Of Muslim Kings and Hindu Gods: Remembering Mughal Visible Tradition in Colonial North India


Speaker: Sugata Ray, Scholar-in-Residence
When: June 22, 2013
The place: Shangri La

It has been argued that the Emperor Aurangzeb’s loss of life in 1707 and the following rise of European powers in India rang the death-knell for the Mughal Empire. But, it’s at this very second that we discover non-Muslim communities in India claiming the visible cultures of the Mughal courtroom. In eighteenth and nineteenth-century work, the Hindu god, Krishna is thus represented in royal regalia, adorned with Mughal jewellery, and seated on Mughal floral carpets. Equally, motifs from Mughal structure seem on contemporaneous Hindu temples. Did this appropriation of earlier Islamicate courtly cultures in colonial India produce an anti-colonial sentiment expressed via a politics of inheritance? Might we learn this remembering as enunciating subjectivities and needs that operated past the tyranny of modernity and its declare to the common? How may this astounding second of cross-cultural transgression influence our understanding of post-Mughal South Asia particularly and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries extra broadly?

Sugata Ray (Ph.D., College of Minnesota, 2012) is Assistant Professor of South Asian artwork on the Historical past of Artwork Division, College of California, Berkeley. Ray holds an M.Phil. from the Heart for Research in Social Sciences, Calcutta and an M.A. from the Division of Artwork Historical past, M.S. College, Baroda. His analysis pursuits embody the visible tradition of recent pilgrimage in India, world artwork historical past, and museological practices within the colony. Sugata Ray is a Scholar in Residence at Shangri La from June 3-23, 2013.


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