The Forum Transregionale Studien in cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta invite doctoral and postdoctoral scholars interested in opening up new archives, exploring innovatve critical research methods, and honing rhetoric to be communicable to global audiences to apply to attend a Transregional Academy that will be convened from 24–30 November 2019 at premier public and private institutions in India on the theme of "India and the World: New Arcs of Knowledge".   


Studying the visual and material culture of the Indian subcontinent constitutes a gateway toward querrying much of the intellectual and cultural heritage of the globe, from antiquity to the present day. The assemblages of objects and images produced and used in the subcontinent – Buddhist stupas, sprawling temple-cities, Mughal carpets, Chettiyar homes, Satyajit Ray films, bazaar paintings, family photographs and much else – represent more than the inheritance of the subcontinent. This Academy invites scholars who are critically investigating such objects and images, and are interested in explicating how they are equally the heritage of many others cultures and communities. Many of them have emerged from encounters with other mediums and with other regions, which, in turn, have been reflected, reshaped, and reformed by the art of subcontinent.

Steering Committee: Nachiket Chanchani (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Rosinka Chaudhuri (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta), Deborah Thiagarajan (Dakshina Chitra Museum/ Madras Craft Foundation, Chennai), Hannah Baader (KHI Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut/ Forum Transregionale Studien), Gerhard Wolf (KHI Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut/ Forum Transregionale Studien). The Academy is conceptualized by Nachiket Chanchani.

Requirements for Participation and Application Guidelines

The Transregional Academy is open to scholars worldwide, irrespective of citizenship. Most travel and accommodation costs as well as several meal expenses for participants will be covered. The program targets advanced doctoral students studying art history, archaeology, cultural studies, museum studies, history and related disciplines and early career scholars (i.e. those who received their PhD degrees in November 2017 or later) in relation to the aforementioned themes and questions. The Academy will be held at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and Dakshina Chitra Museum in Chennai in various formats including a symposium where research papers will be presented, site visits, experiential learning sessions, and discussions. English is the working language.

The application should likewise be in English and consist of:

  • a curriculum vitae,
  • an abstract (350 words) of a 25 minute original research paper on the Academy's theme that the applicant wishes to present at the symposium component of the Academy,
  • 2 letters of recommendation that describe the relevance of the Academy's theme and transcultural approach to the applicant's research trajectory and evolving career goals. Letters should be requested from either university professors or from museum curators. Letters should contain the recommender's name, postal address, email address, phone number, institution or employer, and title.

Please email your application in one PDF file to [email protected] by no later than July 5, 2019.

Kindly request your recommenders to directly e-mail their confidential letters of recommendation to [email protected] with the following information in the subject line: "Last Name, First Name of Academy Application, Letter of Recommendation".

Applicants will be notified around August 7, 2019 whether they have been selected. Successful applicants will be asked to submit a draft of a research paper that they will be presenting at the Academy by October 15, 2019.