A two-day colloquium in collaboration with India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, and School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), on 14 and 15 February 2014 at the School of Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium, JNU, New Delhi.

The Locating Art Histories colloquium marks the launch of Asia Art Archive’s Bibliography of Modern and Contemporary Art-writing of India project, which has compiled an extensive and growing database of art writing in India from the late 19th century until 1990, across 13 languages. Taking into consideration the lively field of art writing in the subcontinent throughout the 20th century, the Bibliography Project began its cataloguing process in English, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya, Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, and Punjabi. Other languages (namely Urdu and Malayalam) are presently in planning stages. As of February 2014, more than 10,000, texts have been compiled, including books, book chapters, catalogues, entire periodicals, periodical entries, and newspapers. 

The Bibliography Project, available online after its launch, will be the first of its kind to provide a consolidated database of published material on modern and contemporary art of India. At the time of launch, the online Bibliography will primarily comprise of material collated in two languages – Marathi and Tamil. Entries collated in the remaining languages will be uploaded during the course of 2014 and beyond. By sharing information on publications from libraries, institutions, and personal archives across several cities and languages, the online database hopes to enrich understanding of this exciting field and to be useful to students, scholars, researchers, artists, writers, and the art community at large. 

By bringing together scholars and researchers, the colloquium will be a platform for generating public discussion around the specific contexts of art writing in India, its practitioners, recurrent themes, and its publics.

Programme Schedule

Day 1: Friday 14 Feb 2014, 10am - 5.30pm

Introduction to AAA | Keynote Address by Susie Tharu

10am - 10.30am | Tea
10.30am - 10.50am | Introduction to AAA by Hammad Nasar
10.50am - 12pm | Keynote Address by Susie Tharu

12pm - 1pm | Introduction to AAA Bibliography Project by Sabih Ahmed and Sneha Ragavan

1pm - 2.15pm | Lunch

Languages and their Fields
Moderator: Shivaji K Panikkar

2.15pm - 3.20pm

Panel 1: Art Writing in Marathi
Speakers: Rucha Kulkarni, Shukla Sawant

Languages and Their Fields: Art Writing in Marathi (Panel 1)

3.20pm - 3.40pm Tea
3.40pm - 4.45pm

Panel 2: Art Writing in Tamil

Speakers: C P Krishnapriya, M S S Pandian

Languages and Their Fields: Art Writing in Tamil (Panel 2)

4.45pm - 5.30pm

Panel 3: Cross-regional Dialogues

A conversation with Shukla Sawant and
M S S Pandian moderated by Shivaji K Panikkar

Languages and Their Fields: Cross-Regional Dialogues (Panel 3)


Day 2: Saturday 15 Feb 2014, 9.30am - 1.20pm

9.30am - 10am | Tea

AAA Bibliography Project
Language, Writing, and Research

Introduction to AAA Bibliography Project

10am - 10.45am

Panel 4: Periodicals
Moderator: Sabih Ahmad
Speakers: Nirmala Biluka, Vasvi Oza

AAA Bibliography Project: Language, Writing, and Research - Periodicals (Panel 4)

10.45am - 11.30am

Panel 5: Surveys of Art Writing

Moderator: Sneha Ragavan
Speakers: Lokesh Khodke, Madvesh Pandurangi

AAA Bibliography Project: Language, Writing, and Research - Surveys of Art Writing (Panel 5)

11.30am - 1pm 

Panel 6: Translating Contexts
Anthology initiatives in India

Moderator: Parul Dave-Mukherji
Speakers: Prabodh Parikh, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Piyush Daiya, R Nandakumar

Translating Contexts: Anthology Initiatives in India (Panel 6)| Summation and Closing

1pm - 1.20pm | Summation and closing by Hammad Nasar

Sabih Ahmed, Senior Researcher, Asia Art Archive, New Delhi
Nirmala Biluka, PhD candidate, Dept. of Film Studies and Visual Communication, EFLU, Hyderabad
Piyush Daiya, writer and editor, Bhopal and New Delhi
Parul Dave-Mukherji, Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi
Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Director, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, Kolkata
Lokesh Khodke, Assistant Professor, Amity School of Fine Arts, Amity University, Noida
C P Krishnapriya, artist, Chennai
Rucha Kulkarni, Visiting Faculty, College of Fine Arts, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune
R Nandakumar, Senior Nehru Fellow, Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi
Hammad Nasar, Head of Research & Programmes, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong
Vasvi Oza, PhD candidate, Dept. of Film Studies and Visual Communication, EFLU, Hyderabad
M S S Pandian, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, New Delhi
Madvesh Pandurangi, Visiting Faculty, Dept. of Art History, CAVA, Mysore
Shivaji K Panikkar, Dean, School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar 
University of Delhi, New Delhi
Prabodh Parikh, poet and writer, Mumbai
Sneha Ragavan, Researcher, Asia Art Archive, New Delhi
Shukla Sawant, Associate Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi
Susie Tharu, cultural theorist and former head, Dept. of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Open to all. Seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.


The ‘Bibliography of Modern and Contemporary Art Writing of India’ has been made possible by generous support from Thapar Public Charitable Trust.

Presented by Asia Art Archive in collaboration with India Foundation for The Arts and School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

India Foundation for the Arts is an independent, philanthropic organisation based in Bangalore, which strongly believes that the world is a better place when artists can pursue their dreams. It enriches the practice and knowledge of, widens public access to, and strengthens the capacities and infrastructure of the arts in India by supporting innovative projects, commissioning research and creating public platforms.

About The School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University 

The School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (SAA, JNU) has a strong research slant that informs its teaching. Innovative courses attract students from disciplines such as art history, architecture, literature, and the social sciences on the one hand and cinema and performance practitioners on the other, who wish to engage with the theoretical and historical context of the arts. SAA, JNU is the only place in India where disciplines of cinematic, visual, and performing arts are offered in one integrated programme that allows students to understand the individual arts in relation to one another as well as in a broader context of history, sociology, politics, semiotics, gender, and cultural studies.