This volume is one of the first comprehensive contributions to the rapidly developing cross disciplinary scholarship that connects visual studies with South Asian historiography. The key purpose of the book is to introduce scholars and students of South Asian and Indian history to the first in-depth evaluation of visual research methods as a valid research framework for new historical studies. The volume identifies and evaluates current developments in visual sociology and digital anthropology relevant to the study of contemporary South Asian constructions of personal and national identities.
Owing to its wide-ranging theoretical methodology, from concepts of visual perception to media semiotics, Visual Histories of South Asia covers a rich thematic agenda with contributions ranging from ethnographic research to gender studies, fine arts analyses, theoretical and methodological questions, economic structures, international politics and contemporary cultural patterns.
In charting the theoretical and historical advances in visual and historical studies dedicated to South Asia, and by addressing issues of private and national memory within regional, national, and contemporary South Asian iconography, from the mid-seventeenth century to the early twenty-first century, and the thirteen contributions selected for this volume are of immediate relevance to visual theorists and historians, sociologists and cultural anthropologists, as well as to students and scholars of South Asian history and culture.
Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes is Visiting Lecturer in Digital and New Media Anthropology at the Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UK.
Marcus Banks is Professor of Visual Anthropology at the University of Oxford, UK.
'This volume provides a rich feast of materials for anyone interested in the visual cultures and history of visual representation in South Asia and is notable as well for its fascinating exploration of the intersection of Western and local photographic practices.'
|— DAVID MACDOUGALL, The Australian National University|
'This is a remarkable, genuinely interdisciplinary collection, and both a marvellously rich addition to the study of the life of visual images in South Asia, and a highly sophisticated contribution to debates of the interdisciplinary study of visual culture.'
|— JAMES LAIDLAW, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology,|
Head of Division, Social Anthropology.
Fellow, King's College, University of Cambridge
'This is a unique and excellent contribution to the field of South Asian visual studies, art history and cultural analysis. This text takes an interdisciplinary approach while keeping its focus on the visual, on material cultural and on art and aesthetics. It brings together empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated analysis on representations from colonial and post-colonial eras ranging from colonial era photography to 'tribal art', temple and video art. In doing so it bridges a major gap in our understanding of South Asia's modern history by using the idiom of visual culture and the politics of representation.'
|— KAMRAN ASDAR ALI, Professor of Anthropology and Director,|
South Asia Institute, University of Texas, Austin
'This is an outstanding contribution to a timely and relevant focus on transregional visual history and historiography of South Asia. This rescaling of what is often times an India-centric visual history is accompanied by remarkably heterogeneous approaches from across disciplines and methods, challenging notions of political, cultural, religious or ethnic reications. The book offers insights into original material and a framework of rich epistemologies, entanglements, relationalities and translations. It will encourage new generations of scholars to further push boundaries of established canons and exploring new frontiers of visual culture and history studies.'
|— CHRISTIANE BROSIUS, Chair of Visual & Media Anthropology,|
Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies