Dr Diala Lteif

BA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Lebanon), MA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Lebanon), MFA (Parsons, the new School for Design, USA), PhD (Toronto)

Fellow (B)

College Roles

  • Margaret Anstee Centre Research Fellow (B)


Email: dl701@cam.ac.uk


Dr Diala Lteif is a planner and urban historian of the modern Middle-East and her research explores the role of subaltern populations in the production of space and cities. Dr Lteif holds a PhD in Planning from the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research was supported by a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s Doctoral Scholarship and an Ontario Trillium Graduate Award. Dr Lteif also holds an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons the New School for Design which she pursued as a Fulbright scholar. Up until 2016, she served as full-time faculty and deputy director to the Design Department at ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts), where she taught the Global Design studio to first year masters students and supervised MA thesis projects.

Dr Lteif is currently a Research Fellow at Newnham’s Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies. She was also awarded a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral award.

Research Interests

Dr Diala Lteif focuses on the role of migration and class struggle in the production of space and aims to centre marginalized communities, such as refugees, migrants, and laborers, within urban narratives. Dr Lteif’s research contributes to emerging debates in theories of urbanism from the Global South by examining bottom-up approaches to city-making. Dr Lteif is currently developing her first book project which considers these questions, over a century (1918-2018), through an urban historical study of a marginalized working-class neighbourhood in Beirut, Lebanon, known as Karantina. Dr Lteif is simultaneously pursuing a second research project where she examines the intersection of labor mobilizations and urban politics. More specifically, she investigates a forgotten mobilization led by the Butchers Union & Livestock Traders Syndicate (BULTS) in the 1960s in Beirut, Lebanon. This specific labor struggle yielded historic victories for BULTS and set an important precedent for similar union-led activity in Lebanon.