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Lecture Series on Global Philosophies

12. Jan. 2012

Indian Aesthetics was the subject of a lecture by Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji (Jawaharlal Nehru University) on 12 January 2012 at the Karl Jaspers Centre. The talk was part of the series “Global Philosophies? Reflections and Challenges between Asia and Europe” organised by Prof. Birgit Kellner (Chair of Buddhist Studies).  

Prof. Mukherji’s lecture “Performative Mimesis: A Contemporary Retake on Indian Aesthetics by N. Pushpamala” was split into two sections. In the first part, she focused on an aspect of traditional Indian aesthetics that has been ignored on the account of the history of colonial modernism. This aspect centers around the Sanskrit term anukriti that has been translated as performative mimesis. In the second part, she drew attention to a contemporary Indian woman artist, N. Pushpamala, who has used the genre of photo-performance. Prof. Mukherji reflected on her contemporary use of traditional Rasa theory in Indian aesthetics via the notion of a masquerade. Finally, she foregrounded the cultural specificity of Pushpamala's strategies of representation and her postcolonial compulsions to reinterpret the past from contemporary perspective. (CV, Abstract)

Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji is Dean of the School of Arts and Aesthetics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She holds a PhD in Indology from Oxford University. She is the co-convener of the Forum on Contemporary Theory and co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary Thought. Her current research focuses on comparative aesthetics, contemporary art in India and the impact of globalization on art theory and the discipline of art history. She is a member of the College Art Association, USA, and, until recently, of the executive committee of the International Association of Aesthetics.

The lecture was part of the Cluster’s lecture series "Global Philosophies? Reflections and Challenges between Asia and Europe" organised by Prof. Birgit Kellner, Chair of Buddhist Studies. The list of speakers includes Dr. Ori Sela (Tel Aviv University), Prof. Jens Halfwassen (Heidelberg University), Prof. John Taber (University of New Mexico), Prof. Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University), Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and Prof. Edward Slingerland (University of British Columbia). All lectures take place from 6 to 8 pm in room 212 of the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, Voßstraße 2, Building 4400, Heidelberg.

Visit the lecture series’ website for further information


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  • Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

  • Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji