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Yael Rice to give the Inaugural Catherine B. Asher Lecture in South Asian and Islamic Art


Yael Rice to give the Inaugural Catherine B. Asher Lecture in South Asian and Islamic Art

4:30 pm

This event honors the legacy of Cathy’s scholarship and mentorship in both fields. We very much hope that you will join us in honoring and remembering her through the presentation of new scholarship in the domains for which she cared so deeply.
The lecture, "Tactile Histories of the Mughal Album," will be delivered by Dr. Yael Rice.
As compilations of discrete, fragmentary images and texts in codex format, Mughal albums lend themselves to ocularcentric analysis. How else, if not by sight, would one read a book? Yet the Mughals’ word for album, muraqqa‘—Arabic for “patched” or “mended”—, foregrounds other modes of sensory engagement, namely touch. While the term clearly evokes the tactile processes of trimming and pasting together employed in the production of such albums, it also suggests the frequent episodes of repair that any excessively handled book would demand. Following this linguistic cue, this talk situates the Mughal album at the center of a complex matrix of both visual and tactile practices. It examines how physical touch and haptic perception factored in the organization, construction, and use of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century albums both within and beyond the Mughal court. It furthermore places these materials within a broader constellation of stitched textiles and gardens with and in which albums were enjoyed. Thus, this talk also builds on the important work of Catherine Asher, whose scholarship opened up new and vital ways of understanding the Mughal lived environment.
Please join us either in person or online (register here).
This event will not be recorded.