Dr. S. (Sanjukta) Sunderason

  • Lecturer
  • Modern South Asian Culture

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2620
E-Mail: s.sunderason@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, SAS India en Tibet
Office Address: Witte Singel-complex
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 0.01b

Fields of interest

My research/teaching interests include themes around visual cultures and artistic modernities of colonial and postcolonial South Asia, aesthetics and ideologies in twentieth century Asia, decolonisation and cultural politics, and histories of commercial art and industrial design in India.

So far, my research has focused on subversive political iconographies and the politics of art practice in India in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, by studying art discourse, cultural polemic, nationalist and left-wing aesthetics in colonial and postcolonial India. As a part of my ongoing postdoctoral research, I am looking at the interfaces of artists, cultural practices and nation-states in postcolonial South Asia, covering India, East and West Pakistan (currently, Bangladesh and Pakistan) between the 1940s and the late-1960s. I am particulatly interested in studying cultural productions of nationhood and national patrimony during decolonisation, to trace the formation of cultural bureaucracies in the new nation-states. My archive and research methodology spans both visual material across mediums and genre as well as institutional archives, governmental records, print cultures and undocumented private papers of artists and art critics.


PhD in History of Art, University College London (2012) (Dissertation: The Nation and the Everyday: The Aesthetics and Politics of Modern Art in India, Bengal c. 1920 – c. 1960)

MA (2002-2004) and MPhil (2004-2006) in Modern Indian History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

BA (1999-2002) in History, Presidency College, University of Calcutta

Teaching Assistant, Department of History of Art, University College London (Course Title: ‘History of the Category ‘Art’; Co-Instructor: Prof. Andrew Hemingway) (2010)

Associate Editor and National Coordinator (National Survey of manuscripts) at the National Mission for Manuscripts, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. (2006-2007)

Key publications

2011 ‘As Agitator and Organiser: Chittaprosad and the Art for the Communist Party of India’, Object, No. 13, 2011.

2011 ‘Making Art ‘Modern’: Revisiting Artistic Modernism in India’ in Sarabh Dube ed. Modern Makeovers: A Handbook of Modernity in South Asia. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011.

2009 Review article on Partha Mitter, Triumph of Modernism, Object, Number 11, 2009.

2006 Co-contributor in Word is Sacred Sacred is the Word, Catalogue for the Exhibition of Indian Manuscripts at the Frankfurt Book Fair (2006). New Delhi: Niyogi Books, 2007.

Grants and awards

Research grant from the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta for conducting field research across India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Project title: The Aesthetic Apparatus: Decolonisation and the Public Lives of Modern Art in India and East Pakistan, c. 1948 – c. 1971 (2012-2014)

Graduate Research Fellowship, University College London for conducting field work in South Asia (2009)

Central Research Fund, University of London for conducting field work in South Asia (2008)

UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) Scholarship from the Government of UK for PhD programme at the Department of History of Art, University College London (2007-2011)

Travel and Contingency Grant from the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICCR, New Delhi) for conducting MPhil research in India (2005)

Last Modified: 11-12-2015