Institut für Kunstgeschichte


Prof. Dr. Nadia Radwan

Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Mittelstrasse 43
3012 Bern

Research fields

  • Non-western Modernisms
  • Art and Architecture in the Middle East (19th – 21st Centuries)
  • Contemporary Art and Activism
  • Curatorial Approaches of the Global Museum
  • Orientalism, Gender and Photography

See also:

Co-founder and Chief Editor of Manazir Journal.


Painting and Sculpting the Nation (in Arabic), Cairo: National Center for Translation/Research in Social Sciences Series, 2019.

Les modernes d’Égypte. Une renaissance transnationale des Beaux-Arts et des Arts appliqués, Bern: Peter Lang, 2017.

Edited volumes

“The Arab Apocalypse: Art, Abstraction and Activism in the Middle East”, Manazir Journal 1, Autumn 2019 (ed. with Silvia Naef).

“L’art du diorama (1700-2000)”, Culture et Musées 32, Autumn 2018 (ed. with Noémie Etienne).

D’une rive à l’autre: patrimoines croisés. Mélanges en l’honneur de Leïla el-Wakil, Geneva: Slatkine, 2018, (dir. with Silvia Naef and Pauline Nerfin).

Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

“The Politics of Abstraction”, in NO Rhetoric(s). Versions and Subversions of Resistance in Contemporary Global Art, Zurich: Diaphanes (forthcoming 2020).

“Intimate Spaces and Murmuring Narratives in the Realm of Global Museums”, in Authenticity and Cultural Translation in the Global City and Community: the Case of the Greater Middle East, ed. Kornelia Imesh-Oechslin, Oberhausen: Athena (forthcoming 2020).

“Le Minaret Philippe Suchard: un Orient situé entre modèles transnationaux et savoir-faire locaux”, in Der Orient in der Schweiz. Neo-islamische Architektur und Interieurs im 19. und 20. Jh. / L’Orient en Suisse. Architecture et intérieurs néo-islamiques aux 19e et 20e siècles, eds. Francine Giese, Leïla el-Wakil, Ariane Varela Braga, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019, pp. 85 -102.

“The Kunsthalle in Motion: Between Local Site, Space of Transit, and Global Platform”, in Localizing the Contemporary. The Kunsthalle Bern as a Model, ed. Peter J. Schneemann,  Zurich: JRP/Ringier, 2018, pp. 223 - 236.

“Le Minaret Suchard, entre savoir-faire local et fantaisie orientaliste”, Bulletin de la Société Suisse pour le Moyen Orient et les Civilisations Islamiques, 2017, pp. 25-29.

“Between Diana and Isis: Egypt’s ‘Renaissance’ and the Neo-pharaonic Style”, in Dialogues artistiques avec les passés de l’Égypte, dir. Mercedes Volait and Emmanuelle Perrin, Paris: InVisu (CNRS-INHA), 2017, pp. 1-18.

“Dal Cairo a Roma. Visual Arts and Transcultural Interactions Between Egypt and Italy”, The Journal Asiatische Studien/Études Asiatiques (De Gruyter) 70(4), 2016, pp. 1093-1114.

“Scènes de la vie rurale au Musée agricole du Caire”, Qantara (Institut du Monde Arabe) 96, 2015, pp. 43-45.

“Revolution to Revolution: Tracing Egyptian Public Art from Saad Zaghloul to January 25”, Cairo Review of Global Affairs 14, 2014, pp. 81-87.

“Des égyptiens égyptomanes”, Qantara (Institut du Monde Arabe) 87, 2013, pp. 30-34.

“Les arts visuels de l’Égypte moderne, méthodes de recherches et sources: l’exemple de Mahmud Mukhtar”, Quaderns de la Mediterrània (IEMed), 2011, pp. 15; 51-61.

“Save Hassan Fathy’s New Gourna”, Docomomo (International committee for documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement) 38, 2008, pp. 4-5, with Leïla el-Wakil.

Book Chapters

Foreword, in Under the Skin: Feminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and North Africa Today Editors, eds. Ceren Özpınar and Mary Kelly, (forthcoming 2020), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Introduction, in “The Arab Apocalypse: Art, Abstraction and Activism in the Middle East”, Manazir Journal 1, Autumn 2019.

“Ideal Nudes and Iconic Bodies in the Works of the Egyptian Pioneers”, in Art, Awakening and Modernity in the Middle East: The Arab Nude, ed. Octavian Esanu, London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 71- 85.

“The Arts and Craftsmanship”, in Hassan Fathy: An Architectural Life, ed. Leïla el-Wakil, Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2018, pp. 104-123.

“How a Ceramic Vase in the Art Salon Changed Artistic Discourse in Egypt”, in The Art Salon in the Arab Region: The Politics of Taste Making, eds. Nadia von Maltzahn and Monique Bellan, Beirut: Orient-Institut, 2018, pp. 113 -131.

Articles published in the Media, Open Publications

“Creating a New World: The Vanguard of Egyptian Modern Art”, Rawi: Egypt’s Heritage Review 8, 2016, pp. 24-31,

“Exploring Sharjah Art Museum’s New Collection of Contemporary Arab Art Ahead of its Unveiling”, Selections 30, 2015, pp. 84-86.

“Le printemps des rues: une création arabe contemporaine en mutation”, Moyen-Orient 11, 2012, pp. 86-91, with Aminata Tembély.

“Au Carrefour de l’art et de l’activisme”, ADB Amici di Borgo 6, 2011, pp. 4-5, with Noémie Etienne.

Contributions to Exhibition Catalogues

Un ritrattista, orientalista e macchiaiolo in Egitto: la carriera alessandrina di Arturo Zanieri” (bilingue), in Arturo Zanieri (1870 -1955). Un orientalista a Maccagno, ed. Federico Crimi and Marco Dozzio, (Museo Civico “Parisi-Valle”, Maccagno, 11 May – 7 July 2019), Comune di Maccagno, 2019, pp. 9-16.

“The Sharjah Museum Permanent Collection. Filling a Void in a Fragmented World Art History”, in Modern and Contemporary Art from the Collection of the Sharjah Art Museum,    Sharjah: Sharjah Art Museum, 2016, pp. 9-13.

“Inji Efflatoun: Multiple Idioms of an Egyptian New Woman”, in Focus, Works from Mathaf Collection / Mother Tongue: Selected works by Inji Efflatoun, ed. Leonore-Namkha Beschi, (Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, October 2015 - September 2016), Doha: Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, 2016.

“Georges Bahgory”, in Lasting Impressions. Georges Bahgory, Sharjah: Sharjah Art Museum, 2015, pp. 11-18.

“Hassan Fathy et le renouveau des savoir-faire traditionnels: vers une architecture contemporaine appropriée”, in Hassan Fathy, une ambition égyptienne, ed. Georges Santelli, Georges, Cairo: IFAO, 2011, pp. 55-65. 

Review Essays

“Le modèle noir: visite de l’exposition par Nadia Radwan”, Journal18 (July 2019), online,

“Review”: Avinoam Shalem (ed.), Constructing the Image of Muhammad in Europe, Material Culture Review 79, 2014, p. 107.

Encyclopedia Entries

“Egypt: The Fine Arts”, in Handbook of International Futurism, ed. Günter Berghaus, Berlin/New York: De Gruyter, 2018, pp. 415-422.

Entries for the artists Ragheb Ayad, Adam Henein, Hamed Owais, Adham Wanly, Seif Wanly, Ahmad Osman, Youssef Kamel, Inji Efflatoun, Gamal el-Sigini, Hamed Nada, Goerges Sabbagh), in Routledge Encyclopaedia of Modernism (REM),

Entries for the artists Ragheb Ayad, Inji Efflatoun, Ahmad Osman, Youssef Kamel, in Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World,


Abu Dhabi, NYU Abu Dhabi. “Decolonizing the Archive. On the Uses of Primary Documents from the Arab World”. ARTMargins Workshop: Global Art History and the Documentary Turn: Theory, Method, Archives, 21-22 Sept.

Bern, University of Bern. “Concealed Visibilities. Sameness and resistance in Contemporary Art”. Keynote. Workshop NO Rhetoric(s). Versions and Subversions of Resistance in Contemporary Art, 13 Sept.

Florence, CIHA (Comité international d’histoire de l’art). “Invisible stories: The other criteria of art criticism in the Middle East”. Panel: The Ghost in the Machine. The Disappearance of Artists, Critics, Viewers?, 5 Sept.
2018 Bern, Zentrum Paul Klee, “‘The Arab Apocalypse’: Art, Abstraction and Activism in the Middle East”, Etel Adnan International Symposium. Organizer with Nina Zimmer and Fabienne Eggelhöfer, 27-28 Sept.

Bern, University of Bern, Seeing Through: The Materiality of Dioramas (1600-2010). International Conference. Organizer with Noémie Etienne, 1-2. Dec.,

Catania, Università degli studi di Catania. “The Art Salon in the Middle East: Migration of Institutional Patronage and its Challenges”. Panel Director with Nadia von Maltzahn and Monique Bellan. Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies (SeSaMO) Conference, 19 March,

2015 Dubai, The American University in Dubai. “Negotiating Modernities and the Contemporary in Visual Culture”. Organizer and Panel Chair with Woodman Taylor. British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) / The American University in Dubai Conference, 16 – 18 April,
2014 Washington D.C., Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Conference. “Visual Knowledge in Motion: Reframing the Creation of Cultural Practices in the Modern Middle East, Turkey and Iran”. Organizer and Panel Chair with Melania Savino, 25 Nov.
2018 Zurich, University of Zurich. “Le Minaret Philippe Suchard: un Orient situé entre modèles transnationaux et savoir-faire locaux”. International Conference Der Orient in der Schweiz. Neo-islamische Architektur und Interieurs im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, 21 Sept.

Venice, Ca’ Foscari University. “The Venice Biennale as a Cultural Platform for (Re-)presenting Egyptian Modernism”. Speaker and Panel Chair. International Conference The Venice Biennale and the Arab World, 19-20 Oct.

Düsseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K20). “Women in the Art & Liberty Group”. Evening Lecture Art et Liberté, 5 Oct.

New York, CAA (College Art Association) Annual Conference. “Imagined Bodies in Egyptian Modern Art”. Panel: Getting Nude : Artists, Audiences and the Present Past in the Middle East. Hilton Midtown, 16 Feb.

Fribourg, University of Fribourg. “Globaliser l’art contemporain du Moyen Orient: nouvelles pratiques curatoriales aux Emirats Arabes Unis”. Invited Conference in the course of Prof. Julia Gelshorn Kunstgeschichte von den Rändern her erzählt, 29 Nov.


Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou. “Modernisme et avant-gardes artistiques: trajectoires, espaces et réseaux transculturels”. International Symposium Art et Liberté (1938-1948) et modernité en Égypte. Au-delà du discours postcolonial, 25 Nov.

Boston, Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting. “Cairo’s Art Salons. Patronage, Taste and Cultural Practices in Egypt”. (via Skype) Mariott Copley Place, 18 Nov.

Beirut, The American University of Beirut. “Ideal Nudes and Iconic Bodies in the works of the Egyptian Pioneers”. International Conference The Arab Nude: The Artist as Awakener, 11 March.

2015 Bern, University of Bern. “New Cartographies of Art in a Global Context: Middle Eastern Artistic production in the United Arab Emirates”. Traial Lecture for the Position of Assistant Professor in World Art History, 20 April.
2014 Paris, Haute Ecole en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). “D’une révolution à l’autre (1919 - 2011) : l’ambivalence comme prisme d’analyse d'une modernité artistique”. Séminaire ARVIMM Construction des savoirs et enjeux symboliques dans les arts visuels des pays de l’Islam méditerranéen (XIXe-XXIe siècles), 7 March.
2013 Paris, Institut national d’Histoire de l’art (INHA). “Le pharaonisme, reflet d’une modernité artistique”. Colloque international L’Égypte en ses miroirs. Art, architecture et critique à demeure et au-delà XIXème – XXème siècles, 27 June.
2012 Stockholm, Royal Institute of Art (KKH). “The Visual Construct of Heritage: Museology and Contemporary Art in Egypt and Palestine”, 1 Oct.

Zurich, Ernst Herzfeld Gesellschaft. “Painters and Sculptors of Modern Egypt: a Cosmopolitan Contribution to the Visual Construct of National Identity”, Université de Zurich, 7 July.

2011 Cairo, Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO). “Hassan Fathy and the Revival of Arts and Crafts in Egypt”. Symposium Hassan Fathy, IFAO, Gezirah Arts Centre, 20 Dec
2010 Barcelona, World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES). “Modern Egyptian Artists. Research Methods and Sources: the Case of Mahmud Mukhtar”, 23 July.
2009 Alexandria, Bibliotheca Alexandrina. “Preserving and Restoring the Material Legacy of Hassan Fathy”. Hassan Fathy Symposium and Prize, 28 Oct.