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Across the Bay of Bengal: Interwoven Voices, Lives, and Images


Event Summary

This panel explored performance, visual, and sonic traditions from southeastern India and Southeast Asia across and within their heterogeneous communities. Speakers on this panel addressed aspects of the long and intertwined histories that both join and distinguish people, ideas, and embodied cultural forms as expressions of these interwoven communities.


Anna Seastrand (Introduction/Moderator), Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota

Catherine Asher, Professor Emerita, Department of Art History, University of Minnesota

Whitney Cox, Associate Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of ChicagoMadhuvanti Ghosh, Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, and Islamic Art, Art Institute of Chicago

Davesh Soneji, Associate Professor, Department of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Emma Natalya Stein, Assistant Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

Jim Sykes, Associate Professor of Music, Department of Music, University of Pennsylvania

This event was presented as part of the capstone series of events for the Interwoven project. The project drew together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners in the arts to lay the foundations of a new paradigm for understanding movement, practice, materiality, and embodiment in a continuum of exchange across long temporal arcs and geographic itineraries unbounded by national borders in the Indian Ocean region. Featuring scholars, musicians, dancers, and curators from South Asia, Europe, and North America, the two-week program consisted of a series of roundtables, keynote lectures, and the screening of a silent film with accompanying live performances. The interactive nature of the capstone events reflected the richness of the interwoven paradigm of understanding, as well as point to the ways the methodologies explored will contribute to future scholarship. The panels were comprised of pre-recorded lectures by individual panelists and synchronous discussions that brought panelists together in real-time. Please be sure to watch the pre-recorded lectures before the live sessions. Visit the Interwoven website to learn more.

This symposium was co-sponsored by the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS), the Department of Art History, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, and the Department of Music at the University of Chicago.