XClose

History of Art

Home
Menu

Dr Aparna Kumar

 

Profile

Aparna Kumar

Aparna Kumar is Lecturer in Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South. Her research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary South Asian art, twentieth-century partition history, museum studies, and postcolonial theory. Her scholarship interrogates the role of art and art writing in the formation of postcolonial nation-states and nationalisms in the Global South. She seeks to understand the forms of cultural and epistemological violence driving the processes of colonization, nationalization, and decolonization that shape global politics today. Her current book project examines the impact of the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 on the development of aesthetic discourses in India and Pakistan in the twentieth century. 


Contact Details

Office: G04, 21 Gordon Square
Office hours: Tues 11-12pm; Wed 1-2pm; and by appointment (remote only)
Phone: tbc 
Email: a.m.kumar@ucl.ac.uk
Website: https://ucl.academia.edu/AparnaKumar


Appointment

Lecturer in Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South

Department of History of Art

Faculty of S&HS


Research Themes

Modern and contemporary art in a global frame; art and architecture of South Asia; Islamic art in South Asia; colonial photography; twentieth-century partition history; museum studies; repatriation politics; postcolonial theory and criticism; object mobilities; cross border methodologies.

Research


Research Summary

Aparna’s research interests span modern and contemporary art in a global frame, the art and architecture of South Asia, Islamic art in South Asia, colonial photography, twentieth-century partition history, museum studies, postcolonial theory, and critical historiography. Her scholarship interrogates the role of art and art writing in the formation of postcolonial nation-states and nationalisms in the Global South. She seeks to understand the forms of cultural and epistemological violence driving the processes of colonization, nationalization, and decolonization that shape global politics today. Her work regularly converges around themes of mobility, migration, displacement and exile, and probes how art, culture, and language participate in discourses of identity and citizenship. The violence of borders and border-making is a central thread of her recent publications, and informs her deep commitment to cross-border methodologies. Her current book project examines the impact of the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 on the development of aesthetic discourses in India and Pakistan in the twentieth century. Further articles, on the art of Zarina Hashmi, the architecture of the Lahore Museum in Pakistan, and the colonial photography of John Murray, are currently in preparation. 

Aparna’s research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Fulbright-Nehru Research Program, the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS), the Critical Language Scholarship Program, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Publications 

Selected Publications 

  • “Unsettling the National in South Asia: My East is Your West, Venice Biennale and After Midnight, Queens Museum, New York,” in Museum Worlds: Advances in Research 3 (2015): 142-140.

Teaching and Supervision

Aparna teaches a variety of courses in her research specialties. During 2020-21, she will teach a second-year BA advanced lecture, “Repatriation in the Age of Global Dispossession,” a third-year BA special subject course, “Art and Visual Culture in Modern South Asia,” and a thematic seminar, “Collecting South Asia in London.”