Nadia von Maltzahn

Nadia von Maltzahn

27 June 2020

Orient-Institut Beirut

Nadia von Maltzahn is a researcher at the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB), where she has been Deputy Director (2018-2020) and Research Associate (2013-2018). She holds a DPhil and an MSt in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a BA Honours in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from King’s College, Cambridge. Her research interests include cultural policies, artistic practices and the circulation of knowledge.

In 2019, Nadia was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for her research project “LAWHA – Lebanon’s Art World at Home and Abroad: Trajectories of artists and artworks in/from Lebanon since 1943” (, which runs from October 2020 to September 2025. Focusing on Lebanon’s art world since its independence from France, the project aims to decentre the global artistic canon and provide a new perspective on how to approach art and artists in the absence of an institutionalised local art history. It asks how artists are inscribed into systems of reference, both locally and globally, within the context of having a high level of circulation and mobility both to and from Lebanon. In terms of migration, it intends to provide tools to re-evalute the impact of war on artists’ mobility and artistic production. LAWHA moreover investigates how marginalized groups claim space.

Nadia is the author of The Syria-Iran Axis: Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East (London: I.B. Tauris, 2013/2015), and co-edited The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making (Beirut: Orient-Institut Beirut, 2018) with Monique Bellan, Divercities: Competing narratives and urban practices in Beirut, Cairo and Tehran (Orient-Institut Studies 3, 2015) with Monique Bellan, and Inverted Worlds: Cultural motion in the Arab region (Orient-Institut Studies 2, 2013) with Syrinx von Hees and Ines Weinrich. Her work has been published in a number of journals including Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Middle East Topics & Arguments, and the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication.

Profile on OIB