Subhashini Kaligotla, assistant professor of art history, points to a photograph on her computer screen of elaborate sandstone towers at Pattadakal, a medieval temple complex in northern Karnataka, India.
“I always ask my students if they see different architectural styles,” she said, seated in her office at the Loria Center.
Kaligotla’s research critically examines the premise that makers in medieval Deccan — architects, artists, poets, and patrons — unconsciously borrowed from their counterparts in neighboring regions.
“I’m looking more carefully at the choices the makers in the Deccan made — not just that they knew about these styles and ideas from other regions, but how they adapted them for their Deccan milieu, and how they gave new meanings to these forms that they may have known from other contexts,” said Kaligotla, who joined the Yale faculty late last summer.
The sites present intricate hybrids of architectural styles, languages, scripts, and religious traditions. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism are represented at places Kaligotla studies. Temples and monuments are inscribed in Sanskrit as well as local languages.