Shiben Banerji

Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Shiben Banerji’s research uncovers the global provenance of American urbanism, analyzing the imbrication of urban design in the critique of political and economic liberalism. He is currently pursuing this theme through two book projects. The first, titled Inhabiting the World, focuses on the little known work of Chicago architects Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin who sought to define a non-nationalist alternative to empire through architectural and urban design projects completed in the US, Australia, and India between 1895 and 1949. The second project, tentatively titled In the Shadow of Sovereignty, examines the formative influence of communitarian experiments on legal reasoning in the United States.

Shiben is also actively engaged in inter-disciplinary conversations on formations of globality. Recent events include "Pax Americana", a session chaired by Shiben at the 15th National Conference on Planning History, "Architecture without Frontiers?", an invited lecture delivered at the India International Centre in New Delhi, and "Making Mumbai Global", a symposium co-chaired with Rahul Mehrotra.

He previously taught in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning as well as the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and served as a Roving Critic in the MArch Program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

For over a decade, Shiben has been actively involved in formulating new ways for government agencies and NGOs to respond to contending demands for justice within Indian cities, first in his role as the Associate Director of the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai and more recently as a Research Fellow at the MIT Urbanization Laboratory.