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Marchand Trevor HJ

After completing studies in architecture (McGill 1992), I was supported by an award from the Canadian International Development Agency to conduct field research on the mud-brick building practices and decorative styles in the Hausa Emirate of Zaria, Northern Nigeria. This study promoted the development of an anthropological approach to my core interests in architecture, building-craft knowledge and apprenticeship. My subsequent PhD in anthropology (SOAS 1999) included a lengthy firsthand apprenticeship with minaret builders in San'a, Yemen, and resulted in a first monograph Minaret Building & Apprenticeship in Yemen (2001). Later, as a SOAS Lecturer, I resumed research with West African masons, this time working as a labourer and apprentice in Djenné, Mali (2001-2005) and supported by a grant from the British Academy. This produced a second monograph The Masons of Djenné (2009), winner of the Elliot P. Skinner Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology and the 2010 Melville J. Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association. My work with Djenné's masons also resulted in a co-produced documentary film The Future of Mud: a tale of houses and lives in Djenné (with Susan Vogel and Samuel Sidibe, 2007), a London public lecture series and photographic exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects on Djenné: African City of Mud (2010), and a co-edited special issue of the journal Africa titled Knowledge in Practice (with Kai Kresse 2009).


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