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Visual Imagination of India
The following is a course outline for a graduate course in Indian Art History to be taught online through the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco in Spring semester of 2008. In this course, I would like to explore the history of Indian Art in terms of basic philosophemes which manifest through the visual imagination and shape the discursive space of Indian Art History. Whereas Indian Art is usually taught either chronologically (as art history) or symbolically/archetypically (as Indology), the attempt here is to see the persistences, transformations and ruptures of philosophemes or cultural memes manifesting through the visual imagination in a social field. I am presenting the outline here with the hope of generating a conversation on the inclusions, exclusions and mediations of the topics proposed along with bibliographies. Under the general post of this outline, I will post each of the weekly topics as a comment with the basic ideas I have in mind for it, and hope for feedback and reading suggestions through nested comments.
Week 1: Introduction: Classifying Indian Art
Week 2: The Field of Cultural Production
Week 3: The Human Form in Indian Art
Week 4: Aniconism and Iconism
Week 5: The Birth of the Unborn – Architectural Context of Indian Art
Week 6: The Performative Matrix of Indian Art
Week 7: Forms of Visual Assimilation - Appropriation, Synthesis, Hybridity.
Week 8: Zoomorphism and the Multiplicity Convention (Mid-term exam)
Week 9: Narration in Indian Art
Week 10: Aesthetics and Canonization
Week 11: Patronage and Authorization.
Week 12: The Will to Liberation and Transcendence
Week 13: The Will to Preservation and Evolution
Week 14: The Will to Power and Enjoyment.
Week 15: Conclusion: Modernity and Tradition (Final papers due).
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