Divya Subramanian is a postdoctoral fellow in the history and theory of architecture, landscape, and urbanism at the GSD. She is a historian of modern Britain and South Asia whose research approaches the built environment through themes of race, migration, and coloniality.
Her first book project, a history of the Townscape movement, seeks to explain the revival of the dense, vernacular urban neighborhood in the late twentieth century, from Britain to brownstone Brooklyn. By tracing the story of Townscape from its roots in the eighteenth century picturesque to its redemption in post-colonial critiques of urban planning, the book shows how the revaluing of urban life in the 1970s and 1980s was shaped by a longer history of imperial image-making. It is currently under contract with Harvard University Press.
Subramanian comes to the GSD from the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, where she worked with community stakeholders and local government to create a greener, more resilient New York City through innovative community partnerships, including projects improving food access and supporting electric micromobility. She received her Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, where her dissertation was awarded the Shepard B. Clough Prize in European history. Her research has been supported by the Clarence Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.