Subhashini Kaligotla

May 2012

This is a lecture class but very discussion oriented. The first half of the course covers the art & architecture of major sites such as the Sanchi stupas, Ajanta, Elephanta, and Khajuraho. I would say that the material gets more interesting after spring break when the Islamic and Colonial periods are covered -- you are exposed to many more readings that have a critical stance/different viewpoint on particular Indian "masterpieces" such as the Taj Mahal. Mughal miniature paintings are delightful to look at. I also especially enjoyed the post-colonial/modern period and interpreting the ways that India is portrayed as a country. The trip to the Rubin Museum was the icing on top. Professor Kaligotla is incredibly helpful both during and outside of class, always willing to answer questions and meet up if you have any special concerns about your paper/midterm. At first I was worried because she seemed like a really harsh grader, but if you demonstrate that you want to improve and make the extra efforts to participate actively in class, then she will recognize that. I knew next to nothing about Indian culture before joining the class, and I came out of it with a broad and solid understanding of India's artistic past and present. A highly recommended course for anyone interested in exploring art historical topics outside of the Western realm.