Subhashini Kaligotla’s area of expertise is early medieval Deccan India, 500 – 800 CE, with specific research interests in the multisensorial experience of sacred architecture, the agency of makers and images, the intersections between visual and textual representation, landscape history and culture, and the historiography of South Asian art history. She is at work on a book project titled “Cosmopolitan Craftsmen and Sacred Space in Medieval India,” which draws attention to the agents and agencies involved in making the Deccan’s heterogeneous built spaces and places the temples in new regional and supra-regional historical perspectives. The book is interested in what it means to make in early medieval India and looks at the material and metaphoric resources available to a range of makers. These include temple and image makers, poets and scribes, and ruling houses and patrons who fashioned cities and kingdoms. Engaging with the analytical framework of cosmopolitanism, courtly ideas about ornament and aesthetics, and South Asian notions of place and power, the work situates Deccan choices in the visual realm alongside transregional practices in the linguistic, ritual, political, and landscape spheres.
Before joining Yale, Kaligotla was a postdoctoral research fellow of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and based in the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin. Her research and writing have been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright program, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Getty Research Institute, Dumbarton Oaks, and Berlin’s Forum Transregionale Studien.
Kaligotla is also a practicing poet with a debut poetry collection that was published in January 2018.