Art Awards

The UC Berkeley
South Asia Art & Architecture Dissertation Prize

The UC Berkeley
South Asia Artist Prize

The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley invites submissions of doctoral dissertations for the annual UC Berkeley South Asia Art & Architecture Dissertation Prize. The prize will be awarded to an outstanding doctoral dissertation on the art, architecture, or visual cultures of South Asia and its diasporas from any discipline in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. The dissertation may focus on any time period from the prehistoric to the contemporary.

The prize comes with a $1,500 award.

Ph.D. dissertations submitted for consideration must have been filed between September 2, 2020 and September 1, 2022 at an accredited university in North America or Europe. The submission package must include the following:

  • A pdf abstract (< 1000 words)
  • A pdf curriculum vitae (please include your contact information)
  • A pdf copy of the dissertation
  • A confidential letter from a member of the dissertation committee that speaks to the merits of the dissertation with respect to the current state of the field and the innovation that the work attempts

DEADLINE: The submission package including the dissertation must be in English and submitted via email to Puneeta Kala by December 1, 2021. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The result for the 2021 prize recipient will be announced on the South Asia Art Initiative website on February 14, 2021. The winner will give a talk in conjunction with an expenses-paid award conferral ceremony at UC Berkeley on Thursday, April 21 2022 at 9 -10:30 am PST.

The 2021 Prize Committee: Atreyee Gupta (Chair, University of California, Berkeley), Navina Najat Haidar (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Partha Mitter (Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex), Tamara Sears (Rutgers University)

All inquiries regarding the UC Berkeley South Asia Art & Architecture Dissertation Prize should be directed to: Puneeta Kala at the Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley

The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley invites submissions from Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students for the annual UC Berkeley South Asia Artist Prize. The prize will be awarded for an outstanding body of work by an artist of the South Asian diaspora or by those whose work addresses the politics and cultures of South Asia.

The prize comes with a $1,500 award. 

Applicants must have graduated or will graduate with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree between Spring 2021 and Spring 2022 at an accredited school in North America or Europe. The submission package must include the following, and with each file size a maximum of 15MB:

  • A pdf Artist Statement (< 1000 words)
  • A pdf curriculum vitae (please include your contact information)
  • 20 images in a single pdf file and/or
  • Links (and password) to Vimeo for up to 15 minutes of time-based work
  • A confidential letter of support from a faculty member

DEADLINE: The submission package must be in English and submitted via email to Puneeta Kala by December 1, 2021. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The result for the 2020 prize recipient will be announced on the South Asia Art Initiative website on February 14, 2021. The winner will give an artist talk in conjunction with an expenses-paid award conferral ceremony at UC Berkeley on Wednesday, April 20 2022 at 9 -10 am PST.

The 2021 Prize Committee: Asma Kazmi (Chair, University of California, Berkeley), Allan deSouza (University of California, Berkeley), Mohini Chandra (Plymouth College of Art), Namita Gupta Wiggers (Warren Wilson College/Critical Craft Forum)

All inquiries regarding the UC Berkeley South Asia Artist Prize should be directed to: Puneeta Kala at the Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley

  * If there are continued COVID-19 travel restrictions, the award ceremony in 2022 may be held through a virtual platform.

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