About

Portrait

I am an Assistant Professor of Art History at the Rhode Island School of Design. I received my PhD from Columbia's Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures and Institute for Comparative Literature and Society in May 2017. My dissertation, "The Clarity of Meaning: Contemporary Iranian Art and the Cosmopolitan Ethics of Reading in Art History," explores the substantial expansion of Western interest in contemporary Iranian artists by examining the ways in which Western disciplinary forms, and more specifically art criticism, return home to circumscribe aesthetic diversity in Iran. It examines how Western art criticism has continuously suppressed the heterogeneity of Iranian contemporary art in favor of readily consumable social, political, and ethical messages. I argue that this process crucially depends upon submitting the works of Iranian artists to well-rehearsed frames of intelligibility within the Western contexts of their reception, thereby demanding that the diverse aesthetic economies of Iranian artifacts align with Euro-American understandings of meaning, value, aspiration, and desire.

In Fall 2017, at RISD, I will be teaching a survey course that deals with the theoretical problems and discursive frames of what we have come to know as "Islamic Art" as well as a seminar on Modern and Contemporary Iranian art and material culture.

My main areas of research interest include historiography of art history, contemporary non-Western art, globalization, cosmopolitanism, and translation theory.