Art History Faculty

Alex Dika Seggerman

Pictured: Dr. Seggerman in Egypt

Alex Dika Seggerman is Associate Professor of Islamic Art History. Prior to joining the Rutgers-Newark faculty in 2018, she held postdoctoral fellowships at Smith College, Hampshire College, and Yale University. In 2022, she was the Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C.

In 2023-2024 she is the Patricia and Phillip Frost Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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.

Her first book,Modernism on the Nile: Art in Egypt between the Islamic and the Contemporary, traces the arc of Egyptian modernism in art, arguing that artists confronted and visualized the transnational context of their circulation through a “constellational modernism.” She has made over a hundred images of modern Egyptian artwork available on Artstor and as a collection onMAVCOR journal, along with a companion essay, “Modern Art in Egypt and Constellational Modernism: A New Approach to Global Modern Art.” She has delivered lectures about her book around the world, including at Boston College, at NYU, and in Beirut.

Her second book, Making Modernity In the Islamic Mediterranean (Indiana University Press, 2022), is a co-edited volume that repositions major changes in nineteenth century Islamic art as the result of transformative political, technological, and market shifts. The volume includes a chapter by Dr. Seggerman that analyzes the impact of reproducible image technologies, from engraving to photography, on Cairo’s Muhammad Ali Mosque (1830-48).

Currently, Dr. Seggerman is Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. She has published articles on modern Egyptian sculptor Mahmoud Mukhtar (World Art, 2014) and Egyptian Surrealism (Dada/Surrealism, 2013). She has a forthcoming article on the photographs of Islamic architectural historian K.A.C. Creswell and a comparative essay on the post-surrealist painting of Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar, Wifredo Lam, and Ibrahim El-Salahi.

At Rutgers, Dr. Seggerman is co-chair of the Islam, the Humanities and the Human working group. The group employs the diversity of Islam and Muslim societies to transform the humanities.

Courses Taught

  • Global Modern Art, 21:082:215
  • Introduction to Islamic Art and Visual Culture, 21:082:289
  • Introduction to Islamic Architecture, 21:082:290
  • Representing Gender in the Modern Middle East, 21:082:291
  • Imagining the Orient: 19th Century Art of the Mediterranean, 21:082:306
  • Middle Eastern Cinema: Cairo and Tehran on Film, 21:082:305 
  • Why Museums Matter: The Newark Museum of Art, 21:082:375

Research Initiatives

Dr. Seggerman’s work has been supported by the Smithsonian, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual ArtsAmerican Research Center in Egypt, the Millard Meiss Publication Fund, the Barakat Foundation, the Sams Fund at Smith College, and the Grabar Postdoctoral Grant from the Historians of Islamic Art Association.


Yale University, Ph.D. History of Art, 2014
Columbia University, B.A. Art History, 2005



Alex Dika Seggerman, Modernism on the Nile: Art in Egypt between the Islamic and the Contemporary, University of North Carolina Press, 2019.

Margaret S. Graves and Alex Dika Seggerman, eds., Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean, Indiana University Press, 2022.

Book Chapters
Alex Dika Seggerman, “Surrealist Possessions: Wifredo Lam, Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar, and Ibrahim El-Salahi,” Decolonizing Islamic Art in Africa, University of Chicago Press, 2024.

Alex Dika Seggerman, “Modern Islamicate Painting, 1940-1970,” Historical Narratives of Global Modern Art, Routledge, 2023.

Alex Dika Seggerman and Margaret Graves, “Introduction,” Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean, Indiana University Press, 2022.

Alex Dika Seggerman “Alabaster and Albumen: The Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Making of a Modern Icon,” Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean, Indiana University Press, 2022.

Journal Articles
Alex Dika Seggerman, “Scholarly Rigour in Gelatin Silver: K.A.C. Creswell’s Photographs of Islamic Architecture,” International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 13, Issue 1 (2024) 41 – 73. 

Alex Dika Seggerman, “Modern and Contemporary Egyptian Art,” Oxford Bibliographies (2022).

Alex Dika Seggerman, “Beautiful Black Cloud of Modern Egyptian Art,” Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, No. 49 (2021).

Alex Dika Seggerman, “ʿUmrah in Atlantic City: The Representation of Muslim-American Space in Ramy,” PLATFORM, Fall 2020.

Alex Dika Seggerman, “Modern Art in Egypt and Constellational Modernism: A New Approach to Global Modern Art.” MAVCOR Journal, Vol.  3, no. 1 (2020).

Alex Dika Seggerman “Mahmoud Mukhtar: ‘The First Sculptor from the Land of Sculpture,’” World Art, Vol. 4, No. 1, (2014) 27–46.

Alex Dika Seggerman, “Al-Tatawwur (Evolution): A Timeline of Surrealism in Egypt,” Dada/Surrealism, Vol 19, No. 1 (2013) 1-26.


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