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Divya Kumar-Dumas

PhD Candidate


M. Phil., University of Pennsylvania, South Asia Studies

Masters, George Washington University, Landscape Design

B.A., Yale University, History


Divya Kumar-Dumas is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  Building from a long-standing interest in how communities and individuals preserve and transmit their intangible cultural heritage, her work treats cultural landscapes in Sri Lanka and India as both conceptually driven architectural projects of the past and invitations to human experiences of place over a much longer period.  From site inception to the present day, this phenomenon of 'place-ness' informs how cultural stakeholders interpret sites.  Yet, site interpretation in South Asia often relies exclusively on the story of architectural origins to explain discernible constructed landscape features.  She seeks to develop rigorous methods for South Asia by which multivalent interpretations of place over time - that is the palimpsest of terrain facts - might contribute to global conversations relating landscape architecture to cultural processes.