The monsoon looms large in the painting, poetry, and music of South Asia, its torrential downpours evoking loving, longing moods and auguring a season of abundance. This weather event has historically structured the year’s seasonal rhythms and played a role not just in agriculture, but in a host of economic, political, and legal systems. Today, climate change threatens to destabilize the monsoon, disrupting the lives of billions and requiring new adaptations to its increasing unpredictability.
Bringing together an environmental historian, an art historian, and a climate scientist, this program will speak to the history of the monsoon as both an ecological and a cultural phenomenon and its future in our changing climate. Exploring the influence of the monsoon on the rich visual archive of "A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur" will yield new insights into these paintings and the multifaceted weather system they dramatize.
Dr. Debjani Bhattacharyya, Professor and Chair of the History of the Anthropocene, University of Zürich
Dr. Dipti Khera, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Dr. Sonali Shukla McDermid, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, New York University
This event is part of the series Water, Climate, Culture. It will take place in the museum's Meyer Auditorium and will be streamed live online.