mamertine Group (MG), an experimental design lab based at the University of Connecticut that serves as a platform for architectural activism.  The lab’s mission is to intervene in state projects that implicate architecture in the political imaginary, relating monumental form to questions of sovereignty, citizenship, culture, and history. My projects include the Prison-Wall, which has been featured in over one hundred publications internationally including CNN, the New York Times, UConn Today, Wired, The Guardian, and CNBC.

I am the author of a book entitled The Architecture of Freedom: Hegel, Subjectivity, and the Postcolonial State (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020). Developing my previously published work, this book offers a new reading of the relation between architecture and knowledge, language and the aesthetic, mastery and servitude, and subjectivity and the state, tracing the implications of these concepts for postcolonial studies and political theory. The book was named Finalist for the 2020 Sharon Harris Book Award.

Born and raised in the Congo, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. I have lectured at the École Normale Supérieure, the American University of Cairo, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Harvard University, and the University of Connecticut. I have also received numerous awards and grants, from the Jacob Javits Fellowship to the Humanities Institute Fellowship at the University of Connecticut.