I studied History and Art History in India and Italy before earning a Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. I am interested in researching issues of identity formation, gender, patronage and cross-cultural interaction in ancient art from northwestern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. My first publication, Displaying Many Faces: Art and Gandharan Identity (2004), catalogued a private U.S. collection of early Buddhist sculpture. My true passion is Mathura, a small town located approximately 90 miles southeast of Delhi, where I regularly conduct fieldwork. I am currently studying the beliefs and lifestyles of cattle and sheep herders and their impact on religious art in ancient Mathura. In my thematically oriented courses on Buddhist Art and Gender Issues, students examine their own positionality while comparing art cross-culturally. Students who take my surveys of South Asian art and European art as well as my course on Islamic architecture also talk and write about issues of race, gender, and social class. In 2003, I traveled to Thailand with students from my Buddhist Art and Ritual class with a grant from the St. Lawrence University Asian Studies Initiative. In March 2019, my SYE students Elsa Coughlin '19 and Ella Neilsen '19 and I conducted a field study of architectural preservation and sustainable architecture in Mumbai, India. During the pandemic, I developed and taught a new special topics seminar titled Animals in Buddhist Art.
Ph.D. Pennsylvania; Laurea Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, Italy; M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; B.A. Calcutta, India.
Recent articles include essays on body markings in India, worshipper figures in Buddhist art, the earliest surviving sculpture of Saraswati, the goddess of learning, and the famous Indian ivory figurine found in Pompeii, Italy. I wrote the bibliographic essay on Hindu iconography for Oxford Bibliographies Online (OUP) and continue to update the text periodically.
Professional associations membership
College Art Association; Association of Asian Studies, American Council of Southern Asian Art.
Survey of Art I (AAH 116); Icons of Islamic Architecture (AAH 212); Buddhist Art and Ritual (AAH 217); Arts of South Asia (AAH 218); Gender Issues in Asian Art (AAH 319).