Alex Dika Seggerman
Alex Dika Seggerman is Assistant 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 will be the Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C.
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: 19th Century Art 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. From Fall 2021 to Spring 2023, the group is hosting a series of lectures and events around the theme of “Islamic Matters in Africa and the Colonial Atlantic.”
Professor Seggerman teaches courses on the art and architecture of the Islamic world, global modern and contemporary art, Middle Eastern cinema, Orientalism, and the representations of gender and sexuality in and of the modern Middle East.
Dr. Seggerman’s work has been supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, American 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.
PhD, Yale University
BA, Columbia University
Modernism on the Nile Art in Egypt between the Islamic and the Contemporary By Alex Dika Seggerman
Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean
Edited by Margaret S. Graves and Alex Dika Seggerman
Watch Dr. Seggerman deliver a lecture on “Islam & Surrealism,” at Boston College from March 10, 2021