Assistant Professor of Art History
Phone: (517) 629-0508
Office: 208-A Bobbitt Visual Arts Center
Dr. Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi specializes in modern and contemporary art and architecture of the Middle East and North Africa. At Albion, she teaches a wide range of courses in art history, art theory and global visual culture. Though much of her scholarship is rooted in the study of architecture and visual cultures of the Maghreb (North Africa) under French colonial rule in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, her other research projects have focused on popular arts of the so-called Arab Spring, the politics of migration and displacement in contemporary Franco-Maghrebi art, contemporary artistic practice and censorship in the Gulf states, and the politics and postcolonial afterlives of Maghrebi courtyard houses. Her current book project, based on her doctoral work, examines the architectural and spatial processes of reconstruction, decolonization, and nation-building in postwar Tunisia.
- ARTH 116 Global Visual Cultures in Critical Perspective
- ARTH 289 Introduction to African Arts
- ARTH 289 Contemporary African Arts
- ARTH 289 Islamic Visual Cultures
- ARTH 317 How to Read a Work of Art: Theories and Methods for the Visual Arts
- Ph.D. Art & Archaeology, Princeton University, 2015
- M.A. Art & Archaeology, Princeton University, 2012
- S.M.Arch.S. (Master of Science in Architecture Studies), Architecture Studies, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009
- B.A. (with Honors and Distinction) Art History and Religious Studies (minor), University of Wisconsin-Madison
Book Chapters in Edited Volumes
- “The Riad’s Resurgence: Questioning the Historical Legacy and Neocolonial Currency of the Maghrebi Courtyard House,” Daniel Coslett ed., Neocolonialism and Built Heritage: Echoes of Empire in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, published by Routledge: Architext series, 2020.
- “Constructing Dignity: Primitivist Discourses and the Spatial Economies of Development in Postcolonial Tunisia,” in Kivinç Kilinç and Mohammad Gharipour eds., Social Housing in the Middle East: Architecture, Urban Development, and Transformational Modernity, Indiana University Press, 2019.
- “The Aesthetics of Tastemaking in (and out of) the Algerian Salon,” in Nadia von Maltzahn and Monique Bellan eds., The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making, Beirut: Orient Institut Beirut and the Max Weber Stiftung, 2018.
- “L’Habitation tunisienne de Victor Valensi (1928): Visions d’un architecte de culture juive sur le pluralisme des modernités vernaculaires en Tunisie (Victor Valensi’s L’Habitation Tunisienne (1928): Jewish Perspectives on Pluralist Vernacular Modernities in Tunisia),” in Perspective: actualité en histoire de l’art (Maghreb issue), vol.2 (2017), published by the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), Paris.
- “Of ‘Gray Lists’ and Whitewash: The Aesthetics and Artistic Strategies of Censorship and Circumvention in the GCC,” in special volume, “Art and Cultural Production in the Gulf”, Mehran Kamrava and Zahra Babar eds., Journal of Arabian Studies, 7 (September 2017): 28-48. Reprinted in Suzi Mirgani ed., Art and Cultural Production in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Routledge, 2018).
- “Bordering Nowhere: Migration and the Politics of Placelessness in Contemporary Art of the Maghrebi Diaspora,” Journal of North African Studies, Special Issue on “Maghrebi Art, Cinema and Literature in the 21st Century,” 21:2 (March 2016): 258-272.
- “Consuming Revolution: Ethics, Art, and Ambivalence in the Arab Spring,” New Middle Eastern Studies 2 (2012): 1-17. [referenced on BBC’s HARDtalk interview with Shurooq Amin, November 2014]
Book or Exhibition Reviews
- “Book Review of Hélène Cixous, Les Sans Arche d’Adel Abdessemed et autres coups de balai (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 2018),” Journal of North African Studies (published online April 1, 2019).
- “Book Review of David J. Roxburgh and Mary McWilliams eds., Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017),” CAAreviews (published April 29, 2019).
- “Pluralism, Difference, Contestation and Tolerance: Sacred Spaces of Non-Muslim Communities in the Islamic World,” Book review of Mohammad Gharipour ed., Sacred Precincts: The Religious Architecture of Non-Muslim Communities Across the Islamic World (Leiden: Brill, 2015), H-NET Review for H-AMCA (Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey) (March 2017).
- “Serving Harmony: The Arts de l’Islam at the Musée du Louvre,” International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2013): 226-230.
- “Book Review of Charlotte Jelidi’s Fès: la fabrication d’une ville nouvelle (1912-1956) (Lyon: ENS Editions, 2012),” International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2013): 411-413.
- “Court of Gayumars, Folio from Shah Tahmasp’s Shahnama, Sultan Muhammad, c. 1522-1525 CE,” Smarthistory (Open Courseware) at Khan Academy (January 2017).
- “Great Zimbabwe,” Smarthistory (Open Courseware) at Khan Academy (October 2016).
- “Orientalism,” Smarthistory (Open Courseware) at Khan Academy (April 2015).