Lamia Balafrej


Ph.D. University of Aix-Marseille
Phone 310-825-0937
Office Dodd 247B

Centered on the Islamic world, Lamia Balafrej’s teaching and research engage a wide range of issues, including the sociology of art, art and its relation to labor and ecology, cultural appropriation, iconoclasm, cross-cultural exchange, institutional critique, and historiography. A blend of visual, material, and institutional analysis, her first book, The Making of the Artist in late Timurid Painting, explores the social function of Persian painting’s intricacy in the late fifteenth century. Professor Balafrej has also published on cross-cultural relations in the Medieval Mediterranean and iconoclasm’s paradoxical iconophilia.


Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from various institutions, including the Forum Transregionale Studien (Berlin, Germany), the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC). Before coming to UCLA, she taught at Wellesley College. She studied literature and art history at the University Mohammed V (Rabat, Morocco), the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris, and Paris Sorbonne, and received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Aix-Marseille.