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Visual and Media Histories

About the Series

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.

8 Series Titles

Per Page

Chakshudana or Opening the Eyes Seeing South Asian Art Anew

Chakshudana or Opening the Eyes: Seeing South Asian Art Anew

1st Edition

Edited By Pika Ghosh, Pushkar Sohoni
September 20, 2023

Chakshudana or rituals of opening the eyes are practiced across multiple South Asian communities by artists, sculptors, and priests. The ritual offers gods access to the mortal world. This practice, applied to the study of material and visual culture, offers a distinctive perspective to interrogate...

Garden and Landscape Practices in Pre-colonial India Histories from the Deccan

Garden and Landscape Practices in Pre-colonial India: Histories from the Deccan

1st Edition

Edited By Daud Ali, Emma J. Flatt
December 18, 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 ...

Along the Indian Highway An Ethnography of an International Travelling Exhibition

Along the Indian Highway: An Ethnography of an International Travelling Exhibition

1st Edition

By Cathrine Bublatzky
August 05, 2019

This book is an ethnographic study of the travelling art exhibition Indian Highway that presented Indian contemporary art in Europe and China between 2008 and 2012, a significant period for the art world that saw the rise and fall of the national exhibition format. It analyses art exhibition as a ...

Water Histories of South Asia The Materiality of Liquescence

Water Histories of South Asia: The Materiality of Liquescence

1st Edition

Edited By Sugata Ray, Venugopal Maddipati
June 21, 2019

This book surveys the intersections between water systems and the phenomenology of visual cultures in early modern, colonial and contemporary South Asia. Bringing together contributions by eminent artists, architects, curators and scholars who explore the connections between the environmental and ...

Modern Art in Pakistan History, Tradition, Place

Modern Art in Pakistan: History, Tradition, Place

1st Edition

By Simone Wille
April 25, 2019

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 ...

Women Architects and Modernism in India Narratives and Contemporary Practices

Women Architects and Modernism in India: Narratives and Contemporary Practices

1st Edition

By Madhavi Desai
April 17, 2019

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 ...

Barefoot across the Nation M F Husain and the Idea of India

Barefoot across the Nation: M F Husain and the Idea of India

1st Edition

Edited By Sumathi Ramaswamy
February 14, 2019

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...

No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying The Museum in South Asia

No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: The Museum in South Asia

1st Edition

Edited By 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...

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