Shaheera Pesnani
Research Assistant
Area of focus:
  1. migration and settlement along the Western Indian Ocean including the settlement of South Asian sathpanth communities in East Africa


Shaheera Pesnani is a Research Assistant in the South Asian Studies Unit. Her scholarship lies at the crossroad of the study of architecture and communities. She completed her MSc in Architectural Conservation from the University of Edinburgh in 2021. Her dissertation focused on assessing the internationally recognised HIA (Heritage Impact Assessment) framework and using it to analyse the impact of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) development on the built heritage and local communities in Gwadar, Pakistan.

Previously, Shaheera completed GPISH (Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, class of 2021) at the IIS. Her final research project looked at the role of intangible cultural heritage in the formation of displaced identities among the Syrian refugees in Berlin, Germany. In 2018 she obtained a BSc (Hons) in Social Development and Policy from Habib University, Pakistan. In 2020, she volunteered with the Ismaili Heritage Project at the Institute to research and document the Ismaili heritage sites in Gwadar, Pakistan. Shaheera also participates in an honorary capacity with the Indian Ocean Exchanges art history research fellowship sponsored by the Getty Foundation.