Art At Noon

Unseeing Empire: Photography, Representation, South Asian America

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Abby King
Image from the portfolio An Indian from India Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

In her new book, Bakirathi Mani, Professor of English Literature at Swarthmore College, investigates how images of empire haunt contemporary Asian American visual cultures. Weaving close readings of fine art together with archival research and ethnographic fieldwork at museums and galleries across North America and South Asia, Mani examines how South Asian immigrants see themselves in fine art photography, and how fine art exhibitions, in turn, shape racial identities and communities.

In this lecture Bakirathi Mani is joined by the artist Annu Palakunnathu Matthew and Contemporary Curator Jodi Throckmorton for a discussion on Matthew’s series, An Indian From India in relation to Edward S. Curtis's photographs of Indigenous peoples and Mani’s recent publication.