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Past Event

Virtual Saturday University: Creating and Destroying Sacred Spaces in North India

Apr 3 2021

Seattle Asian Art Museum


10 AM – 11:30 AM

Monumental structures encapsulate poignant events and memorable moments in history. Their construction, demolition, or remodeling often illustrate larger sociopolitical movements. This lecture series, Sites of Memory in Asia: Remembrance and Redemption, presents four case studies in North India, Japan, West India, and China. Each reveals a highly-charged story behind an iconic site, which embodies significant political or religious changes.

Registration confirmation emails include a link to access Zoom webinars. Use this link to register in advance to receive event reminders. This program is currently offered as a $5 suggested donation, to keep it accessible for all. Normally, tickets are $7 for SAM members, $12 for public. Donate today to support museum programming.

Creating and Destroying Sacred Spaces in North India
Audrey Truschke, Rutgers University

In this talk, Professor Truschke will examine controversial changes to North India’s sacred landscape over the past several decades, highlighting the values and politics at stake in such contestations. Among other examples, she will discuss the 1992 destruction of an early-16th-century mosque in Ayodhya by a Hindu nationalist mob and the ongoing project to build a Ram temple on the mosque’s former site. She will trace some of the repercussions of this set of events in terms of popular memory, religious imagery, and political power.

About the Presenter

Audrey Truschke is Associate Professor of South Asian History at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. She is the author of three books: Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (2016), Aurangzeb (2017), and The Language of History: Sanskrit Narratives of Indo-Muslim Rule (2021). When Audrey isn’t writing about the Mughals, Sanskrit texts, or Hindu-Muslim interactions, she is often calling attention to abuses of history and human rights in contemporary South Asia.



Creating and Destroying Sacred Spaces in North India


Building Ancient Memory in Modern Kyoto


The Memory of the Ancients in Modern Iranian and Parsi Architecture


Mao’s Great Leap Forward in Tian’anmen Square 1958-59

This lecture series is co-sponsored by the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and the Elliott Bay Book Company.

Presenting Sponsor
Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies


Image: Babri Masjid, Faizabad, about 1863–1887, unknown photographer, albumen silver print, 6 × 8 1/4 in., The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program, 84.XA.417.32.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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