This series takes as its starting point notions of the visual, and of vision, as central in producing meanings, maintaining aesthetic values, and relations of power. Through individual studies, it hopes to chart the trajectories of the visual as an activating principle of history. An important premise here is the conviction that the making, theorising, and historicising of images do not exist in exclusive distinction of one another.
Opening up the field of vision as an arena in which meanings get constituted simultaneously anchors vision to other media such as audio, spatial, and the dynamics of spectatorship. It calls for closer attention to inter-textual and inter-pictorial relationships through which ever-accruing layers of readings and responses are brought alive.
Through its regional focus on South Asia the series locates itself within a prolific field of writing on non-Western cultures, which have opened the way to pluralise iconographies, and to perceive temporalities as scrambled and palimpsestic. These studies, it is hoped, will continue to reframe debates and conceptual categories in visual histories. The importance attached here to investigating the historical dimensions of visual practice implies close attention to specific local contexts which intersect and negotiate with the global, and can re-constitute it. Examining the ways in which different media are to be read into and through one another would extend the thematic range of the subjects to be addressed by the series to include those which cross the boundaries that once separated the privileged subjects of art historical scholarship from the popular – sculpture, painting, and monumental architecture – from other media: studies of film, photography, and prints, on the one hand; advertising, television, posters, calendars, comics, buildings, and cityscapes on the other.
November 30, 2018
This book is the first inter-disciplinary engagement with the work of Maqbool Fida Husain, arguably India’s most iconic contemporary artist today, whose life and work are intimately entangled with the career of independent India as a democratic, secular and multi-ethnic nation. For more than half a...
Saloni Mathur, Kavita Singh
December 21, 2017
This volume brings together a range of essays that offer a new perspective on the dynamic history of the museum as a cultural institution in South Asia. It traces the museum from its origin as a tool of colonialism and adoption as a vehicle of sovereignty in the nationalist period, till its role in...
October 26, 2016
Studies on architecture in South Asia continue to ignore women in canonical histories of the discipline. This book attempts to recover the stories of the women architects whose careers nearly parallel the development of modernism in colonial and postcolonial India. Writing their experiences into...
Daud Ali, Emma J. Flatt
December 21, 2015
This book presents a set of new and innovative essays on landscape and garden culture in precolonial India, with a special focus on the Deccan. Most research to date has concentrated on the comparatively well preserved gardens and built landscapes of the celebrated Mughal empire, giving the...
October 24, 2014
Modern Art in Pakistan examines interaction of space, tradition, and history to analyse artistic production in Pakistan from the 1950s to recent times. It traces the evolution of modernism in Pakistan and frames it in a global context in the aftermath of Partition. A masterful insight into South...