Current Organizers

Alexander Brey

Dr. Alexander Brey is Assistant Professor of Islamic Art & Architecture at Wellesley College. He obtained a B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance studies at Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. His research and publications focus on Medieval Islamic art and architecture, cross-cultural exchange in Medieval visual cultures, landscape studies, and digital methods for art history.

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Rachel Winter

Rachel Winter is an Assistant Curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, and an art historian specializing in modern and contemporary West Asia and North Africa. She is currently working on a retrospective of painter Samia Halaby titled “Samia Halaby: Eye Witness” (June 2024), and a survey of the painter Nabil Kanso’s thinking on the Lebanese Civil War (February 2025). Notably, Rachel was awarded the inaugural Salwa Mikdadi Research Award from the Association for Modern + Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran + Turkey for her project on Kanso. Rachel is completing her Ph.D. in art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where her dissertation explores how art museums in the US and the UK came to be interested in the idea of contemporary art from the Middle East in the 1970s.

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Series Co-Founders

Mira Xenia Schwerda

Dr. Mira Xenia Schwerda is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 2020, after completing a M.A. in the History of Art and Archaeology at Princeton and a Magister Artium in History and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Tübingen. Her research focuses on global modern art and visual culture, in particular the Middle East, print, and photography. Her book manuscript-in-progress, tentatively titled Between Art and Propaganda: Photographing Revolution in Modern Iran (1905-1911), focuses on the imagery of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and presents a new history of the visual narratives of political violence brought about by the triad of the telegraph, printing press, and photography. Dr. Schwerda is also the co-editor of the journal Art in Translation and a founding member of Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online.

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Melis Taner

Dr. Melis Taner is an assistant professor of art history at Özyeğin University. She obtained her B.A. from Sabanci University, Department of Social and Political Science in 2006. After her B.A. degree, she studied Medieval History at Central European University, graduating with an M.A. degree in 2007. She has also completed a second M.A. in History at Sabanci University in 2009. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2016 from Harvard University, Department of History of Art and Architecture. Her areas of research are Islamic Art (specifically early modern Ottoman and Safavid painting) and Medieval Art.

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