Historiography of Indian Art (compulsory)

-  Prof Kavita Singh

This seminar on the historiography of Indian art will study approaches to Indian art in a historical perspective. It will begin with a discussion of the conditions under which the discipline of art history was established in India under the aegis of colonialism and subsequently developed within the cultural politics of nationalism. Post-Independence trends in art history will be also traced. These include the attempt to discover a sastric vocabulary for Indic arts: tensions between the claims of nation and region; discussions of the unstable category of the ‘Indian artist’ anonymous or named; role of patronage; debates on folk-classical relationship as well as the definition of an ‘Indian’ modernity. Finally, the course will move towards a discussion of the directions and approaches for a New Art History for Indian art.


Short Bibliography:

• Bernard Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, OUP, Delhi, 1997

• Partha Mitter, Much Maligned Monsters, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1977

• Pramod Chandra, On the Study of Indian Art, Asia Society, New York, 1983

• Compilation: Course Reader (available in SAA Library)