Alex Dika Seggerman
Alex Dika Seggerman is a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at the Council on Middle East Studies (CMES). Dr. Seggerman completed her PhD at Yale in the History of Art in 2014. She was previously the Five College Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Art at Smith and Hampshire Colleges from 2014-2016, and a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Art and Middle East Studies at Smith College from 2016-2017.
Dr. Seggerman’s scholarship investigates the intersection of Islam and modernism in art history. This includes archival research on modern Middle Eastern art movements, as well as an examination of how Islamic art history is a product of the modern era. Moreover, her research contributes to the growing field of global modernisms, diversifying narratives of twentieth-century art. Dr. Seggerman has published articles on modern Egyptian sculptor Mahmoud Mukhtar (World Art, 2014) and Egyptian Surrealism (Dada/Surrealism, 2013). Her first book, Reawakening Modernism: Art in Egypt, 1879-1967 (under advance contract, forthcoming 2019), traces the arc of Egyptian modernism in art, arguing that artists confronted and visualized the transnational context of their circulation.
She is currently working on a forthcoming conference and edited volume, Making Modernity in 19th Century Islamic Art and Architecture, that repositions the major shifts in nineteenth century Islamic as the result of technological and market shifts. For this volume, she is researching the impact of reproducible image technologies on the architecture of the Muhammad Ali Mosque (1838-48) and Shubra Palace Kiosk (1822) in Cairo, Egypt. Her second major research project examines the markets for Middle Eastern art objects, using financial data stretching back to the eighteenth century to document how the economies for Middle Eastern art objects significantly shaped the discipline.
Her work has been supported by the American Research Center in Egypt, the Barakat Foundation, the Sams Fund at Smith College, and the Grabar Postdoctoral Grant from the Historians of Islamic Art Association.
In Fall 2017, Dr. Seggerman will teach ‘Representing Gender in the Modern Middle East’. This course introduces students to modern visual constructs of femininity, masculinity, and the transgender in Iran, Turkey, and Egypt from the 19th through 21st centuries.