Asian Studies Faculty Highlights - 2011

The Asian Studies Program at UVM draws upon the talents of numerous faculty members from various departments within and beyond the College of Arts and Sciences.  With each edition of our program newsletter, we cast a spotlight upon a handful of those scholar-teachers and reveal a quick portrait of their current research activity.  This spring we take a look at some of our specialists in the South Asia field –


Abigail McGowan, Ph.D., Department of History

Abby McGowan in India Abby at the City Palace, Udaipur, India

Abby McGowan spent the 2009-2010 academic year in India on sabbatical, gathering materials for her new book project on changes in domestic space in mid-twentieth century western India.  Based mostly at the school of architecture at the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad, she also made research trips to visit archives and interview architects in Mumbai, Pune and Baroda, with a final month spent at the British Library in London. Before leaving the subcontinent, she made a brief trip to Nepal to make arrangements for a new UVM off-campus studies program there that will launch in June 2012.  McGowan has also been busy presenting her new research in 2011, with conference presentations at the American Historical Association annual meeting in Boston in January and the Annual Conference on South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in October, and an invited paper delivered to a conference on visual narratives in history at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in April.


Emily Manetta, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology

Emily Manetta, along with her husband Jonah Steinberg and their young son, spent spring 2011 in India.

Emily with son in India Emily Manetta and her son exploring Lodi Gardens in New Delhi

Emily's work was focused on two projects: the causative construction in Kashmiri, and rightward scrambling in Hindi-Urdu. She was excited to be able to work with native speakers as well as bounce ideas off of colleagues at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi. She was also lucky enough to get to attend a number of talks on the syntax of South Asian languages at JNU, with particular focus on questions of ergativity and case assignment. The results of her work will be published as two separate articles, one in the journal Syntax and the other in Linguistic Inquiry in the coming year (2012). As a side project, Emily researched bilingual/multiscript signage in the Indian capital for a collaborative project with Jennifer Dickinson (Anthropology). Their joint work was presented at the American Anthropological Association meeting in Montreal in November 2011.

John Seyller, Department of Art & Art History

John Seyller traveled to Hyderabad (India) this summer to continue work on several catalogues of Indian painting that he is co-authoring with Jagdish Mittal, founder of the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art. Two volumes will be published in 2012. He also published six major essays in Masters of Indian Painting, a two-volume publication accompanying an international exhibition at the Museum Rietberg, Zürich, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the exhibition, the most comprehensive and important exhibition of Indian painting in more than sixty years, is on view in New York through January 8. His article, “Deccani Elements in Early Pahari Painting,” appeared in Sultans of the South: Art of India’s Deccan Courts, 1323-1687, the proceedings of a symposium held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008. In October, he delivered a lecture entitled "Assembled Beauty: Five Folios from the Jahangir Album," at an international symposium held at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (Qatar).


To learn more about the UVM Asian Studies Program faculty, see complete listing.