Qamar Adamjee: Neither “Hindu” nor “Muslim”

Posted on March 12th, 2012 in Events

May 31, 12:15 PM, Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

Workshops Series: Islamic Art & Architecture

Qamar Adamjee (San Francisco Asian Art Museum), “Neither “Hindu” nor “Muslim”: The Illustrated Chandayan Romance”

Abstract: In what contexts can objects of material culture produced in India but incorporating styles or forms more familiar from elsewhere in the Islamic world be understood? While questions of hybridity have long-been addressed by different disciplines, they are inadequately studied by art historians of Islamic and Indian art. Indo-Islamic art and architecture often falls between disciplinary divides and is sometimes filtered through current political rhetoric in which the present is retrojected onto the past. This paper will use an illustrated manuscript of the Chandayan, a so-called Sufi romance attributed to the late sixteenth century, to explore the diverse and complex world of pre-modern India. Through an analysis of the manuscript’s text and illustrations, I hope to reveal a hybrid cultural production that invites a re-interpretation of such polarities as Hindu/Muslim, indigenous/foreign, royal/commercial, north/south that have appeared in the historiography and modern politics of South Asia.

Qamar Adamjee is Associate Curator of South Asian art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She received her Ph.D. from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Her current research interests include topics on hybrid visual culture in Islam and South Asia.

[Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History]

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