Nadia von Maltzahn

Principal Investigator

Nadia von Maltzahn is LAWHA’s Principal Investigator. She joined the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) in 2013, first as a research associate (2013-2018) before being appointed deputy director (2018-2020, partly on parental leave). She holds a DPhil and an MSt in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a BA Honours in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from King’s College, Cambridge. Nadia is the author of The Syria-Iran Axis: Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East (London: I.B. Tauris, 2013/2015), and edited volumes such as The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making (Beirut: Orient-Institut Beirut, 2018), co-edited with Monique Bellan. Her work has been published in a number of journals including Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Quaderni storici, Manazir, Middle East Topics & Arguments, and the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication. She is a member of the Global (De) Centre: Diversity, Mobility and Culture.

Monique Bellan

Postdoctoral Researcher

Monique Bellan has joined the LAWHA Team in March 2021. She previously worked at the Arab German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities AGYA (2020-2021) and as research associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut (2013-2019), where she examined aesthetic reflection and art critique in twentieth-century Lebanon and Egypt. She holds a PhD from Freie Universität Berlin and an MA from the University of Bonn. Monique is the author of dismember remember: The Anatomical Theatre of Lina Saneh and Rabih Mroué (2013), and has co-edited The Art Salon in the Arab Region (see above) and the forthcoming volume Surrealism in North Africa and Western Asia: Crossings and Encounters, together with Julia Drost (Beirut: Orient-Institut Beirut, 2021). Within LAWHA her focus will be in particular on exhibition practices, art critique and the database and digital platform (DDP).

Flavia Malusardi

Doctoral Researcher

Flavia Elena Malusardi is a PhD candidate in History of Art as part of the LAWHA project, with an international position between Università Cà Foscari (Venice) and OIB Orient Institut Beirut (Beirut). Her project investigates the role of gallerist Janine Rubeiz and her informal space Dar Al Fann (1967-1976) within the Lebanese cultural panorama. She holds a Master’s degree in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East from SOAS School of Oriental and African Studies (London) and a MFA in Visual Cultures and Curatorial Practice from Accademia di Brera (Milan). Her work focuses on the contemporary arts and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa, with an interest in archival and collecting practices within post-colonial contexts. She lived in Cairo and Dubai, where she worked with international galleries and curators. She is the editor of Vista Sud a bi-monthly column featured in Osservatorio Futura and she contributes regularly to the visual arts section of Arabesque, first Italian magazine devoted to the study of culture of/from the Arab world.


One funded LAWHA PhD position in the International PhD Programme in the History of Arts at Ca’Foscari University of Venice, to start in September 2022. See full detail here.


  • Tamara Sawaya, January – April 2021


The LAWHA Group supports the project and complements the expertise of the research team. The group is composed of the following experts:

  • Kristine Khouri, independent researcher and board member of the Arab Image Foundation
  • Anne Klammt, Head of Digital Humanities, Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte (German Forum for Art History)/Max Weber Foundation
  • Nadia Radwan, Assistant Professor in World Art History, Universität Bern
  • Kirsten Scheid, Associate Professor of Anthropology, American University of Beirut
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