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Schedule | American Council for Southern Asian Art Symposium

ACSAA Symposium 2017 banner







October 12-15, 2017
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Harvard University

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Day 1 | Thursday, October 12

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


4:00-4:30 pm—Registration open

4:30-5:30 pm—Utsava: 100 years of the study of South Asian Art in Boston and in honor of late Pramod Chandra (1930-2016)

Alfond Auditorium

Chairs: Laura Weinstein (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) & Jinah Kim (Harvard University)

Panelists: Frederick Asher (University of Minnesota), Daniel Ehnbom (University of Virginia), Deborah Klimburg-Salter (University of Vienna/Harvard University), Alka Patel (University of California, Irvine), Eugene Wang (Harvard University)

5:45-7:00 pm—Opening Reception

The Koch gallery

Welcome Remark by Tarun Khanna, Director of Harvard South Asia Institute

Note: MFA’s Galleries are open for viewing until 10pm


Day 2 | Friday, October 13

Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium


8:00-8:20 am—Coffee and Pastries

8:20-8:30 am—Opening Remarks

8:30-10:00 am—Temples and Texts—in honor of M.A. Dhaky

Chair: Adam Hardy (Cardiff University)

Discussant: Michael Meister (University of Pennsylvania)

Libbie Mills (University of Toronto), “Rhythm, in Verse and Architecture”

Tamara Sears (Rutgers University), “Planned Passings: Con-textualizing Cremation and Iconologies of Death”

Megha Chand Inglis (Cardiff University), “Modernity, Texts and Temple Makers”

10:00-10:15 am—Coffee/Tea Break

10:15-11:45 am—Defining the Portrait in South Asia: Form & Function

Chairs: Krista Gulbransen (Whitman College) and Murad Khan Mumtaz (University of Virginia)

Malini Roy (The British Library), “The role of portraiture at the court of Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (r.1658-1707)”

Atsushi Ikeda (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), “Between the Portrait and the Devotional Image: The Representation of Guru Nanak, the Founder of Sikhism”

Susan Bean (Peabody Essex Museum, emerita), “Hyperreal Clay Portraiture in Colonial Bengal”

Rebecca M. Brown (Johns Hopkins University), “Making Copies: The Repetition and the Portrait”

11:45 am-2:20 pm—Lunch (available for all registered attendees)


Special Viewing Sessions—Registration is now CLOSED.

Harvard Art Museums, Study Center (4th floor)
32 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

12:00-1:00 pm – Group 1 | 1:15-2:15 pm – Group 2

Room A: Rachel Parikh (Harvard Art Museums), “Sketched, Pounced, Tinted, Rubbed: Drawings in the Harvard Art Museums South Asian Collection”

Room B: Jinah Kim (Harvard University), “Treasured Stories in Color: Word and Image in Indian painting”

Room C: Vivek Gupta (American Numismatic Society), “Strategies of Vernacular Inscription in Rajput Painting”


2:30-4:00 pm—Between: Agencies, Objects and Architecture

Chair: Ajay Sinha (Mount Holyoke College)

Qamar Adamjee (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco), “Ancient Persia Meets Colonial India on a Zoroastrian Silver Bowl”

Marika Sardar (Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar), “Hayat Bakhshi Begum: The Role of a Female Patron in the Development of Golconda Architecture”

Mary Beth Heston (College of Charleston), “A Palace on the Littoral: Mattanceri Kovilakam in Kochi: On the Threshold of a New Era”

Atreyee Gupta (University of California, Berkeley), “The Anti-fascist Photomontage in Interwar India”

4:00-4:15 pm—Coffee/Tea Break

4:15-5:45 pm—Not all at Sea: Material Histories on Oceanic Thresholds

Chairs: Sylvia Houghteling (Bryn Mawr College), Dipti Khera (New York University)

Frederick Asher (University of Minnesota), “India Abroad: Early Indian Images in Southeast Asia”

Sylvia Houghteling (Bryn Mawr College), “The Rootedness of Woven Air: Travels and Travails of Cotton Muslin in Mughal Bengal”

Fatima Quraishi (New York University), “Maru-Gurjara and Beyond: The Intertwined Material Histories of Sindh, Rajasthan and Gujarat”

Nancy Um (Binghamton University), “Maritime Containers for Aromatic Gifts: The Material Conditions of Travel and Exchange in the late 17th and early 18th C Indian Ocean”

6:00-8:00 pm—Dinner (open to all registered attendees)

Day 3 | Saturday, October 14

Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium


8:00-8:20 am—Coffee and Pastries

8:20-8:30 am—Opening Remarks

8:30-10:00 am—Boston and Beyond: Contexts and Legacies of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s Scholarship

Chairs: Brinda Kumar (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Janice Leoshko (University of Texas, Austin)

Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell University), “The Figure of the Artisan in Ananda Coomaraswamy’s Mediaeval Sinhalese Art

Laura Weinstein (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), “’The Dance of Shiva’ at 100 Years”

Antonia Behan (Bard Graduate Center), “Whose Legacy? Stella Bloch’s Contribution to Collecting and Interpreting South East Asian Drama”

Nachiket Chanchani (University of Michigan), “Modern Postural Yoga in An Expanded Field”

10:00-10:15 am—Coffee/Tea Break

10:15-11:45 am—Histories of the Sensorium in South Asian Art

Chairs: Subhashini Kaligotla (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Anna Seastrand (University of Minnesota)

Anandi Silva Knuppel (Emory University), “Beyond Seeing: Darśan as an Embodied Multi-Sensory Practice in Contemporary Transnational Gaudīya Vaishnavism”

Risha Lee (Rubin Museum of Art), “Amplifying the Museum”

Deepthi Murali (University of Illinois, Chicago), “Decorative Arts as Sensorial Interlocutors in Nineteenth-Century Travancore, Kerala”

Deborah Stein (Independent Scholar), “The Sound of Praxis Uttered in Stone”

11:45 am-12:45 pm—Lunch (available for registered attendees)

*ACSAA Board Meeting (CGIS Room S153)

12:45-2:15 pm—Kindred Spirits: Adivasi/Tribal Culture and Modernist Art in South Asia

Chair: Sonal Khullar (University of Washington, Seattle)

Mircea Raianu (University of Maryland), “Bodies and Machines: Adivasi Modernist Entanglements on India’s Industrial Frontier”

Sanjukta Sunderason (Leiden University), “Re-Castings of Primitivism in Postcolonial Indian Art”

Katherine Hacker (University of British Columbia), “Jaidev Baghel and Meera Mukherjee: Craft, Art and its Entanglements in Modern India”

Akshaya Tankha (University of Toronto), “Crafting Forms of Being and Belonging in Nagaland: Modernist Art and Indigenous Material Culture in India”

2:15-2:30 pm—Coffee/Tea Break

2:30-4:00 pm—Museums in Contention

Chair: Richard H. Davis (Bard College)

Aparna Kumar (University of California, Los Angeles), “Unraveling a National Symbol: Partition and the Lahore Museum”

Aditi Chandra (University of California, Merced), “Display-potential and Museumization at the Mughal Red Fort, Delhi”

Heidi Tan (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), “Curating the Lives of a Wish-fulfilling Buddha”

Bob Brown (University of California, Los Angeles), “Everyone Needs a Voice”

4:10-5:00 pm—In Memoriam

Chair: Alka Patel (University of California, Irvine)

Panelists: Melody Rodari (Loyola Marymount University), Bob Brown (University of California, Los Angeles), Susan Huntington (Ohio State University)

5:10-6:00 pm—ACSAA Business Meeting

6:00-7:00 pm—Reception with Cheese and Samosas (open to all registered attendees)

Day 4 | Sunday, October 15

Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium


8:00-8:25 am—Coffee and Pastries

Pre-Symposium architecture Workshop with Adam Hardy (Cardiff University)

8:30-8:40 am—Opening Remarks

8:40-10:10 am—Lahore, Reclaiming Its Mughal Past

Chair: James Wescoat (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abdul Rehman (Independent Scholar), “Urban Landscape of an Imperial Mughal city: The case of Lahore”

Nadhra S. N. Khan (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan), “Lahore Fort’s Picture Wall: Jahangir and Shah Jahan’s Decrees Read by Lahori Eyes”

Saleema Waraich (Skidmore College) Moments of Transition: Recasting Lahore’s Mughal Past

10:10-10:30 am—Coffee/Tea Break

10:30 am-12:00 pm—Making Visible: Interplays of Medium and Authorship

Chair: Deepali Dewan (Royal Ontario Museum)

John Stratton Hawley (Columbia University), “Seeing the Singer: A Dispersed Set of Portraits of Surdas from Udaipur”

Niharika Dinkar (Boise State University), “The Phantasmagoria of Elephanta: Optical technologies and Haunted Stories”

Kaitlin Emmanuel (Cornell University), “Lionel Wendt: Between Empire and Nation”

Hawon Ku (Seoul National University), “World Heritage as Educational Material: Ajanta, Ellora, and the Taj Mahal in NCERT Textbooks”

12:00-12:15 pm—Concluding Remarks


Register online, then submit your dietary preferences.

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