Nachiket Chanchani

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Nachiket Chanchani

Assistant Professor of South Asian Art, Architecture, and Visual Culture

855 South University Avenue, 70D Tappan Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1357

Office Location(s):
5048 STB
70D Tappan Hall
Fax: 734.647.0157

  • Fields of Study
    • South Asian and Himalayan art, architecture, and visual culture
  • About

    Nachiket Chanchani is currently on sabbatical.

    Nachiket Chanchani’s interests span many mediums, regions, and time-periods. Currently, he is researching and writing about three aspects of South Asian and Himalayan art, architecture, and visual culture. These are as follows: (1) investigating the expansion of sacred geographies, the movements of builders, and the creation of a mosaic of polities in the Central Himalayas and assessing how these activities intersected with stone temple construction and the development of sculptural form between the seventh to twelfth centuries CE; (2) theorizing strategies to account for the production, dissemination, and performance of the linguistically hybrid and profusely painted scrolls and manuscripts of pre-Mughal western India; and (3) tracing the shadow of traditional Indian art, modern collections, and the scholarship on them, on the creative works of avant-garde Euro-American artists.

    Forthcoming journal articles include “Pandukeshwar, Architectural Knowledge, and an Idea of India” in Ars Orientalis 45 (2015), book chapters in-press in edited volumes include “Lead, Kindly Light: A Lamp-Bearer from the Jageshwar Valley,” in Prasada Nidhi: Essays in Honor of M.A. Dhaky (2015), and “Revelation in Rock: Thal” in Art, Icon, and Architecture in South Asia: Essays in Honor of Devangana Desai (2015).

    Recently published journal articles include “From Asoda to Almora: Maru-Gurjara Architecture in the Central Himalayas” in Arts Asiatiques 69 (2014), “The Jageshwar Valley, Where Death is Conquered” in Archives of Asian Art 63.2 (2013), “The Camera Work of Ananda Coomaraswamy and Alfred Stieglitz,”in History of Photography 37.2 (2013), “Telling Tales: The Freer Vasanta Vilasa” in Artibus Asiae 72.1 (2012), and “Some Reflections on Art Writing and Translation in Colonial India,” in Art in Translation 2.2 (2010).

    Published translations include (from Sanskrit and Gujarati, with Deven M. Patel) M.A. Dhaky and P.O. Sompura, “A Temple for Ascending to Heaven,” Art in Translation 2.1 (2010) and (from Gujarati, with Babu Suthar) “The Art of Gujarat Patronized by the Jains and its History,” Art in Translation 2.3 (2010).

    Nachiket has held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington DC, and a Nehru Trust fellowship at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He has also been involved with curatorial projects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


  • Education
    • PhD University of Pennsylvania, 2012
    • MA University of Minnesota, 2007
    • M.Phil. (Research Training Programme), Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, 2005
    • BA Muskingum College, 2004