The Visual Turn: South Asia Across the Disciplines explores new perspectives made possible by the evidence drawn from visual culture.
This evidence is utilized by historians, literary analysts, anthropologists and, in a new way, art historians.
Focusing on built environments within their urban contexts; the interactions of buildings, roads, and bodies; the meaning-making achieved through consumption of images (on their own or in concert with literary texts) all contribute to a much broader and deeper understanding of change in South Asia. Juxtaposed, these case studies not only approach their topics in a multi-disciplinary manner, but also make clear just what scholars from various disciplines can learn from each other to add nuance and depth to their own analyses.
In the process, the authors demonstrate how the application of different methods and theorizing, when coupled with a fascinating range of types of evidence, contribute to a significant broadening of our abilities to interpret the past and the present.
In particular, these essays bring new ways of thinking about cities as well as the multiple ways that visual culture contributes to individual and collective forms of identity-narratives that are negotiated at key moments of change in South Asia.
Readers will see their own materials and historicized contexts with new eyes. This book was published as a special issue of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.