The Visual Anthropology and Contemporary South Asian History Conference

Kalyani Ramachandran (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology), Ratika Yumman and Angela de Francisco, (current students on the MSc in Contemporary India), recently represented the University of Oxford in the Visual Anthropology and Contemporary South Asian History Conference held at Cambridge University. The conference, organized by the Centre of South Asian Studies, featured special contributions by Prof. Alan MacFarlane (University of Cambridge) and Prof. Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort University). It hosted both international scholars and postgraduate students from different regions and disciplines to explore modern South Asian history through visual research methods.

Students attending this conference had the opportunity to join a pre-conference workshop dedicated to ‘Writing South Asian history with visual research methods’.  Prof. Marcus Banks and Dr Motrescu-Mayes advised on the methodology used by ten postgraduate history students who worked with unique visual records selected from the collections held by the CSAS. The research findings and short visual essays produced during the workshop were presented and discussed during a special conference panel chaired by Prof. Banks.

Angela de Francisco expressed her gratitude to Dr. Motrescu-Mayes for organizing and facilitating such a rewarding conference: “using visual research methods brings us closer to people’s experiences, help us to empathize with them and allow us to imagine their realities in a far more comprehensive way. I enjoyed all the panel sessions and I thank Dr. Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes for giving us this opportunity learn and interact in this conference.”