UW News

September 14, 2016

Allen Library exhibit explores South Asia in art, scholarship

UW News

Poster for "Envisaging South Asia: Art, Images, and Scholarship," an exhibit in the UW's Allen Library through Oct. 31.A new exhibit in the University of Washington’s Allen Library explores South Asia through art, artifacts, manuscripts, music and more. “Envisaging South Asia: Images, Art and Scholarship” was curated by Deepa Banerjee, South Asia Studies librarian, and will be on view through Oct. 31.

The display, filling Allen’s north lobby on the ground floor, covers a wide array of topics, including South Asian art history, authors and music; Bollywood; the Sepoy Rebellion/mutiny of 1857; the Mughal Empire and the life and work of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861 to 1941), who was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Six public lectures will be offered in conjunction with the exhibit, all in the Allen library auditorium.

  • Devdutt Patnaik, an author, illustrator, storyteller, mythologist, culture consultant and leadership coach, will discuss the profound meaning of Hindu mythology and its current relevance at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 29.
  • Don Fels, a Seattle-based artist, writer and longtime trustee of the Henry Art Gallery, will discuss Nobel Laureate Tagore and his 1916 visit to Seattle at 3 p.m. on Oct. 24.
  • Rekha Sood, a staff member with the Seattle Art Museum, will discuss her experiences working on the 2015 exhibit “City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India” at 3 p.m. on Oct. 25.
  • Sonal Khullar, UW associate professor of art history, will discuss shifts in the research and teaching of South Asian art, and challenges for the professional academic and librarian at 3 p.m. on Oct. 26.
  • Alka Kurian, a senior lecturer at UW Bothell, will discuss how gender is represented in Indian cinemas at 3 p.m. on Oct. 27.
  • Bharti Kirchner, a Seattle-based South Asian writer, will discuss her books and her journey as an immigrant to become an author, at 2 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Banerjee said the goal of the exhibit is to highlight the depth and scope of the UW’s nationally recognized South Asian Studies collections, and called the process of selecting items for the exhibit “a wonderful experience.

“As I started exploring the books and other materials on the shelves, new ideas emerged and led to the final concept of the exhibit,” she said. “This exploration fascinated me with the possibilities of presenting new emerging areas and diverse aspects of the collection.”

Banerjee added that Adrian Kane, a graduate student in history, and Jake Weipart, a recent UW graduate in design, provided excellent graphic assistance to the exhibit.

“Envisaging South Asia: Images, Art and Scholarship” will remain on display through Oct. 31.


For more information about the exhibit or UW Libraries’ South Asia Section, contact Banerjee at 206-685-1433 or dbaner@uw.edu.