Ayda Melika

Visiting Assistant Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Modern Languages
  • School of History and Sociology
Email Address:
ayda@gatech.edu
Office Location:
Swann 310
Overview

Dr. Ayda Melika is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Modern Languages and the School of History and Sociology. Ayda is the founder and director of the Iranian Studies Initiative at Georiga Tech and the faculty advisor for the Persian-American Resource Society (PARS). She earned her Ph.D. in the history and theory of Architecture and Urban Sociology of the Middle East from the University of California, Berkeley. As a scholar of urban cultures, Ayda's research projects examine the poetics and politics of spatial practices in various countries. As a documentarian Ayda’s films focus on socio-cultural and political aspects of design and the spatial manifestations of collective activism. Her work has been presented in several major festivals and museums including the International Architectural Biennale Rotterdam, the Venice Biennale, and the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA) New York. Ayda co-founded Reform by Activism and Design, which focuses on research and creative production around themes of social issues in the built environment. 

Education:
  • PhD in Architecture: History, Theory and Society and a Minor in Urban Sociology of The Middle East. University of California, Berkeley. 2018.
  • MS in Architecture: Environmental Design and Urbanism in Developing Countries with a minor in Sociology. University of California, Berkeley. 2012.
  • Masters of Architecture: Cultural Landscapes. McGill University, Canada. 2010.
  • Bachelors of Arts in Communication: Visual Culture and Media Production and a Minor in Political Science: International Relations. 2006.
  • Associate of Arts in Psychology. San Diego Mesa College. 2003.
Awards and
Distinctions:
  • Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) Grant, Georgia Institute of Technology. 2018-2019.
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley. Fall 2016 and 2017.
  • Graduate Architecture Summer Grant, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Summer 2016.
  • European Association of Social Anthropologists Travel Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation, EASA and University of Milano-Bicocca (Unimib) funds. July 2016.
  • Conference Scholarship for EDRA47Raleigh, Environmental Design Research Association. May 2016.
  • Educational Travel Grant, Environmental Design Research Association. May 2016.
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley. Fall 2015.
  • Conference Travel Grant, University of California Berkeley. December 2014.
  • Architecture Department, University of California Berkeley. December 2014.
  • Al-Falah Graduate Field Research Fellowship, Program for Islamic Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 2014-2015 academic year.
  • Graduate Division Block Grant Award, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Fall 2014.
  • Graduate Architecture Summer Grant, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Summer 2014.
  • Circus Soirée Distinguished Presentation Award, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Spring 2013.
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) for Arabic, 2012-2013.
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) for Arabic, Summer 2012.
  • Conference Travel Grant, Architecture Department, UC Berkeley. December 2012.
  • Graduate Division Block Grant Award, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Spring 2012.
  • Departmental Award Fund, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Spring 2012.
  • Draper Grant Award, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley, 2011.
  • Graduate Division Block Grant Award, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Fall 2011.
  • Departmental Award Fund, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Fall 2011.
  • Graduate Division Block Grant Award, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Spring 2010.
  • Mellon Research Travel Grant, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley. 2010.
  • Graduate Division Block Grant Award, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley. Fall 2010.
  • Graduate Fellowship, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Summer 2009.
  • Provost’s Graduate Fellowship (ProGF), School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Academic Year 2008-2009.
Interests
Research Fields:
  • Communication
  • Conflict Research
  • Development Economics
  • Digital Humanities
  • Digital Media
  • Economic Development and Smart Cities
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Ethics and Philosophy of Science and Technology
  • Global Cities and Urban Society
  • History of Technology/Engineering and Society
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Global History/Science, Technology, and Nationalism
  • Pedagogy and Curriculum Development
  • Persian - Instructor
  • Political Economy
  • Urban Economics
Geographic
Focuses:
  • Middle East
  • United States
Issues:
  • Environment
  • Gender
  • Inequality and Social Justice
  • International Development
  • Regional Development
  • Weapons and Security
  • Accessibility
  • Aesthetics
  • Armed Conflict
  • Campus-Community Engagement
  • Cinema Studies
  • Communication
  • Community engagement
  • Conflicts
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding
  • Diaspora Studies
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Digital Humanities
  • Documentary
  • Drama and Theater Studies
  • Feminism
  • Film History and Theory
  • Globalization and Localization
  • History and Memory
  • Human/Machine Interaction
  • Journalism
  • Language and Popular Culture
  • Literature
  • Media
  • Media Production
  • Mediatized Culture
  • Middle-Eastern Studies
  • Modernity
  • Performance
  • Perspectives on technology
  • Poetry
  • Politics
  • Post-Colonialism
  • Religion and Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Movements
  • Sustainability
  • Terrorism
  • Women’s Leadership
Courses
  • HTS-3064: Sociology of Development: Urban Poverty and Global Violence
  • HTS-3070: Culture and Society
  • HTS-4813: Special Topics: Reel Cities: Arch of MENA
  • LMC-3813: Special Topics: Reel Cities: Arch of MENA
  • ML-4813: Special Topics: Reel Cities: Arch of MENA
  • ML-8803: Special Topics: Reel Cities: Arch of MENA
  • PERS-3813: Special Topics: Modern Iran: Urbanism in the ME
  • PERS-4813: Special Topics: Contemporary Iran and the Media
  • PERS-4813: Special Topics: Iranian Film and Society
  • PERS-8803: Special Topics: Contemporary Iran and the Media
  • PERS-8803: Special Topics: Iranian Film and Society
All Publications

Journal Articles

Chapters

Patents

Thesis / Dissertations

Other Publications