Shiva Balaghi

Academic coordinator of the Area Global Initiative
East Asia Center
Center for Middle East Studies
and Latin America and Iberian Studies


Dr. Shiva Balaghi is a cultural historian specializing in the visual culture of the Middle East and its diasporas. She is Academic Coordinator of the Area Global Initiative at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She previously served as Senior Advisor to the President of the American University in Cairo for Arts and Cultural Programs and taught History and History of Art at NYU and Brown University for nearly two decades. Her books include Picturing Iran: Art, Society and Revolution (co-edited), Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East (co-edited), and Saddam Hussein: A Biography. Her writing has also appeared in ArtforumHyperallergicMERIP, and Iranian Studies. Balaghi has curated over a dozen art exhibitions in museums and galleries in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.