Assistant Professor - Visual Cultures and Arts
Department of the Arts


Brief Biography

Elizabeth Rauh is an assistant professor of Modern Art and Visual Cultures at the American University in Cairo. Specializing in the history of arts and visual cultures of Iraq, Iran, and Western Asia, her work examines artist engagements with Islamic heritage, popular image practices and technologies in the Islamic world, and arts of the twentieth-century “Shi`i Left.” She also pursues research in ecological art practices in the Persian Gulf history, such as in her forthcoming study: “Experiments in Eden: Midcentury Artist Voyages into the Mesopotamian Marshlands” (Journal of Contemporary Iraq & the Arab World, Summer 2021). Her research has been funded by The Academic Research Institute in Iraq, the Darat al Funun Center for Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, the Max Weber Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    • “Travelling Crafts: The Moon and Science Fiction in Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art.” In The Moon: A Voyage Through Time (Toronto: The Aga Khan Museum, 2019), 69-77.
    • “An Enduring Monument: Bahrain’s 2011 Pearl Roundabout Protests,” special issue “Creative Dissent: Arts of the 2011 Arab Uprisings,” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication vol. 11 (Leiden: Brill, July 2018), 141-173.
    • “Thirty Years Later: Iranian Visual Culture from the 1979 Revolution to the 2009 Presidential Protests,” International Journal of Communication v. 6 (2012), 1-20.
    • Catalogue, “The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts.” Published and online exhibition catalogue, the University of Chicago’s Special Collections Library Resources. Available at:

    Contributed Essays

    • “Visualizing Islamic Artistic Heritage in the Modern Mashriq.” In Knowledge Production: Examining Arab Art Today (Amman, Jordan: Darat al Funun-The Khalid Shoman Foundation, 2020), 66-71.
    • “The Sublime Museums of Amman,” The Museums of Amman Project (Amman, Jordan: Spring Sessions Arts and Education Programme, 2016). Available at:


    • “Bridging Identity: Language, Worldmaking, and Iranian-American Publics in the Artworks of Siah Armajani.” In Intersections: Visual Cultures of Islamic Cosmopolitanism, eds. Melia Belli and Saleema Waraich (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2020), forthcoming April 2021.
    • “Experiments in Eden: Midcentury Artist Voyages into the Mesopotamian Marshlands,” in the special issue “Shifting Terrains: Art, Environment, and Urbanism in Iraq,” Journal of Contemporary Iraq & the Arab World, forthcoming May 2021.

    Museum Exhibitions

    • Curator, Midcentury Iraqi Photography Project, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Cranbrook Art Institute, Detroit, forthcoming Summer 2021
    • Curatorial Fellow, “POST NO BILLS: Burhan Doğançay’s Archive of Urban Rebellion,” forthcoming exhibition, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, May 23rd-August 9th 2020, postponed until Spring 2021
    • Co-curator, "The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts," with Prof. Christiane Gruber, Indiana University Museum of Art, Bloomington, October 15 - December 18, 2011:
    • Ph.D. in History of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2020)
    • M.A. in Islamic Art History, Indiana University (2012)
    • B.A. in Art History, Indiana University (2009)