Sugata Ray
Associate Professor, South and Southeast Asian Art

Trained in both history and art history, Sugata Ray's research and teaching focuses on the intersections among early modern and colonial artistic cultures, transterritorial ecologies, and the natural environment. His first book, Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850 (Global South Asia Series, University of Washington Press, 2019), examined the interrelationship between matter and life in shaping creative practices in the pilgrimage site of Braj during the ecocatastrophes of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1550–1850). As an extension of his interest in the field of eco art history, Ray has coedited Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art (2019) and Water Histories of South Asia: The Materiality of Liquescence (2018). Ray’s current book project, provisionally titled Matter, Material, Materiality: Indian Ocean Art Histories in the Early Modern World, focuses on the global trade in exotica, natural resources, and luxury objects that shaped ecocultural perceptions of the Indian Ocean in the early modern period. In the past, Ray has published essays on theories of collecting and archiving, postcolonial theory, and methodologies for a global art history in journals such as Art History and The Art Bulletin

Sugata Ray teaches courses on South and Southeast Asian art, as well as thematic seminars on global early modern art, eco art history, theories of collecting and archiving, postcolonial theory, and methodologies for a global art history. His doctoral students are currently working on a range of topics including the global histories of Rajput painting, exchanges between Southeast Asia and the Americas in the early modern period, and maritime networks in the Indian Ocean region. 

More about him at www.sugataray.com

early modern, environmental studies, aesthetics, Indian Ocean, art history, climate change
Ph.D., University of Minnesota