Bachelor of Archaeology, University of Ibadan; Master of Anthropology and Ph.D. in Anthropology, College of William & Mary
Olanrewaju Lasisi is an incoming Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. His research explores the complex relationship between astronomy, architecture, ritual, and power within the Yoruba cultural landscape. He brings together methodologies from architecture, ethnography, performance genre, archaeology, oral history, and archaeoastronomy, weaving an interdisciplinary framework that offers fresh perspectives on architectural spaces and their cultural, historical, and astronomical significance. Lasisi is currently working on two book projects. The first, "Yoruba Archaeoastronomy," dives into the methodological exploration of ancient astronomy in indigenous societies, using Yoruba as a case study. It elucidates how practices of observing the heavens were encoded in Yoruba architecture and indigenous hermeneutics such as ritual movements, toponyms, and oral poetry. His second book, "Architecture of Ritual Movements," recontextualizes our understanding of physical architecture by emphasizing the enduring nature of ritual movements as architectural elements in their own right.
Before joining the University of Virginia, Lasisi was a Garden and Landscape Studies Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and an NEH Fellow at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas. He earned a Ph.D. and a Master's degree in Anthropology from William & Mary, where his doctoral work earned the Distinguished Dissertation Award. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in Archaeology from the University of Ibadan. As the primary investigator of the Ijebu-Ode Archaeological Project, his research has been recognized and supported by esteemed organizations, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington Explorers, and Dumbarton Oaks, amongst others.