University of Georgia/Emory University

Athens & Atlanta, Georgia, April 7 –10, 2022


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New Research on Rock-Cut Architecture: The Legacy of Walter M. Spink

Chair(s): Robert DeCaroli, George Mason University/ Pia Brancaccio, Drexel University


  1. Abhishek Amar, Hamilton College
    “Reconfiguration and Transformation of Buddhist Sites in Western India”
  2. Pia Brancaccio, Drexel University
    “From Cave to Palace: Re-Thinking the Morphology and Role of the Buddhist Cetiyaghara in the Western Deccan Caves”
  3. Robert DeCaroli, George Mason University
    “Remodeling, Repairs, and Renovations at the Kanheri Caves”
  4. Charlotte Gorant, Columbia University
    “Narrative Themes in Ajantā Cave 1: The Gift of the Body and Moral Perfections”
  5. Jinah Kim, Harvard University
    “Scale as a Tool of Spatial and Experiential Transformation at Ajanta and Kanheri”
  6. Tamara Sears, Rutgers University
    “Mountains and Water in Medieval India: Looking at Caves through a Geoaesthetic Lens”
  7. Lisa N. Owen, University of North Texas
    “Shubh Yatra: Return Trip to Ellora”
  8. Nicolas Morrissey, University of Georgia
    “What a Difference a Mudrā can Make: Iconology and Buddhology at Ajantā”



Devotional Objects and Ritual Contexts in South and Southeast Asia

Chair: David Efurd, Wofford College


  1. Carol Radcliffe Bolon, Smithsonian Institution Research Associate
    “Light of Devotion: Oil Lamps of Kerala”
  2. Alexandra Kaloyanides, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
    “Resourcing Religion: Gems, Metals, and Ivory in Burmese Buddhism”
  3. David Efurd, Wofford College
    “How Intentional Were Early Buddhist Sculptural and Iconographic Programs? A Solution at Karle”
  4. Dessi Vendova, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA “A New Look at the ‘Muhammad Nari Stele’ and Other Similar Complex Steles from Gandhāra”
  5. Divya Kumar-Dumas, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
    “An Indian Ocean Figure that Sailed Away: A Bronze yakshi from Khor Rori”



New Discoveries in Early Southern Buddhist Art: Changing the Paradigms

Chair: John Guy, Metropolitan Museum of Art


  1. John Guy, Metropolitan Museum of Art
    “Early Phase Andhradeśa Sculpture – Towards a New Chronology “
  2. Robert Arlt, Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities
    “Sculptures and Inscriptions along the Circumambulation Path of the Kanaganahalli Stūpa”
  3. Akira Shimada, SUNY New Paltz
    “Early Style of Nagarjunakonda: Sculptures from Sites 6 and 9”
  4. Monika Zin, Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities
    “Vidūsaka’s brothers”



Matrices and Flows

Chair: Nachiket Chanchani, University of Michigan


  1. Penny Edwards, University of California, Berkeley
    “Angkor and the Seventh Art: The Cinema of Norodom Sihanouk”
  2. Priya Maholay-Jaradi, National University of Singapore
    “South Asia in Singapore’s Museums: Beyond the Patina of Diplomacy and Classicism”
  3. Kaja McGowan, Cornell University
    “Coaxing Kusha to Speak a Connected History: Meditating on the Ritual, Aesthetic and Ecological Matrices of Salt Reed Grass in South and Southeast Asia”
  4. Nachiket Chanchani, University of Michigan
    “Empty Bowls Full of Meaning: A Connected History of the Brahmaputra and Irrawwaddy Valleys”



The Haunting of South Asian Art History

Chair: Catherine Becker, University of Illinois, Chicago


  1. Monalisa Behera, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    “Demon-like Gods: Interpreting the iconography of Cāmuṇḍā as Personification of the Great Goddess’s Wrath”
  2. Maggie Schuster, University of Illinois, Chicago
    “Entering the Zenana: Ephemera and Power in Mughal Architecture”
  3. Janice Leoshko, University of Texas at Austin
    “On Coomaraswamy’s Time”
  4. Stephen P. Huyler, Independent Scholar
    “The Rewards of Random Scholarship”
  5. Mira Rai Waits, Appalachian State University
    “Picturing the Prison: Gandhi and the Yerawada Central Jail”


The Bhāgavata Purāna in the Visual Arts

Chair: Daniel J. Ehnbom, University of Virginia


  1. Arathi Menon, Hamilton College
    “The Chathankulangara Narasimhaswamy Bhāgavata”
  2. Neeraja Poddar, Philadelphia Museum of Art
    “Krishna in the Kathmandu Valley: An Illustrated Bhāgavata from Nepal”
  3. Maud Siron, Hiéron Museum of Sacred Art
    “An Enlightening Combination: Exploring the Text-Image Relationship in a Bhāgavata Purāna Scroll”
  4. Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida
    “Invictus and the Nectar of Immortality: Ajita, Amṛta, and the Churning of the Ocean of Milk Narrative in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa”


Ephemerality as Endurance

Chair: Pika Ghosh, Haverford College

Discussant: Annapurna Garimella, Independent Scholar


  1. Susan S. Bean, Independent Curator and Consultant
    “Making, Using, Disposing, Remaking… : Terracruda Sculpture as an Art of Re-creation in Southern Asia”
  2. Cristin McKnight Sethi, George Washington University
    “The Ephemeral Permanence of Water in the Making and Breaking of Material Things”
  3. Holly Shaffer, Brown University
    “Ephemerality, Cultivation, and Cuisine”
  4. Yael Rice, Amherst College
    “The Muraqqa‘ as a Medium and Mode of Preservation”



Imagined Worlds: Art, Aesthetics, and Identity in South Asia

Chair: Kerry Lucinda Brown, Savannah College of Art and Design


  1. Nandita Punj, Rutgers University
    “Vernacular Jain art in Eighteenth century Bikaner: The Case of the Mathen community”
  2. Shivani Sud, University of California, Berkeley
    “A Courtly City in a Colonial World: Imagining Jaipur in the Long Eighteenth Century”
  3. Yuthika Sharma, University of Edinburgh/Northwestern University
    “Decoding a Colonial-era Muraqqa’: Making Minutiae in the Fraser Album”
  4. Owen Duffy, Yeh Art Gallery, St. John’s University
    “Lain Singh Bangdel and the ‘Aesthetic Movement’ for a Modern Nepal”




Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University

Exclusions, Inclusions, and Ambiguities in a Teaching Museum

Chair: Elizabeth Hornor, Michael C. Carlos Museum


  1. Sara McClintock, Emory University
    “Red Sandstone Seated Buddha or Bodhisattva in Full Lotus Position?”
  2. Karuna Kaur Srikureja, Denver Art Museum
    “Faking It: The Problem of Forgeries in Gandharan Art and the Michael C. Carlos Museum Narrative Frieze”
  3. Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger, Emory University
    “Who is the Fierce Goddess?”
  4. Aditya Chaturvedi, Emory University
    “Why Does Vishnu Have Eighteen Arms?”
  5. Ellen Gough, Emory University
    “What Should Vamana Look Like?”