Anoma D. Pieris is a professor of architecture at the Melbourne School of Design in Australia. Educated in Sri Lanka and the USA, with degrees in architecture from the University of Moratuwa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley, and in geography from the University of Melbourne, her methods are interdisciplinary and comparative. Pieris’s most recent publication, co-authored with Lynne Horuchi, The Architecture of Confinement: Incarceration Camps of the Pacific War
(2022), explores prisoner of war and internment camps around the arc of the Pacific Basin. The book was preceded by two previous publications that explored geopolitical and ephemeral conflict environments: the anthology Architecture on the Borderline: Boundary Politics and Built Space
(2019), and Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka
(2018). Pieris’s research covers many topics ranging from Indigenous cultural centers to the careers of Asian architects, with her most recent work as guest curator with Martino Stierli, Sean Anderson and Evangelos Kotsioris of the 2022 MoMA exhibition The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947–1985
. However, her core expertise gained through her PhD and published as Hidden Hands and Divided Landscapes: A Penal History of Singapore’s Plural Society
(2009) argues for correlations between forced labor, construction, migration and citizenship. In subsequent research she has consistently situated subaltern built environment histories within broader explorations of postcolonial nationalism, citizenship and sovereignty. Pieris is a founding member with Duanfang Lu of the Society of Architectural and Urban Historians of Asia. She was on the editorial committee of the Postcolonial Studies
journal and served as co-editor of Fabrications
, the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ). Pieris is co-editor of the book series, “Across the Global South: Built Environments in Critical Perspective,” published by the National University of Singapore, and is on the editorial board of the new series, “ArchAsia: Histories and Futures of Asia's Architecture, Urbanism, and Environments,” published by Hong Kong University Press. She has been a member of the Society of Architectural Historians since 2004.