Professor Sumathi Ramaswamy to Lecture on Mahatma Gandhi as an Artist of Non-Violence

Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, an internationally recognized historian who chairs the history department and teaches at Duke University, is currently working on a book about Mahatma Gandhi. She will be utilizing the primary research materials on Gandhi available through Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). While at Syracuse University, she will provide a public lecture in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. She is also offering a mini-seminar to a select group on November 15. Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC is uniquely positioned for this seminar as it houses the acclaimed Margaret Bourke-White archives, which include Bourke-White’s famous photographs of Gandhi for Life Magazine as well as her India journals.

Mohandas K. Gandhi has been described as “an artist of non-violence,” crafting a set of practices of the self and politics that earned him the mantle of Mahātma, “the great soul.” There is an enormous body of scholarship that has explored and critiqued Gandhi’s philosophy and praxis of satyāgraha, non-violent civil disobedience. Yet what does it mean to think of satyāgraha as an aesthetic regime, and its principal exponent as the paradigmatic artist of disobedience? Ramaswamy, who is currently president of the American Institute of Indian Studies, will discuss some modern artists in India who were inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s non-violent civil dissent. She will sets out to answer these questions with the help of India’s modern artists who have turned to the Mahātma as their muse over the past century, but especially in recent decades. This talk will engage students and faculty from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences; specifically, from Art History, History, Photography, Political Science, African American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, an internationally recognized historian who chairs the history department and teaches at Duke University, is currently working on a book about Mahatma Gandhi. She will be utilizing the primary research materials on Ghandhi available through Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). While at Syracuse University, she will provide a public lecture in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. She is also offering a mini-seminar to a select group on November 15. Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC is uniquely positioned for this seminar as it houses the acclaimed Margaret Bourke-White archives, which include Bourke-White’s famous photographs of Gandhi for Life Magazine as well as her India journals.