University Lecturer Modern South Asian Cultures
Sanjukta Sunderason is a University Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.
PhD, History of Art, University College London, 2012
MPhil, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2006
MA, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2004
BA, History, Presidency College, Calcutta, 2001
I am a historian working at the interfaces of twentieth-century visual art and intellectual history. I have worked widely on genres of graphic satire and caricature, political art and left-wing aesthetics, and postcolonial visual cultures of decolonization and Cold War. From my initial doctoral focus on political art in India, my work has expanded to cover questions of art and decolonization in the South Asian sub-continent and further on in Afro-Asian and Third World cultural platforms of the twentieth century.
My first monograph – Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India’s Long Decolonization (Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press, forthcoming 2020) – studies left-wing aesthetics in India between 1930s–1970s.
Please find more details here: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=29337
I am currently working on two new book projects:
(1) The first – Forms of the Left: Left-wing Aesthetics and Postcolonial South Asia – is a volume I am co-editing with Dr. Lotte Hoek from the University of Edinburgh. The volume emerges out of a three-years long collaboration with colleagues across South Asia, United Kingdom, United States and the Netherlands, and asks radically new questions for the region. Among others, Does the political left in postcolonial South Asia have a recognizable aesthetic form?
Please find more details on the conversations and volume here: https://formsoftheleft.wordpress.com
(2) The second book project is a work in progress and builds on research I have been conducting since 2013 under a broader project Aesthetics of Decolonization funded by the European Commission Marie Curie Grant (2013-2017) and the Research Grant of the Asian Modernities and Traditions profile of Leiden University (2015-2018).
For more details on the project, see: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/618692
For ongoing publications from the project, see
- Sanjukta Sunderason, “Shadow-Lines: Zainul Abedin and the Afterlives of the Bengal Famine of 1943”, Third Text, Vol. 31, No. 2-3, Special Volume on Partitions, ed. Natasha Eaton and Alice Correia: http://www.thirdtext.org/issues?item_id0=1455&issue_number=Volume%2031&offset=0
- Lotte Hoek and Sanjukta Sunderason, “Journeying through Modernism,” Special Issue of British Art Studies, London, Asia: Exhibitions, Histories, Issue 13, September 2019: https://www.britishartstudies.ac.uk/issues/issue-index/issue-13/two-east-pakistani-artists-in-post-war-london
In 2019-2020, I am beginning new research that enters transnational archives of art during twentieth-century decolonization and Cold War via the question of freedom. This research is a longue durée project that will span artists, forums, institutions, and archives/private collections across South Asia, Europe, the United States and the Middle East.
For ongoing publications from this new work, see attached CV
At Leiden, I teach courses spanning art, media, literature, cultural resistance, historiography of heritage, memory, violence, covering South Asia in particular and addressing Asian Studies and Global South Studies at large. I am interested in supervising students and PhDs on this broad range. Please reach out to me for any specific discussion on research themes or supervision.
No relevant ancillary activities