Call for Papers/Applications

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 by no later than July 5, 2019.

Kindly request your recommenders to directly e-mail their confidential letters of recommendation to 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.

Forum Transregionale Studien
Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices
Claudia Pfitzner
Wallotstr. 14
14193 Berlin


The Transregional Academy is a format of the Forum Transregionale Studien and is a part of the strategic cooperation with the Max Weber Foundatin – German Humanities Institutes Abroad (DGIA). It is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien is a platform that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It is dedicated to a research agenda that systematically links disciplinary approaches and the expertise of area studies by focusing on entanglements and interactions across national, cultural or regional borders. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows.

The research and fellowship program Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices at the Forum Transregionale Studien discusses the potential and contours of a plural history of art. It analyzes the connectivity of larger historical spaces as well as contact zones and investigates artistic phenomena in a comparative, transcultural approach. Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices aims to create a space of dialog for scholars from all continents and neighboring disciplines. The program is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as a project at the Forum for Transregional Studies. It is directed by Hannah Baader and Gerhard Wolf, both KHI in Florenz.

The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta is a premier research institute in Kolkata under the Indian Council of Social Science Research. It undertakes, aids and promotes research with special emphasis on the problems of eastern region and West Bengal. The Centre also offers academic guidance, advanced training, and consultative services, and collaborates with organizations worldwide. Dakshina Chitra, a project of the Madras Craft Foundation, is a cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts, and performing arts of south India. Its mission is to exhibit, promote and preserve aspects of the broader, more inclusive cultures of India's southern states and to bring these arts to the public in a participative, enjoyable, and engaging way.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangharalaya (formerly The Prince of Wales Museum of Western India) is a leading art and history museum in Mumbai. It has large collection of Asian and European art and its aim is to create awareness and sensitivity towards cultural heritage.


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