Foad Torshizi

Foad Torshizi is an assistant professor of art of the Islamic world at RISD. He holds degrees in Comparative Literature and Society and Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (PhD and MPhil, Columbia University), Art History (MA, University of Minnesota) and Photography (MFA, Honar University of Tehran). Prior to joining the RISD faculty in 2017, he taught graduate students at Tehran University, advanced undergraduates and graduate students at the Università degli Studi di Milano in Italy as well as undergraduate students at Columbia University’s Core Curriculum.

Torshizi’s research interests are in the areas of global contemporary art, contemporary Iranian and Middle Eastern art, postcolonial theory, ethics of readership, theories of globalization and cosmopolitanism, comparative literature and politics of translation and interpretation. His research has appeared in academic journals both in the US and Iran. Most recently he has published an article in Herfeh: Honarmand on the works of the prolific Iranian artist Barbad Golshiri.

Torshizi is currently working on a manuscript project entitled “The Clarity of Meaning”: Contemporary Iranian Art and the Cosmopolitan Ethics of Reading in Art History. The manuscript examines the ways in which western disciplinary forms, and more specifically art criticism, return home to circumscribe aesthetic diversity in Iran, demanding that the aesthetic economies of Iranian artifacts align with Euro-American understandings of meaning, value, aspiration and desire.

Office: 20 Washington Place, Room 346

Fall 2018 Courses

  • HAVC-H179-01 Art Of The Islamic World: From The Siege Of Baghdad To The Present
  • HAVC-H174-01 Forms, Words, Affects: Theories and Methods Of Art History
  • HAVC-H608-01 HAVC Museum Fellowship

Spring 2019 Courses

  • HAVC-H608-01 HAVC Museum Fellowship
  • HAVC-H102-02 History Of Art & Visual Culture 2
  • HAVC-H102-03 History Of Art & Visual Culture 2
  • HAVC-H180-01 Introduction To Iranian Cinema


Apparel Design Architecture Ceramics Digital + Media Experimental and Foundation Studies Film / Animation / Video Furniture Design Glass Graduate Studies Graphic Design History, Philosophy + the Social Sciences Illustration Industrial Design Interior Architecture Jewelry + Metalsmithing Landscape Architecture Literary Arts + Studies Painting Photography Printmaking Sculpture Teaching + Learning in Art + Design Textiles Theory + History of Art + Design