Research Summary

Resonant Tomb: A Feminist History of Sufi Shrines in Pakistan


  • Ph.D , Architectural History and Theory, Princeton University. Project: Wireless Sites: Architecture in the Space of Early British Radio (1927-1945)
  • SMArchS, History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture, MIT. Project: Monument without Qualities: Jinnah's Mausoleum in Karachi (1948-1965)
  • Special Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • Bachelors in Architectural Design , Architecture, National College of Arts, Lahore. Project: Zoological Gardens and Research Center, Islamabad


Shundana Yusaf is an Associate Professor of History and Theory at the School of Architecture, University of Utah. She previously taught at Pratt Institute in New York, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Albany, and H.ECO College in Peshawar University. She studied architecture at National College of Arts, Lahore, and architectural history at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton University. 


Her scholarship in juxtaposes colonial/ postcolonial history with sound studies in architecture. Her first book is Broadcasting Buildings: Architecture on the Wireless, 1927-1945 (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2014). It is the study of six hundred “wireless sites,” namely programs on the built environment broadcast by early BBC. It considers how radio and post typographic orality associated with it undermined our foundational epistemological concepts like place, space, perception & materiality. It was shortlisted for 2015 Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion by Society of Architectural Historians, Great Britain. Her second book length work is a digital humanities project, SAH Archipedia: Utah (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press and SAH, 2019). It showcases hundred most important sites in the state, as it transitions in mid-19th century from  oral societies to digitally networked white settler colonial political order in 21st century.


Her current book is called Resonant Tombs: A Feminist History of Sufi Shrines in Pakistan. The book is funded by Fulbright, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and a 2023 fellowship at Clark Institute. It is the history of feminist placemaking and placekeeping with auditory practices in funerary structures of Muslim mystics from the 13th century to the present. As its starting point, it takes sound as an architectural material of construction and women as secondary architects, collectively nestling ephemeral auditory monuments with their bodily resources within material monuments built by heroic men with material resources. 


She is the co-editor of  the journal Dialectic: The Journal of School of Architecture at the University of Utah that connects architectural history to concerns within architectural education and professional practice. She is also a contributing member of Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC). She is the founding member of Nááts’íilid Initiative, an Indigenous-led and coalition-driven non profit, that builds sweat equity housing and infrastructure in Navajo Nation. She is the grant writer, archivist and acasemic liason for the organization.