South Asia Seminar - Anna Lise Seastrand

"Representing Self and Site: A new approach to history of the Nayaka period"

In a period of sharp decline in traditional lithic inscriptional activity, inscriptions abound in painted media of the 17th and 18th centuries. Yet text has never been recognized as a distinct and important feature of temple and palace murals, even though the search for narrative content and attribution of patronage dominate the few scholary studies of South Indian Murals. Focusing on a corpus almost completely unknown to scholarship, this paper will explore the intersections of text, portraiture, and topographic images in 17th and 18th-century temple murals of southeastern India. My research suggests that topographic imagery and narratives became of signal interest to writers, painters, and patrons because of broad changes in the political and economic interrelationships of the period. Drawing on heretofore-undiscovered donor portraits and inscriptions, I will focus on how and why diverse donors (royal, merchant, and monastic) inscribed their presence onto sacred sites and into their histories.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 4:30pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)