AJAY SINHA, Professor of Art History, Mount Holyoke College
Chair: JINAH KIM, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture and Faculty Director, Arts @ Mittal Institute
In the Spring of 1938, an Indian dancer, Ram Gopal, posed in a variety of fantastical costumes for the American photographer, Carl Van Vechten, in New York City. Studying over 100 large-size photographs resulting from the photoshoot, the lecture builds an illustrated story of their mutual fascination and exchange, triggered by the camera. The remarkable images, now part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library, Yale University, show traces of the myriad, transcultural relations being performed during the photoshoot. They reveal an interplay of differing investments in the image when we ask: What does the Indian dancer show the camera; what does the American photographer see through his lens? Their visual exploration helps us elaborate on an underrepresented history of exchanges between the cultural worlds of India and the U.S. in early-20th century.
Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 04:30pm
Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 06:00pm
Mrinalini Rajagopalan, Associate Professor, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh
Chaired by Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
How do we tell little histories of grand cities? How do we tell big histories of modest monuments? How can we present alternate histories of a city that has heretofore been told through emperors, colonizers and ambitious architects; monumental mosques, revered tombs, and royal forts; and of extensive urban planning schemes stretching over seven hundred years. What of the poets, travelers, soldiers, refugees, dissidents, archaeologists, and nationalists who lived and worked in Delhi as the city grew around them and sometimes with little regard to them? What can we say about the affective landscape of a city that was the locus of the anger of colonial retribution, the hubris of imperial building, the violence of Partition, the nostalgia of preservation, and the pride of Hindu nationalism? These are the tasks of my presentation, which places subaltern agents and emotional affects as crucial vectors in the building and destruction of Delhi between 1857 and 2000. In doing so, I present alternate urban histories of Delhi that substantially expands the corpus of the city’s makers and their motivations.
Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 06:00pm
Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 07:30pm
How should societies identify and promote merit? Enabling all people to fulfill their full potential and ensuring that competent and capable leaders are selected to govern are central challenges for any society. Failure to meet these challenges can have enormous costs, for individuals and for societies as a whole. The richness of China’s historical experience and its distinctive current practices offer useful tools for reflection and comparative analysis. Does the case of China offer any lessons – positive or negative – for India to consider?
Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 06:00pm
Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 08:30pm
Sat, December 8, 2018 at 04:00pm
The ‘material turn’ in art history opened new avenues for research with fresh approaches that shift our attention from considering an object as a static thing in an absolute state to putting more emphasis on the process of making and its use and reuse. A chipped area in a miniature painting is no longer an unfortunate loss but a site of excavation for information about material conditions of production and use, while unfinished surface in a stone sculpture provides a laboratory to explore artisans’ hands at work. This symposium brings together scholars whose research embraces methodological interventions and theoretical implications of art history’s material turn in the field of South Asian art and architecture, mostly focusing on the period between 500 CE and 1500CE. Thematically organized, papers demonstrate how attending to thingness and the process of making helps reveal hitherto invisible connections across time and space. Going beyond the rubric of material agency, papers also explore the importance of considering somatic intelligence and ritual technology that developed to activate power and sacrality of objects and buildings in Indic religious contexts. Further consideration of ritual knowledge helps situate the trace of time left in matter through artistic mediations in historical and experiential contexts.
Symposium organizer: Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture, Harvard University
Keynote Speaker: Vidya Dehejia, Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art, Columbia University
Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 04:00pm
Sat, Dec 8, 2018