Rhonda A. Saad
In 2010, the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA) established The Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art. The award honors our respected colleague and dear friend, Rhonda (1979-2010), who was, at the time of her tragic passing, in the process of researching a doctoral dissertation on modern Palestinian art in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University. Over the last several years, the prize has recognized excellence in graduate work completed on a variety of subjects in a number of disciplines at universities in the U.S. and abroad. This year, undergraduate students may apply with the nomination of a professor. Please consider donating to the Rhonda A. Saad Prize so that we may continue to honor Rhonda’s legacy by encouraging outstanding scholarship in the field of modern and contemporary Arab art.
All donations are tax-deductable. To donate, email AMCA at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the former announcements of the Rhonda A. Saad Prize winners, please visit
For interviews with Rhonda A. Saad Prize winners, please visit:
- 2023: Sheyda Aisha Khaymaz, “To Twist a Historical Knot: Projects of Pan-Arabism, Hurufiyya, and Amazighism.”
- 2022: Tina Barouti, PhD Boston University, “Politicizing Art and Public Space in the Years of Lead, 1970s– 1980s.”
- 2021: Tiffany Floyd, PhD Candidate, Columbia University, A Sculptor of Sumer: Modern Mythologies, Narrative Space-Time, and the Sign of Antiquity in the Reliefs of Mohammed Ghani Hikmat
- 2020: Maryam Athari, Art History, Northwestern University, “Diagnostic Revelation: Rifat Chadirji’s Street Photography.”
- 2019: Lara Ayad, Assistant Professor, Skidmore College, “Homegrown Heroes: Peasant Masculinity and Nation-Building in the Paintings of Aly Kamel el-Deeb.”
- 2018: Sarah Johnson, Freie Universität in Berlin, Impure Time: Archaeology, Hafidh Druby (1914-1991), and the persistence of representational art in mid-twentieth century Iraq (1940-1980).
- 2017: Nisa Ari, History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture, MIT School of Architecture, Painting After Photography: Nicola Saig, the American Colony Photo Department and the Art of the Copy in Palestine’s Early Twentieth Century Art World.
▹ Honorable Mention to Anahi Alviso-Marino, École Doctorale de Science Politique, Université Paris 1-Sorbonne and the Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques at the Université de Lausanne, Collectifs artistiques et stratégies de valorisation et de commercialisation de l’art, excerpt from a dissertation on contemporary Yemeni art.
- 2016 Nancy Demerdash, Dept. of the History of Art & Architecture at DePaul University,Urbanisme d’Urgence: Postwar Tunisian Modernisms & Revisionist Reconstructions and Rachel Nelson, Dept. of History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz, On Perpetual Conflict: Palestine in Emily Jacir’s Art Practices.
- 2014-15 Christopher Barrie, Dept. of Middle East Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, School of London, Myth and Mythology on the Nile: The Surrealism of Georges Henein and ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Gazar
- 2013 Elizabeth Rauh, Dept. of Art History, University of Michigan, The Poetics of Absence: Walid Raad’s Préface à la première edition
- 2012 Amin Alsaden, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Baghdad’s 1974 Biennial: The Ba’ath, Arab Art, and Global Politics
- 2011 Marie Domene-Danes, Dept. of Art History, University of Indiana, Bloomington, Disrupting Narratives: Unveiling Biopoltics in the Atlas Group
▹ Honorable Mention to Yazan Khalil, Darkness Against the Landscape: De-familiarizing the Image
PREVIOUS SAAD PRIZE REVIEW PANEL MEMBERS:
Anneka Lenssen (University of California, Berkeley)
Prita Meier (New York University)
Michelle Craig (University of California, Los Angeles)
Omnia El Shakry (University of California, Davis)
Hannah Feldman (Northwestern University)
Pamela Karimi (AMCA board member; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth)
Jessica Gerschultz (AMCA board member)
Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (American University of Beirut)
Sarah Rogers (AMCA President-Elect)
Nada Shabout (AMCA President; University of North Texas)
Wendy Shaw (Free University of Berlin)
Jessica Winegar (Northwestern University)
Staci Gem Scheiwiller (California State University, Stanislaus)
Todd Reisz (Yale University visiting prof and Amsterdam-based architect)