Townsend Book Chat with Sugata Ray: Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550-1850
Lecture | November 20 | 12-1 p.m. | Stephens Hall, Geballe Room, 220 Stephens
In the enchanted world of Braj, the primary pilgrimage center in north India for worshippers of Krishna, each stone, river, and tree is considered sacred. In Climate Change and the Art of Devotion (Washington, 2019), Sugata Ray (History of Art) shows how this place-centered theology emerged in the wake of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1550-1850), an epoch marked by climatic catastrophes across the globe. In a major contribution to the emerging field of eco-art history, Ray compares early modern conceptions of the environment and current assumptions about nature and culture. Examining architecture, paintings, photography, and prints created in Braj alongside theological treatises and devotional poetry, he explores seepages between the natural ecosystem and cultural production.
Ray is joined by Whitney Davis (History of Art). After a brief conversation about the book, they open the floor for discussion.
This Townsend Center lunchtime series celebrates the intellectual and artistic endeavors of the UC Berkeley faculty. Each Berkeley Book Chat features a faculty member engaged in conversation about a recently completed publication, performance, or recording. The series highlights the extraordinary breadth and depth of Berkeleys academic community.