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Monica Juneja receives Opus Magnum from the Volkswagen Foundation

Apr 29, 2020

Monica Juneja, the professor of Global Art History at the HCTS, was recently awarded a one-year Opus Magnum from the Volkswagen Foundation for the funding of her ongoing research project in the field of Global Art History. The allocation will support the publication of a monography titled "Can Art History be made Global? A Discipline in Transition," which is expected for the next year.

In March 2020, the Volkswagen Foundation/VK Stiftung announced the conferral of an Opus Magnum to Monica Juneja, the professor of Global Art History at the HCTS, to support her research in the area of Transculturality in the arts. The Opus Magnum will provide funding for the research and publication of a monographic volume titled "Can Art History be made Global? A Discipline in Transition" (forthcoming De Gruyter, 2021), which intends to conceptualize the ‘global’ as a critical perspective informed by the methodological principle of transculturation. In particular, it will address the challenges of the ‘global turn’ in the humanities from the perspective of art history.

The six chapters composing the volume, all based on case studies taken from South Asia, will seek to translate intellectual resources and insights of regional experiences into globally intelligible analyses. In doing so, they will engage with themes relevant to the project of a global art history, such as the dynamics of image-making and viewing in the context of the encounter between travelling objects and visual regimes; the relevance of artisanal practice as a form of mobile knowledge; modernism as a practice reconfiguration that transcends the colonizer-colony divide; the migrant avant-garde and its implications; and the contemporary exhibition form for writing an art history from multiple archives. Each chapter will attempt to link the ‘region’ to the ‘mainstream’ discipline, so as to rethink the latter’s premises and point the way to a non-hierarchical, critical, and capacious art history that can serve as a potential tool for unravelling connections, differences and frictions among regions across the globe.

The Volkswagen Foundation/VK Stiftung is an independent, non-profit German organization for the promotion of research projects in all disciplines. Within the framework of changing funding initiatives, the foundation provides impetus for the development of research and higher education. The Opus Magnum initiative is aimed at providing more freedom in the production of a larger scholarly treatise to professors from the humanities and social sciences who have already achieved a degree of renown by virtue of a previous outstanding research performances.

Monica Juneja is the professor of Global Art History at the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) since 2009. She has also been director of the former Cluster "Asia and Europe" at the HCTS. Her areas of research span the fields of European and Indian studies and include practices of visual representation, the disciplinary trajectories of art history in South Asia, and the transcultural paradigms in art historical research.


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