Lamia Balafrej


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


Lamia Balafrej specializes in the arts of the medieval and early modern Islamic world. Her teaching and research interests include painting and the arts of the book, intersections of materiality and aesthetic, art and its relation to labour and ecology, cross-cultural exchange. Her forthcoming book, The Making of the Artist in Late Timurid Painting, reveals how artists engaged with theories of authorship in Persian painting, using aspects of composition, facture, and representation to define artistic authority. Professor Balafrej has also published on cross-cultural relations in the Medieval Mediterranean, iconoclasm’s paradoxical iconophilia, and women artists from the Middle East.


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.