Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Putting South Asia on Display

28 September 2018, 9:30 am–6:30 pm


This conference is part of the IAS research project 'Area Studies Re-mapped'

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Diva Gujral and Jagjeet Lally


British Museum
Great Russell St, Bloomsbury

What does it mean to display South Asia’s rich heritage in the former colonial metropole, in museums established at the height of British imperial power, and in receipt of global financial flows larger than those pouring into South Asian museums themselves today?

How do museum curators and staff navigate the challenge of engaging audiences increasingly heterogeneous in terms of their background, relation to, and knowledge of the South Asian history and cultures or of the British Empire, not least diaspora communities and visitors from the subcontinent?

Are ‘Area Studies’ galleries even relevant today, or is it the responsibility of museums, if it not driven by the appetite of visitors themselves, to integrate artefacts from the Indian subcontinent into existing galleries of fine arts and architecture, design and technology, migration and urban space, or other categories? Exactly who wants a ‘South Asia’ gallery anyway?

This one-day conference critically explores these questions, with presentations from:

  • Sushma Jansari (The British Museum)
  • Claire Wintle (University of Brighton)
  • Malini Roy (The British Library)
  • Elizabeth Green (National Trust)
  • Hammad Nasar (Stuart Hall Foundation/Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
  • Stephen Welsh (Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester)
  • Imma Ramos (The British Museum)
  • Nada Raza (Tate)
  • Yuthika Sharma (University of Edinburgh)
  • Daniel Rycroft (University of East Anglia)
  • Divia Patel (V&A); Susan Stronge (V&A)
  • Priya Khanchandani (IKON)
  • Kajal Meghani (University of Brighton/British Museum)
  • Avalon Fotheringham (V&A)
  • Subhadra Das (UCL Culture)

Registration closed 26 September 2018. For queries, please contact the organisers, Diva Gujral and Jagjeet Lally: southasiacentre@ucl.ac.uk

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Image: Dashrath Patel, ‘Untitled’, c. 1960-70. Courtesy: Pinakin Patel/Dashrath Patel Museum, Alibag.