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Nadia von Maltzahn is the Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project "Lebanon's Art World at Home and Abroad: Trajectories of artists and artworks in/from Lebanon since 1943 (LAWHA)".
Nadia von Maltzahn is the Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project "Lebanon's Art World at Home and Abroad: Trajectories of artists and artworks in/from Lebanon since 1943 (LAWHA)", which has started in October 2020. She joined the OIB in 2013, first as a research associate (2013-2018) before being appointed deputy director (2018-2020, partly on parental leave).
Nadia’s publications include The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making, co-edited with Monique Bellan (Beiruter Texte und Studien 132, 2018), The Syria-Iran Axis: Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2013/2015), and other publications revolving around cultural practices in Lebanon and the Middle East. She holds a DPhil and an MSt in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony's College, University of Oxford. She received her BA Honours in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from King’s College, Cambridge.
Nadia’s research interests include cultural policies, artistic practices and the circulation of knowledge. Her current research project, LAWHA, is about the forces that have shaped the emergence of a professional field of art in Lebanon within its local, regional and global context, against the background that Lebanon is regularly portrayed as a country with weak public institutions but vibrant cultural sector. It follows up from her previous research project at the OIB, which has dealt with cultural policies in Lebanon, looking in particular at cultural institutions and their role in the public sphere.
This project examines the relationship between cultural policies, cultural production and the public sphere, that is the relationship between political frameworks, institutional actors, cultural players and society.
This project is about the forces that have shaped the emergence of a professional field of art in Lebanon within its local, regional and global context, against the background that Lebanon is regularly portrayed as a country with weak public institutions but vibrant cultural sector. The project proposes a shift of perspective in approaching Lebanon’s art world by focusing on the multi-dimensionality of artists’ individual trajectories. LAWHA aims to identify new methods on how to interrelate context and artistic production, to serve as a model for revisiting art histories in contexts where institutionalized local art histories are largely absent.
(2013, 2015) The Syria-Iran Axis. Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris.
BTS 132 (2018) The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making. Nadia von Maltzahn and Monique Bellan (eds.). Beirut: Orient-Institut Beirut. View PDF (open access).
OIS 3 (2015) Divercities: Competing Narratives and Urban Practices in Beirut, Cairo and Tehran, Nadia von Maltzahn and Monique Bellan (eds.)
OIS 2 (2013) Inverted Worlds: Cultural Motion in the Arab Region, Syrinx von Hees, Nadia von Maltzahn and Ines Weinrich (eds.).
Heritage, tourism, and the politics of national pride. The Baalbeck International Festival in Lebanon. Quaderni storici 2 (2019), 371-389. https://www.rivisteweb.it/doi/10.1408/96904.
The Museum as an Egalitarian Space? Women artists in Beirut's Sursock Museum in the 1960s and 1970s. Manazir 1 (2019), The Arab Apocalypse. Art, Abstraction & Activism in the Middle East, ed. Silvia Naef & Nadia Radwan: 70-82. https://www.manazir.art/files/8015/7228/3067/von_Maltzahn.pdf
Guiding the Artist and the Public? The Salon d'Automne at Beirut's Sursock Museum. In The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making. Edited by Nadia von Maltzahn and Monique Bellan. Beirut: Orient-Institut Beirut, 2018, 253-280.
Ministry of Culture or No Ministry of Culture? Lebanese cultural players and authority. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (2018) 38 (2): 330-343. https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-6982101
"What Cultural Policies?" Explicit and Implicit Cultural Policies in Lebanon. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, 7 (2017), 75-84. http://meta-journal.net/article/view/5088
with Monique Bellan, Introduction. In Divercities: Competing Narratives and Urban Identities in Beirut, Cairo and Tehran (Orient-Institut Studies 3, 2015)
Cultural Exchange Within and Across the Eastern Mediterranean. In Dialogue in the Med: Exploring Identity through Networks. Valletta: Fondation de Malte, 2015, 145-162.
with Rana Yazaji. Syrian Culture in Turbulent Times. In Another Europe. Amsterdam: European Cultural Foundation, 2015, 440-463.
Governance of Culture in the Wake of the Arab Revolutions: Preliminary Observations on the Case of Egypt. In N. Belakhdar, I. Eickhof, A. el Khawaga, O. el Khawaga, A. Hamada, C. Harders and S. Sandri (eds.), Arab Revolutions and Beyond: Change and Persistence. (Working Paper No.11, August 2014), 225-240.
One Side of the Coin: The Official Sphere of Syrian-Iranian Cultural Relations. Orient II (2014), 12-15.
with Rana Yazaji. Syrian Culture in Turbulent Times. In Cultural policy and management Yearbook 2012-2013. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2014, 35-46.
Kulturforschung: Die arabische Gruppe für Kulturpolitik. In itb infoservice, 6. Schwerpunktausgabe 05/13, 36-37.
Iran’s Cultural Diplomacy. In H.E. Chehabi, C. Therme and F. Khosrokhavar (eds.), Iran and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century. (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda, 2013).
The Case of Iranian Cultural Diplomacy in Syria. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 2 (2009), 1-18.
Reviews. Iranian Studies, 42:2 (2009), 347-352. Book review of Syria and Iran. Diplomatic Alliance and Power Politics in the Middle East by J. Goodarzi.
Co-applicant with Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College), Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, and Kirsten Scheid (both AUB): Winter School “Moving Biography”, Volkswagen Foundation, 47960 EUR, 9–16 January 2021.
Principle Investigator: “LAWHA – Lebanon’s Art World at Home and Abroad: Trajectories of artists and artworks in/from Lebanon since 1943”, European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, 1498813 EUR, 2020–25.
Co-applicant with Hanane Hajj Ali: Publication of short research studies “Insights into Cultural Policies in Lebanon”, Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, 10000 USD, 2015–20.
Symposium: “Contextualising the Art Salon in the Arab Region”, Volkswagen Foundation, Programme “Research in Museums”, 13600 EUR, 2017–18.
Co-organiser, Symposium “Contextualising the Art Salon in the Arab Region”, Beirut, Lebanon (in cooperation with the Sursock Museum and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation), 2017.
Co-organiser, Panel “Circulations of Exhibition Practices between Asia and Europe and Mechanisms of Canon Building” at 33. Deutscher Orientalistentag, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 2017.
Co-organiser, Panel “The Art Salon in the Arab Region – Migration of institutional patronage and its challenges” at the annual conference of the Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies (Part I) and Annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (Part II), 2016.
Co-organiser, Panel “Pushing the Status Quo – Liberation in art and cultural practices in the modern Middle East”, at the annual conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, London, UK, 2015.
Co-organiser, Conference “DiverCities: Contested Space and Urban Identities in Beirut, Cairo and Tehran”, OIB in cooperation with the Goethe Institut Lebanon, 2013.
Organiser, “Inverted Worlds: Congress on Cultural Motion in the Arab Region”, OIB, 2012.
“Lebanese Cultural Players and Authority: Ministry of Culture or No Ministry of Culture?”, lecture at the Arab-German Young Researchers Exchange “Cultural Policy & Cultural Mediation in Transforming Societies”, 23 October 2018, Beirut.
“Researching Cultural Policies: Achievements and challenges in Lebanon”, workshop at the Arab-German Young Researchers Exchange “Cultural Policy & Cultural Mediation in Transforming Societies”, 18–24 October 2018, Beirut.
“The Museum as a Platform for Emancipation? Women artists in Beirut’s Sursock Museum”, at the Etel Adnan Symposium “‘The Arab Apocalypse’: Art, Abstraction and Activism in the Middle East”, Zentrum Paul Klee, 27-28 September 2018, Bern.
“Archivisme as a local disease or communicating the National Library project”, at the conference “Performing Human Rights: Contested Amnesia and Historical Justice in Latin America and the Middle East”, 28-29 June 2018, Zurich.
“Cultural Policies in Lebanon: Cultural institutions between state and society”, as part of the workshop “Area Knowledges and Disciplinary/Interdisciplinary Knowledge”, Max-Weber-Kolleg, 18-21 June 2018, Erfurt.
“Débats sur les politiques culturelles au Liban”, at the conference « Combats pour la culture, Combats de la culture », Lebanese University and Université Aix-Marseille, 8-9 December 2017, Beirut.
“Art Institutions and Canon-building in Lebanon: Beirut’s Sursock Museum”, at Oxford Middle East Studies at 60, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, 15-16 September 2017, Oxford.
“Der Kunstsalon als egalitärer Raum? Der Salon d'Automne des Sursock Museums in Beirut”. Presentation at the research colloquium Gender Studies, University of Zurich, 3 May 2017, Zurich.
“Beirut’s Sursock Museum – Building a Canon of Lebanese Art?” Seminar at the working group “Imagining the Global: Ideas, people and culture on the move”, Studienstiftung Gesellschaftswissenschaftliches Kolleg Gesellschaftswissenschaftliches Kolleg der Studienstiftung, 28 March 2017, Ellwangen.
“Research in the Heart of Beirut: Researching cultural policies at the Orient-Institut Beirut”. Evening lecture at the Gesellschaftswissenschaftliches Kolleg der Studienstiftung, 27 March 2017, Ellwangen.
“The Salon d'Automne at the Sursock Museum”. Presentation at public talk on “The Art Salon in the Arab Region”, Sursock Museum, 26 January 2017, Beirut.
“Overview of the Cultural Policy Context in the Arab Region and State of the Arts”. Keynote lecture at 9th^ ENCATC Young Researchers' Forum, 16 December 2016, Brussels.
“Cultural Policies and Cultural Activism in Lebanon – An Exception?” Seminar at the Tri-National Research Atelier “The Role of Arts in Transitional Tunisia – Rethinking cultural policy & international cultural relations”, University of Hildesheim, University of Tunis and University Hassan II Casablanca, 22-28 November 2016, Tunis.
“Cultural Policy and International Cooperation in the Arab World: Lebanon.” Satellite Beirut 2016, International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM), 6-9 October 2016, Beirut.
“Ministry of Culture or No Ministry of Culture?‘ Lebanese Cultural Players and Authority.” Lecture at Université Saint-Joseph, 13 May 2016, Beirut.
“Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Policies” (in Arabic). Tajamu'a al-Bahithat al-Lubnaniyat, 21 April 2016, Beirut.
“Saifi Village, Quartier des Arts ?” Rencontres ‘Espaces publics à Beyrouth: vie, mort, renaissance?’ (20-22 Mai 2015), Ifpo und Institut Français Liban, 16 Mai 2015, Beirut.
“Cultural Policies in Germany and the Arab Region”. Lecture at the Lebanese University, Master Professionnel en Médiation Culturelle, 16 Mai 2015, Beirut.
“Cultural Diplomacy: an introduction.” Lecture at Université Saint-Joseph, Faculty of Sociology, 15 April 2015, Beirut.
“The sociopolitical and cultural situation of Lebanon”. Lecture followed by a city tour as part of the programme “MENA/European Training in Culture and Creative Sector Management 2014/2015”, Institut Français Liban, 7 April 2015, Beirut.
“Cultural exchange within and across the Eastern Mediterranean”, International conference “Dialogue in the Med: exploring identity through networks. First Annual Valletta 2018 International Conference on Cultural Relations in Europe and the Mediterranean”, Valletta 2018 Foundation, 4-5 September 2014, Valletta.
“Bürger, Blogger, Botschafter: Diplomatie im 21. Jahrhundert”. Participation 1st^ Weber World Café of the Max Weber Stiftung and the Forum Transregionale Studien, 28 April 2014, Bonn.
“Understanding Social and Cultural Challenges for Arab Countries”, ENCATC Academy on Cultural Relations & Diplomacy, Focus: Middle East, North Africa & Arabian Peninsula, 22 November 2013, Brussels.
“Cultural Diplomacy and Regional Relations in the Contemporary Middle East”, German Science Day 2013, 16 November 2013, Cairo.
“Iran’s Cultural Diplomacy”, conference “Iran Confronting 21st^ Century Challenges”, Graduate Institute of International Studies Geneva, June 2010, Geneva.