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Lecture: Susan Wadley, From Powerful Goddesses to Modern Women: Mithila's Artists Paint for the 21st Century

As a part of programming related to special exhibition, Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India, Susan Wadley, Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University, will give the talk, "From Powerful Goddesses to Modern Women: Mithila's Artists Paint for the 21st Century."

Located on the India border with Nepal, the Mithila region is known for its tradition of women painting gods and goddesses and auspicious designs on the mud walls of their homes. But fifty years after beginning to paint on paper, many Mithila painters are using their art to transform traditional religious ideology and designs to express new ideas of what it means to be female.  Instead of the Goddess Durga, slaying demons while riding her tiger, we find Shakti, a celebration of female energy that the modern woman should use in her fight for female justice. Using paintings from several women, but primarily from one 34 year old painter, Shalinee Kumari, Dr. Wadley explores how Mithila’s current female painters use their paintings to express their views on womanhood and marriage.  
 
The talk is presented by the Department of Religious Studies through through generous funding from Dimpal and Heetesh Patel.

Wadley is the Ford-Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies in the Anthropology Department at Syracuse University. Her research interests are broadly about social change, religion, folklore, gender issues, and folk art traditions in India. She has published mutiple books and countless articles on these topics and has recently completed several years of field work examining Mithila art in India.

Thursday, March 7 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Frank H. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, Auditorium
1327 Circle Park, Knoxville, TN 37996

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