11/29/18 Book Launch: Mughal Occidentalism

Thursday, November 29, 2018 5:00 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room
Suite 503 | 1957 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052


The Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and the Institute for Middle East Studies cordially invite you to a book launch of Mughal Occidentalism and a discussion with the author.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

In Mughal Occidentalism, Mika Natif elucidates the meaningful and complex ways in which Mughal artists engaged with European art and techniques from the 1580s-1630s. Using visual and textual sources, this book argues that artists repurposed Christian and Renaissance visual idioms to embody themes from classical Persian literature and represent Mughal policy, ideology and dynastic history. A reevaluation of illustrated manuscripts and album paintings incorporating landscape scenery, portraiture, and European objects demonstrates that the appropriation of European elements was highly motivated by Mughal concerns. This book aims to establish a better understanding of cross-cultural exchange from the Mughal perspective by emphasizing the agency of local artists active in the workshops of Emperors Akbar and Jahangir.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Mika Natif (Ph.D., New York University – Institute of Fine Arts, 2006) is a historian of Medieval art focusing on the intercultural exchanges and global connections that Muslim societies forged with the European sphere in the pre-Modern era. Her primary field of research is Islamic painting, with special interest in Central Asia, Iran, India, and the Mediterranean. She had held teaching positions at Princeton University and at the College of the Holy Cross (MA), and curatorial positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and most recently at the Harvard Art Museums (as Assistant Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art). She has conducted research in archives, galleries and museums all over Europe, as well as Turkey, Israel, and India.

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