Interwoven: Sonic and Visual Histories of the Indian Ocean World

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series of events aims to set a new paradigm for understanding the sonic and visual histories of the Indian Ocean region.

Interwoven: Sonic and Visual Histories of the Indian Ocean World

 

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Interwoven: Sonic and Visual Histories of the Indian Ocean World

 

 

 

The Interwoven project draws 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 will consist 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 will reflect 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 are comprised of pre-recorded lectures by individual panelists and synchronous discussions that bring 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 is 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.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Symposium Introduction
&
Collections, Collecting, and Display: Individual and Institutional Collectors Across Time and Space

 

Friday, May 14
10:00 – 11:45 AM (CDT)
via Zoom

 

Opening Comments


Philip Bohlman, Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, Department of Music and the Humanities in the College, University of Chicago


Performance: Peshkaar in Raga Chandrakauns

Ameera Nimjee, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, School of Music and Asian Studies, University of Puget Sound (kathak dance)  
Bertie Kibreah, Programming Coordinator, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago (tabla)
Tomal Hossain, PhD Student in Ethnomusicology, Department of Music, University of Chicago (harmonium)

 

Collections, Collecting, and Display


Indian Ocean images and sonic presentations have been prized from millennia prior to the Common Era through to the present. They have been collected and stored as sonic memories and as physical objects, finding homes in various locations within the region and as migrants to elsewhere in the world. They have been transmitted across generations and eras as revered original art or artifacts and for more than a century as embodied in new media. This panel explores practices of collecting, transmission, ownership, and presentation of sound and visual objects.
 

Panelists

Niall Atkinson (Introduction), Associate Professor of Art History, Romance Languages and Literature, and the College, University of Chicago
James Nye (Introduction), Bibliographer for Southern Asia, retired, and Associate in the Humanities Division, University of Chicago
Ronald Radano (Panel Keynote), Emeritus Professor of African Cultural Studies and Music, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Zoé Headley, Chargée de recherche, Co-directrice du CEIAS, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Kenneth X. Robbins, Psychiatrist, Collector of South Asian art, and Independent Scholar
 

 

RSVP

 

South Asian Music Ensemble
Spring Concert

 

Friday, May 14
7:00 – 8:30 PM (CDT)
via Zoom

 

Join the University of Chicago’s South Asian Music Ensemble for their annual Spring Concert featuring devotional and classical numbers in various South Asian languages punctuated by collaborations with guest artists on a 1914 ballet by Hazrat Inayat Khan, John Coltrane’s “Naima,” a khayal-inspired number from the recent Amazon Prime Indian web series Bandish Bandits, and “Peace Song”—written and composed to premiere on this occasion.
 

 

CONCERT DETAILS

 

The Arabian Sea and Western Indian Ocean: Labor, Caste, and Community

 

Tuesday, May 18
10:00 – 11:30 AM (CDT)
via Zoom

 

The scholars on this panel draw together the interwoven themes of architecture, music, photography, and literature. Their work on memory, caste, labor, worship, space, and community addresses mobility and exchange between eastern Africa and western India.

 

Panelists


Anna Schultz (Introduction/Moderator), Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities, University of Chicago
Jazmin Graves, Assistant Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Kaley Mason, Assistant Professor of Music, Lewis and Clark College
Ameera Nimjee, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, School of Music and Asian Studies, University of Puget Sound 
Pushkar Sohoni (Panel Keynote), Associate Professor and Chair, Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
 
 

 

RSVP

 

Early Cinema:
Scholars and Artists in Conversation

 

Thursday, May 20
10:00 – 11:30 AM (CDT)
via Zoom

 

This roundtable conversation explores cinematography, music, dance, cinemas, and audience reception from the era of silent films through the first decades of talkies. Consideration of film as art and artifact is interwoven with reflection on cinema’s profound impact on Indian Ocean societies. The 1931 film Diler Jigar with original musical accompaniment created for this symposium provides a unique resource for the roundtable discussion.

 

Panelists


James Nye (Introduction/Moderator), Bibliographer for Southern Asia, retired, and Associate in the Humanities Division, University of Chicago
Sascha Ebeling, Associate Professor, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago  
Usha Iyer, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
Bertie Kibreah, Programming Coordinator, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, The University of Chicago
Hari Krishnan, Professor, Dance Department, Wesleyan University
 

 

RSVP

 

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

 

Tuesday, May 25
10:00 – 11:30 AM (CDT)
via Zoom

 

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

 

Panelists


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 Chicago
Madhuvanti 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
 

 

RSVP

 

Fields and Forms: Legacies of Collecting and the Forms of Knowledge in Ethnomusicology
and Islamic Art

 

Friday, May 28
9:00 – 11:30 AM (CDT)
via Zoom

 

This keynote panel draws together two of the finest collections in the world, the Humboldt Forum of Berlin and the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Speakers explore how the collections and their interpretations are themselves interwoven across time and space, across modes of knowledge production, and from the present to the past.

 

Panelists (Keynotes Discussion)


Niall Atkinson (Introduction/Moderator), Associate Professor of Art History, Romance Languages and Literature, and the College, University of Chicago
Philip Bohlman (Moderator), Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, Department of Music and the Humanities in the College, University of Chicago
Anna Seastrand (Moderator), Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota
Navina Najat Haidar (Keynote), Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Lars-Christian Koch (Keynote), Director of the Ethnological Museum Berlin and Head of Collections for the Humboldt Forum of Berlin
 

Performance: Peshkaar in Raga Chandrakauns (encore)


Ameera Nimjee, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, School of Music and Asian Studies, University of Puget Sound (kathak dance)  
Bertie Kibreah, Programming Coordinator, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago (tabla)
Tomal Hossain, PhD Student in Ethnomusicology, Department of Music, University of Chicago (harmonium)


Panelists (Concluding Discussion)


Niall Atkinson (Introduction/Moderator), Associate Professor of Art History, Romance Languages and Literature, and the College, University of Chicago
Philip Bohlman (Moderator), Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, Department of Music and the Humanities in the College, University of Chicago
James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia, retired, and Associate in the Humanities Division, University of Chicago
Laura Ring, Librarian for Southern Asia and Anthropology, University of Chicago Library
Anna Schultz, Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities, University of Chicago
Anna Seastrand, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota
 

 

RSVP

 

Epilogue

 

Continued Reflection, Conversation, and Resources:
Interwoven Themes and Variations

 

During the month of June, the Interwoven project will keep its website open as a forum for continued reflection on and conversation about the capstone event as well as the addition of recorded collection tours. The website will allow participants to address the capstone themes and formulate them as a series of variations that will be especially critical for further study of the sonic and visual in the Indian Ocean Worlds. Establishing an active site for reflection and conversation in the month following the capstone event, moreover, has particular importance in spring 2021, when many of our participants are working under especially challenging circumstances during India’s second pandemic wave and concomitant global lockdowns. Securing a space in which to hear the voices of our international partners respond to Interwoven and to view additional tours of collections is of critical importance at this moment in time.

 

 

 

IMAGE: Ragamala Album: Sarangi Ragini, Nepal. Courtesy Norton Simon Museum.

 

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate should contact the Neubauer Collegium at collegium@uchicago.edu or 773.795.2329.

 

 

 

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