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Re: [BKARTS] Art of Book in India

Here is the blurb again: I have pasted it below, (instead of an attachment).
*Image, Object and Context*

*SOAS, Friday 26 October?*

*Monday 29 October?*

We are currently running a research project funded by AHRC on *North Indian
Literary Culture (1450-1650)*, which aims to study ?iterary culture_ within
a multilingual perspective, including Persian, the various forms of
Hindi/Hindavi, Sanskrit and Apabhramsa, so as to arrive at a better
understanding of the various domains and forms of literary production,
circulation and patronage and the relationship between the different
languages and domains. The project will also highlight the role of North
Indian music in bringing together Indo-Muslim elites and local traditions.

We would like to invite art historians to collaborate by focusing on two
aspects: (a) the history of the illustrated book in its various forms and in
different languages; (b) the use of images as historical sources. In order
to initiate a discussion we would like to invite you to take part in an
initial, informal one-day workshop bringing together more experienced and
younger scholars as well as art historians, social historians and literary

We would like to divide the day into two parts:

1.      Presentations in the first half on the questions and issues below

2.      Open session on the historical reading of select images (e.g. images
from the *Ni**?**at Nama*, images of Mughal litterateurs at court) (b)

*1. Questions and Issues: *

We would like contributors to focus on these four sets of relationships, in
the context of a period / region of their choice and/or a case study:

* *

・ *Codicology *

Can we describe the codicology of the Sultanate or Mughal book either by
empirical study of single manuscripts or by drawing on literary sources like
*Tazkira*s? The codicology of the book will include information on raw
materials (paper, leather, pigments, inks, binding agents, starches),
implements (pens, brushes, styluses, knives, stamps, polishing stones). A
related question will be on the affiliated occupational groups, namely,
scribes or calligraphers, painters, illuminators, and binders.

・ *Image to texts*:

What kinds of texts were illustrated (e.g. epics, poetry, historical
writings, religious texts...), and did illustrations change according to the
kind of text? Were images also appreciated/created as distinct from texts,
e.g. within albums, and were images in books easily disassembled and
re-assembled at will?

What was the nature of design process involved in producing paintings for
the texts? Were these paintings narrative, diagrammatic or emblematic, or
combinations of these? When was the function of the paintings to illustrate
the texts and when to provide a pleasant respite from the act of reading?

・ *Occupations, Institutions and Influences:*

Were artists active mainly in court centres or did they (also) work for the
market? Are there clues in the images and books that can tell us that?

Were manuscripts copied in *karkhana*s* *(collective workshop) or
*hujra*s(individual studios)? Were they
transcribed from extant written/illustrated texts or from oral instructions
and verbal recitations of scholars and patrons?

What was the social status of artists, and did it make a difference whether
they were indigenous or of foreign origin? Within a *karkhana *context, how
was individual contribution recognised? Were their names recorded?

Other artistic traditions, past and contemporary: Did artistic ?nnovations_
spread ?ownwards_ and ?utwards_ from royal *karkhana*s, or were there other
innovations independent of them? Did different artistic traditions co-exist
at the same time, and if so, how?

* *

*2. **Use of Images as historical sources:*

How do we move beyond a view that images can be historical sources only when
they are truthful representations?  How can we develop semiotic readings for
both representational and non-representational images to answer historical

* *

We will appreciate any presentation exploring one or more of the above
questions, in relation to the broad Sultanate and Mughal periods, or else
focusing on a single work, artist or patron.

* *

Provisional date: either Friday 26 or Monday 29 October, depending on
participants_ availability.

Please let us know, preferably by the end of this month, whether you are
interested in presenting or participating, and which date suits you.

On 25/06/07, Canary, James R <jcanary@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Greetings Nadeem-

I don't see the agenda. Could you piease resend. many thanks. j

Quoting Nadeem Omar <notarar@xxxxxxxxx>:

> Dear All
> I was wondering if there is any one on the list who is interested in the
> historical study of Art of Book in India, which concerns us as part of a
> AHRC project on the Literary Cultures of north India in 14-16th
century.  We
> are planning to bring together art historians and scholars to explore
> the subject in a one day seminar in October at SOAS. A tentative agenda
> attached for your information. I will really appreciate your response.
> best regards
> Nadeem Omar

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