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Faculty and Advisors

The following list is featured as a service to graduate students who wish to locate faculty advisors who have done research in the field of Arab, Iranian, and/or Turkish visual arts. To request an addition to this list, please email your information to

Additions to this list should include faculty position; department; department web address, if applicable; Ph.D. dissertation topic and year of submission; and areas of expertise and interest. Please note in your submission if you wish to have your email address posted on this list or not.

Leila Abu-Lughod, Ph.D.
Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science Columbia University

Shiva Balaghi, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities, Cogut Center for Humanities, Brown University

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Gender studies and cultural studies of the modern Middle East.

Cynthia Becker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Art History, Boston University

Areas of Expertise and Interest: African Arts, specializing in the arts of the Imazighen (Berber) in northwestern Africa.


Hamid Dabashi, Ph.D.
Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature

Jessica Gerschultz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept. of African and African-American Studies
University of Kansas

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Modernism in Africa and the Middle East, Modernist Tapestry, the Decorative Arts, Gender and Materiality, Tunisia.


Talinn Grigor, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Modern & Contemporary Architecture
Brandeis University

Salah Hassan, Ph.D.
Professor & Director of the Africana Studies and Research Center
Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture
Department of History of Art and Visual Culture
Cornell University

Pamela Karimi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Art History, UMASS-Dartmouth
Book: Domesticity and Consumer Culture in Iran: Interior Revolutions of the Modern Era

Adila Laïdi-Hanieh
PhD candidate,
Cultural Studies, George Mason University.

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Critical theory, ideology, post colonial and globalization studies, politics in art, Arab intellectual history, Palestinian arts and culture.

Anneka Lenssen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art
History of Art at UC-Berkeley

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Modern art in Syria and the Middle East, historiography, comparative avant-gardes, cultural politics.

Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Civilization Sequence Program
American University of Beirut

Ph.D. dissertation Topic: “Interrelation of modern Arabic literature and visual art”. (University of Oxford, 2005)

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Modern Arabic literature and visual culture, especially in Lebanon and Iraq. Currently working on artists’ books as an alternative vision of our recent history.

Salwa Mikdadi
Associate Professor Practice of Art History
NYU Abu Dhabi


Areas of Interest: Gender and politics in art, modern and contemporary art of the Arab world, Palestinian artists, museums and their visitors, art interpretation, Arab art institutions and support systems in art production.

Silvia Naef, Ph.D.
Arabic Studies Unit
University of Geneva.

2007/8 and 2008/9, visiting professor, University of Toronto, teaching modern visual arts of the Middle East.

Katarzyna Pieprzak, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature,
Williams College

Recent publication: Imagined Museums: Art and Modernity in Post-Colonial Morocco (U of Minnesota Press, 2010).

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Modernity and the Postcolonial African and Islamic world, Francophone African and Caribbean literature, Museums and the Narration of Culture, Visual Arts in North Africa, Literature from the French Banlieue

Nasser Rabbat, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dina A. Ramadan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Arabic & Director of Middle Eastern Studies
Division of Languages and Literature Bard College
Dissertation title: “The Aesthetics of the Modern: Art, Education and Taste in Egypt 1903-1952.” (Columbia University, 2013)
Areas of Expertise and Interest: Modern Egyptian art, Arab intellectual and cultural history, aesthetics, education, contemporary cultural politics.

Khaled Ramadan, Ph.D.
Department of Art History
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Curator, video documentary maker and a lecturer in new media aesthetics. His fields of specialties are visual culture aesthetics, multi-media studies and the history of cross culture visual art and culture.

Kishwar Rizvi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor,
History of Art Department, Yale University.

Sarah Rogers, Ph.D.
Palestinian American Research Center & Columbia University Global Centers—Amman
Dissertation Topic: “Postwar Art and the Historial Roots of Beirut’s Cosmopolitanism.”

Kirsten Scheid, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
American University of Beirut

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Contemporary Lebanese art, aesthetics, identity, modernism, gender studied through art works.

Alex Dika Seggerman, Ph.D.
Five College Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Art
Department of Art, Smith College

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Modern art and visual culture in Egypt, transnational networks of artistic exchange, classicism, nationalism, art and political upheaval.


Nada Shabout, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Visual Arts & Design, University of North Texas

Ph.D. diss. topic: “Modern Arab art and the metamorphosis of the Arabic letter”. (U. of Texas at Arlington, 1999).

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Arab and Islamic visual culture, contemporary Iraqi art, Cultural destruction and preservation, identity politics and art, Post-colonial and Feminist theory, aesthetics, modernism, Orientalism and globalization.

Tina Sherwell, Ph.D.
International Academy of Art Palestine

Ph.D. diss. Topic: “Imaging the Homeland; Representations of Palestine in Palestinian Art and Popular Culture”. (U. of Kent at Canterbury, 2000)

Sarah-Neel Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Maryland Institute College of Art (Fall 2015) and H-AMCA Reviews Editor

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Art history of Turkey and the Middle East, 19th century to contemporary; Modernism in a global and comparative perspective; Orientalism and visual culture; Histories of internationalism and exhibiting

Carol Solomon, Ph.D.
Visiting Assoc. Professor of Art History
Haverford College
Areas of expertise and interest: Contemporary art of the Maghreb, Orientalism, Diaspora, and Globalization

Kiven Strohm, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
National University of Singapore

Areas of Expertise and Interest: Contemporary art and visual culture in Palestine/Israel and Middle East, aesthetics and politics, new materialisms, citizenship and social movements

Jessica Winegar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Northwestern University
Areas of Expertise and Interest: visual and material culture, the culture industries, nationalism, neoliberalism, social class, gender, value, and the Middle East.