The Mother of the Children of the World: A talk by Dr. Naman Ahuja

POSTERThe Mother of the Children of the World, Dr. Naman Ahuja
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi | 2015 Getty Visiting Scholar

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Humanities Gateway 1030

In an age of diasporas, we often need to think about how a single image communicates to diverse people. Attendant to globalisation has been a long-standing fear of homogenising difference and yet, as we have seen, what it has enabled, often times, is a cosmopolitanism. Different local practices can coexist even as some differences collapse. This talk examines some of these issues with reference to a close reading of a remarkable ancient Buddhist sculpture of Hariti that comes from the vicinity of Peshawar in ancient Gandhara. Gandhara absorbed a variety of people and traditions–Central Asian, Indian, Iranian, Greek, West Asian and, as this talk will show, even Egyptian. In such cases, images need to be polyvalent, or sometimes, syncretic; however as this example will show, they also need to be aware of difference.

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