South Asia

Roundtable Session

(17) Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India by Sonal Khullar: Scholarly Reflection on the Bernard Cohn Prize-Winning Book

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: McKinley, Mezzanine Level

Sponsored By AAS South Asia Council (SAC)

This roundtable, which is sponsored by the AAS South Asia Council, brings together established and emerging scholars to explore the significance and implications for South Asian Studies of the 2017 AAS Bernard Cohn Prize-winning book, Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990 (University of California Press, 2015) by Sonal Khullar. The session will invite consideration of two critical terms utilized within Khullar's text¾affiliation (Said) and worlding (Spivak)¾to consider modern Indian art beyond the national paradigms in which it had been mired, and in relation to the recursive ways in which contemporary artists reference the modern, as well as the global networks in which their work, thoughts, and interventions are immersed. The roundtable will proceed with reflections by Susan S. Bean, an anthropologist, art historian, and curator, on how Khullar's work "pushes a reset button" for thinking about ways art makers work across transnational, historical, regional networks in developing their practices through the idea of "affliliation." Sanjukta Sunderason, a historian of twentieth-century aesthetics, will examine how affiliations free post/colonial art from the binds of the nation, and possibly, from certain rationalities of the global. Art historian Rebecca M. Brown will consider the "worldly" in Khullar’s project by engaging with the fraught concept of the cosmopolitan as it has been deployed to re-consider modern and contemporary visual culture around the world.  Finally, Anjali Nerlekar, a literary critic and historian of modern literary and political cultures, will focus on the visual artist Bhupen Khakhar, who was closely associated with sathottari (post-1960) Bombay poets, to highlight how poets and painters asserted a unique material, multi-disciplinary, and polylingual modernism in Bombay. Art critic and historian Ajay Sinha will chair the session, Khullar will respond briefly, and discussion will follow.

Anne Murphy

University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada

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Ajay Sinha

Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts

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    Susan Bean

    Independent Scholars of Asia, Massachusetts

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      Sanjukta Sunderason

      Leiden University, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

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        Rebecca Brown

        Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

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          Anjali Nerlekar

          Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Jersey

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            Sonal Khullar

            University of Washington, Washington

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