Art History Department

Lina El-Shamy


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Supervisors: Kajri Jain and Elizabeth Harney

Lina El-Shamy is a graphic artist, filmmaker, and visual anthropologist whose main research concerns the paradoxes of everyday life in contemporary Egypt, and the absurd images that result from these paradoxes. Her desire to understand images around us led her to study graphic design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, and then art history / visual culture at the University of Toronto, where she is now completing her doctoral degree. Lina believes in the power of images to (mis)communicate across disciplines and borders; that is why she makes them and studies their effect. (She did spend a year or so designing logos and branding identities, but decided to stop and instead wonder why and how people are obsessed with images anyways.) Lina was born in Alexandria, Egypt, grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and immigrated to Canada at age 15, making her life a postmodern jumble of everything her heart desires.

Areas of Academic Interest
  • 20th-century and contemporary Egyptian visual culture
  • Design history
  • Postcolonial visual culture
  • Politics of aesthetics (and vice versa)
  • Visual anthropology
  • MA Art History, University of Toronto
  • BDes Graphic Design, Ontario College of Art & Design University
Recent Awards
  • 2016 Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • 2015 Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC CGS-M)

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