People / Faculty


Salar Mameni

Assistant Professor

Comparative Ethnic Studies

Picture of SARA M

Research Interests

Art, Aesthetics and Visual Culture, Transnational Feminism, Queer of Color Critique, Arab/Muslim Disapora, Militarism, Critical Race and Postcolonial Theory, Anthropocene, Extractive Economies and Petrocultures


UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
Ph.D., Art History, University of California, San Diego
M.A., Art History, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
B.F.A., Fine Arts, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design


I am an art historian specializing in contemporary transnational art and visual culture in the Arab/Muslim world with an interdisciplinary research on racial discourse, transnational gender politics, militarism, oil cultures and extractive economies in West Asia. I am currently completing my first book titled Crude: The Art of Living in the Terracene, that considers the emergence of the Anthropocene as a new geological era in relation to the concurrent declaration of the War on Terror in the early 2000s. Playing on the words “terror” and “terra,” I propose the term “Terracene” in order to think the planetary in conjunction with ongoing militarization of transnational regions under terror. Crude engages contemporary art and aesthetic productions, paying particular attention to artists navigating the geopolitics of petrocultures and climate change.

I have published articles in Signs, Women & Performance, Al-Raida Journal, Fuse Magazine, Fillip Review and Canadian Art Journal. I have also written for exhibition catalogues in Dubai, Sharjah and Istanbul. I was the curator of “Snail Fever,” at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai that explored art as a pandemic bringing together artists from the region whose works consider the embodied, viral and contaminating nature of sonic and visual aesthetics.

Selected Publications

“On the Terracene” in Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture and Climate Change, edited by TJ Demos, Emily Eliza Scott and Subhankar Banerjee (Routledge, 2021).

“How Does it Feel To Be an Oil Spill?” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities (2021).

“What Are the Iranians Wishing For? Queer Transnational Solidarity in Revolutionary Iran,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43:4 (2018): 955-978

“Dermopolitics: Erotics of the Muslim Body in Pain,” Women and performance 27: 1 (2017): 96-103, Special Issue “Sentiment and Sentience: Black Performance since Scenes of Subjection,” edited by Sampada Aranke and Nikolas Oscar Sparks.

“Car Flirting and Morality Cruising: Neurotic Gazes and Paranoid Glances in Contemporary Iranian Art,” Al-Raida Journal 141 (Spring/Summer 2013): 27-38, Special issue “Women and Photography in the Arab World.”

“Visions of Immunity” in Visual Studies (Vol.36, 2021).