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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Art and Cultural Exchange in Mughal India 1500-1900 (HIAR11092)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will address global and cross-cultural themes in art and visual culture of South Asia between 1500-1900 covering the diverse arts of the Mughal State, one of the most prominent early modern empires in the world. It will address the broader geographic, cultural and epistemological contexts from medieval and early modern Asia and Europe within which Mughal-era art and architecture flourished. Seminar topics will include: the formation of Mughal identity; artistic interaction between Mughal imperial and regional courts; album making and craftsmanship; mercantile exchange with the East India Company; Mughal painting under British administration and the rise of private collecting.
Course description One of the most powerful early modern polities, the Mughal empire occupied a position of political, economic and demographic dominance in South Asia surpassing others such as the Safavids and the Ottomans in wealth. On the ground, Mughal high culture absorbed the intellectual lineage of Indian and Central Asian traditions forming the basis of a vibrant lndo-Persianate court culture that positioned itself globally. The arts of this period reflected the concurrent rise of European mercantile interest in the subcontinent with the establishment of European embassies at the court and trade agreements with English, Dutch and French East India Companies in the region.

Themes will include: The formation of Mughal identity; gardens and architectural innovations; album making and craftsmanship; Sanskritic and Persianate literary and artistic exchanges; East India Company patronage;Provincial schools of painting; and the rise of new economies of visual culture in later Mughal India under British administration.

The seminar format will encourage active participation through informal student presentations (one fifteen-minute presentation per week) followed by class discussion chaired by the course organiser. Students will be expected to prepare for each seminar by reading key set texts and undertaking independent research on specific artworks and topics as directed. Students will be introduced to South Asian collections in the University of Edinburgh archives, the National Museums Scotland as well as private collections of South Asian art in Edinburgh. Visits to collections of Mughal art in and around London will be offered on a voluntary basis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an integrated knowledge of the theories and concepts associated with the arts of the Mughal State and its regional courts.
  2. Demonstrate skills in visual and theoretical analysis in relation to key works that speak to the global and cross-cultural interaction in the arts of Mughal India.
  3. Apply skills of critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation towards complex issues of identity, 'otherness', empire and dominant and sub-cultures.
Reading List
Aitken, M. E. 2010. The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Alam, M. 1986. The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India: Awadh and the Punjab, 1707-1748. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Asher, Catherine. 'Babur and the Timurid Char Bagh: Use and Meaning.' 1991. In Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre. 46-55.

Asher, C. B. 2002. 'Piety, religion, and the old social order in the architecture of the later Mughals and their contemporaries.' In Rethinking Early Modern India. R.B. Barnett (ed.) (New Delhi:Manohar): 193-228.

Bailey, Gauvin A. 2001. 'The End of the 'Catholic Era' in Mughal Painting: Jahangir's Dream Pictures, English Painting, and the Renaissance Frontispiece.' Marg no. 53(2): 46-59.

Beach, Milo C. 1965. 'The Gulshan Album and its European Sources'. Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston no. 332: 62-91.

Beach, M. C., Koch, E. 1997. The King of the World: The Padshahnama - An Imperial Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. With translations by W. Thackston. Washington D.C: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, London: Azimuth.

Busch, A. 2010. 'Hidden in plain view: Brajbhasha poets at the Mughal court.' In Modern Asian Studies, 44 (2): 267-309.

Claude Markovitz, Pouchepadass, J, Subrahmanyam, S. (eds). 2003. Society and Circulation in South Asia 1750-1950. Permanent Black.

Codell, J. (ed.) 2012. Power and Resistance: the Delhi Coronation Durbars, 1877, 1903, 1911. Ahmedabad: Mapin.

Dalrymple, William and Sharma, Yuthika. 2012. Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi 1707-1857. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Digby, Simon. 1999. Beyond the Ocean: Perceptions of Overseas in Indo-Persian Sources of the Mughal Period. Studies in History 15, no. 2: 247-59.

Flood,Finbarr Barry. 2009. Objects of Translation:Material Culture and Medieval Hindu Muslim Encounter. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Juneja, Monica. 2001. 'On the Margins of Utopia: One More Look at Mughal Painting.' Medieval History journal 4,no. 2: 203-40.

Koch, Ebba. 2001. 'Shah Jahan and Orpheus: The Pietre Dure Decoration and the Programme of the Throne in the Hall of Public Audiences at the Red Fort of Delhi.' in Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology: Collected Essays. 61-163. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Mitter, Partha. 1977. Much Maligned Monsters: A History of European Reactions to Indian Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Orsini, F and Sheikh S. 2014. After Timur Left: Culture and Circulation in Fifteenth Century North India. Oxford.

Ramaswamy, Sumathi. 2007. 'The Conceit of the Globe in Mughal India.' Comparative Studies in Society and History 49, no.4: 751-782.

Rice, Yael. 2009. 'The Brush and the Burin: Mogul Encounters with European Engravings'. in Jaynie Anderson, ed. Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration, and Convergence; the Proceedings of the 32nd International Congress of the History of Art. 305-10. Carlton, Australia: The Meigunyah Press.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam,1997.'Connected Histories: Notes Towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia,' Modern Asian Studies 31, no. 3: 735-62.

Schimmel, Annemarie. 2004. The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture. Reaktion Books.

Stronge, Susan. 2008. 'The Gulshan Album, c. 1600-1618.' in E Wright, ed. 'Muraqqa': Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. 77-81. Alexandria: Art Services International.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will offer opportunities for building your skills in advanced visual and critical analysis, peer to peer communication, project organisation and independent research.

With a view towards the increasingly global nature of heritage and cultural institutions, you will build confidence in undertaking research within a global and cross-cultural context and in working with culturally and linguistically diverse source materials.
KeywordsSouth Asia,Mughal,East India Company,Delhi,workshop,album,painting,trade,court culture,empire
Course organiserDr Yuthika Sharma
Course secretaryMrs Anna Johns
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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