2022 Radha Devi Joshi Foundation Lecture

Radha Devi Joshi Lecture in India Studies: David Szanton, President, Ethnic Arts Foundation, “Mithila Art, The Vital Tradition”

Wednesday, March 23, 3:30-5:00pm via Zoom

Zoom link: Register in advance for this webinar: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bJUvUyJjRq-1jurT4mo0QQ

Abstract: As an anthropologist having done research in New York, Cambridge (Massachusetts), Rome, the Muslim Philippines, and since 2002 among the Mithila painters in Bihar, India, David Szanton has been fascinated by the ways that art forms are shaped by, give shape to, express and critique the evolution of their surrounding societies. In that context, Szanton will speak about the importance of grasping the multiple and constantly shifting views of what is deemed important and true in societies other than one’s own; what makes sense, what is obvious, what is moral, or outside one’s own formation.

Co-sponsored by the India Studies Program and Asian and Asian American Studies Institute at UConn.

Speaker bio: David Szanton is a social anthropologist with a long-standing interest in art and society. He worked for many years at the Ford Foundation and the Social Science Research Council before coming to the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as the Executive Director of International and Area Studies. A co-founder of the Ethnic Arts Foundation, and its President since 2002, he has published extensively in India on Mithila painting, curated many exhibitions, and helped found the Mithila Art Institute in an effort to gain recognition and appreciation for the painting tradition, and art and life sustaining income for the artists in rural Bihar. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.