A talk by Dr. Aparna Kumar, the UC Berkeley South Asia Art & Architecture Dissertation Prize recipient for 2021.
This dissertation investigates the impact of the partition of 1947 on art, art institutions, and aesthetic discourse in India and Pakistan in the twentieth century. A study of art, museums, mobility, and historiography, it challenges prevailing national frameworks within the field of South Asian art history that have suppressed the violent and traumatic legacy of the partition for global histories of modernism. This project situates the partition as a defining era of cultural anxiety in South Asia, whose fragmentations of place, identity, and humanity entwine culture, society, and modernism in India and Pakistan today. Bridging histories of museums and migration, it traces the divergent lives of artifacts and cultural institutions in South Asia, before and after 1947, to elucidate the paradoxical conditions in which art and heritage were made national. In this regard, it investigates both how contending national imaginations were carved from a shared cultural landscape, and how art and culture in India and Pakistan seep through the hard and fast divides of territory and identity upon which the partition of 1947 purportedly was based.
Aparna Kumar is a Lecturer in Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South in the Department of History of Art at University College London. She received her Ph.D. in Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018. Her research and teaching span modern and contemporary South Asian art, twentieth-century partition history, museum studies, and postcolonial theory. Before joining UCL in 2020, Aparna was a Lecturer in Art History at UCLA and a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Getty Research Institute. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Program, the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS), the Critical Language Scholarship Program, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
DATE: Thursday, April 22, 2021
TIME: 9am Berkeley | 4pm London | 9pm Lahore | 9:30pm New Delhi | Calculate Your Local Time
The South Asia Art Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley promotes research-based conversations and collaborations around the arts of South Asia + its diasporas from the ancient period to the now. To read more about the Initiative and help support its various fundraising goals, please click HERE.
Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies
The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.