CLEMSON — Akel Ismail Kahera of Houston has been appointed associate dean for research and graduate studies in Clemson University’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Kahera will join the college June 29, replacing James B. London, who is retiring.

For the past five years, Kahera has been director of the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. From 2009 to 2011, he also was interim director of Prairie View’s graduate studies degree program in community development.

Kahera has been teaching for more than two decades. In addition to Prairie View, he also taught at Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin. His areas of specialization include hermeneutics, design, urbanism, community development, non-Western architecture and architectural history and theory. He is a practicing architect and designer.

Kahera is the author of more than two dozen scholarly essays on history, the theory of architecture and urbanism, as well as the author or co-author of three books: “Deconstructing the American Mosque: Space Gender and Aesthetics,” University of Texas Press, 2002; “Design Criteria for Mosques,” (co-author), Architectural Press, Oxford, 2009; “Reading the Islamic City,” Rowan and Littlefield/Lexington Press, 2011.

Kahera received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y.; a master’s in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies (in the fields of architecture, law and urbanism) from Princeton University.

“I am committed to Clemson’s vision and mission,” Kahera said. “I am also committed to individual empowerment; it is vital to research and graduate studies, therefore it must be included in the discourse. I believe that my education and professional experience have shaped my philosophy about knowledge. 

“Because every educator and administrator will face many challenges, teaching, research and service will continue to lead our vision for excellence,” he said. “I have been active as a scholar, and now I would like to expand my commitment to research and scholarship. By serving as associate dean I will bring a rich array of knowledge, experience and advocacy to support the strategic plans of the university and the college.”

Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, said, “We welcome Dr. Kahera with great enthusiasm. His academic and administrative leadership, his international practice and experience, and especially his passion for academic research, will serve him well in his new role.”

Kahera is married to professor Sulafa Abou-Samra, who works in the area of cultural studies and is a specialist in Arabic language.


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