Angela Andersen

Angela Andersen
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Art History and Visual

BA (UVic), MA (UVic), PhD (Ohio State)

Area of expertise

Islamic Art and architecture, Canadian architecture, global architecture

Research Interests:

  • art and architecture of the Islamic world
  • vernacular and quotidian architecture
  • regional Canadian architectural history
  • minority and marginalized communities
  • inter- and intra-religious interactions
  • architecture, art and human rights
  • oral history theory and collection

Brief Biography:

Angela Andersen has worked as a museum professional, a university instructor in Canada and the United States, in various aspects of academic publishing, and with a not-for-profit society that provides housing and services for people experiencing poverty. Her research and teaching examine the art, architecture and practices of Muslim minorities, the human rights issues involved at sites of worship, the Islamic architecture of what is now Turkey and its surrounding states, vernacular architecture, and regional Canadian architecture. Her research and site fieldwork make use of often-overlooked sources such as oral history and poetry in the study of architectural history. She has worked closely with community partners to investigate topics in British Columbia, from the dispersed material heritage of the Snuneymuxw people, to the forest industry camps of the Cowichan Valley and the dwellings in the former Finnish utopian settlement of Sointula. 

In 2017, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she focused on the project Cemevleri: An Examination of the Historical Roots and Contemporary Meanings of Alevi Architecture and Iconography. In 2016, she was awarded the Margaret B. Ševčenko Prize in Islamic Art and Culture by the Historians of Islamic Art Association. She has maintained an important, longstanding relationship as a fellow with the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at UVic. Her research has appeared in a number of international publications, and she is currently serving as the guest editor for a special issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture on hinterland forces and marginalisation (forthcoming 2022).

Media Clip:

Selected Publications: 


  • (editor) Islamic Architectures: Muslim Spaces of Prayer, Ceremony and Learning Beyond the Mosque(Intellect, forthcoming).

  • (guest editor) International Journal of Islamic Architecture, special Issue, Hinterland Forces: Architectural Responses at the Margins’ 2 (forthcoming, 2022).

Book Chapters:

  • ‘The Tale of the Shared Church in Diyarbakir: Narrative Traditions of the Co-Use of Places of Prayer by Muslims and Christians,’ in Articles of Faith: Visual Culture in the Byzantine and Islamic Worlds, ed. Eva Baboula and Lesley Jessop (Leiden: Brill, 2021), 175–204.

  • ‘“He who is the wondrous green dome is ‘Ali:” The Relationship Between Narratives of the Prophet Muhammad’s Ascension and the Communal Religious Architecture of The Alevis,’ in Saintly Spheres and Islamic Landscapes, ed. Daphna Ephrat, Sara Ethel Wolper, and Paulo G. Pinto (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 301–34.

  • ‘Muslims Viewed as “Non-Muslims:” The Alevi Precincts of Anatolia,’ in Sacred Precincts: Non-Muslim Sites in Islamic Societies, ed. Mohammad Gharipour (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 57–75. 


  • ‘The Anecdotal Archive: Building Design, Oral History, and the Notion of An Alevi Place of Worship,’ International Journal of Islamic Architecture1 (2021): 25–43.

  • ‘”A Tenacious Reputation for Unreliability:” Re-Viewing Evliya Çelebi’s Description of the Diyarbakir Ulu Cami in the Seyahatname,Architecture and Culture 1 (2020): 29–53. 
  • (with Can Gündüz), ‘Sweeping the Meydan: Home and Religious Ceremony Amongst the Alevis’, special issue ‘Approaching Home: New Perspectives on the Domestic Interior’, ed. Erin Campbell and Olivier Vallerand, RACAR2 (2020): 48–64.

  • ‘One House of Worship With Many Roofs: The Attempted Imposition of Architecture to Mediate Mainstream Sunni, Alevi and Gülenist Islam in Turkey, special issue ‘Boundaries, Flows, and the Construction of Muslim Selves through Architecture’ International Journal of Islamic Architecture2 (2019): 283–305.
  • ‘The Transfer of Turkish Bektashi Tekkes to Alevi Cemevleri,’ in 15th International Congress of Turkish Art, Naples, Università di Napoli “L’Orientale” 16-18 September 2015, Michele Bernardini, Alessandro Taddei, et al. (Ankara: Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey, 2018), 109–21. 
  • Architectural Metaphor in Sufi Philosophy: The Imagery of Celal al-Din Rumi,’ in ODTÜ Mimarlik Tarihi Kongresi/METU Architectural History Conference Proceedings, ed. Elvan Altan Ergut, Sevil Enginsoy Ekinci, and Ali Uzay Peker, (Ankara; Middle East Technical University Press, 2017), 71–82.

  • ‘Erica Dodd and The Image of the Word: An Oral History,’ Al-Abhath 
    (Journal of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut) 64 (2016): 119-143.