What makes some kinds of objects, places, or symbols especially effective claims on history, heritage, and identity? Monuments were only one part of a larger set of features and practices associated with commemoration and memory in precolonial South Asia. Drawing on archaeology and landscape history, we can see how monumental spaces were built, used, and reused, providing clues to their both meanings and functions in past cultural worlds. This discussion sets the stage for a broader consideration of the practice and politics of heritage in medieval India. In partnership with the South Asia Center.
Mark Lycett, Ph.D., is an historical anthropologist and the Director of Penn’s South Asia Center. Previously he taught at the University of Chicago, where he was Director of the Program on the Global Environment, Academic Director of Chicago's South Asian Abroad Program, and Director of the Center for International Studies. He has extensive research experience in western North America and South Asia, including the Vijayanagara Metropolitan Survey (1988–1997) and, more recently, work on landscape ecology, biodiversity, conservation, and the social lives of forests and forest products in peninsular India.
The South Asia Center's mission is to enhance the study of South Asia at Penn (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives) and within the wider community. The Center supports faculty and student research, conferences, curriculum development, outreach, and other activities and events related to modern and pre-modern South Asia. The Center connects scholars with interests in South Asia across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Penn’s professional schools, and within the wider community.