I research on histories of visualisation, social histories of archaeology and ancient civilizations, the making of archaeological heritage and national cultures, and methodologies of material culture studies. I am trained in field archaeology and apart from teaching South Asian history and archaeology, have a long professional backgound in curatorship, through management of historical photographic archives and archaeological collections. My research focuses on shifts and transformations of notions of evidence and issues of historiography––unil now through enquiries into the histories of archaeology, photography, museums, collections and archives. My book Artefacts of History (SAGE, 2015) engages with aspects of the historiography of Indian archaeology, and the edited volume The Marshall Albums: Photography and Archaeology (Mapin/Alkazi Collection of Photography, 2010) is on select histories of the photographic practices of the colonial Archaeological Survey of India. At present, I am writing a book on Objects and Histories (Hachette, New Delhi), which attempts to seek aspects of Indian history through the social lives of select objects. I am also developing research on histories of memories and perceptions with respect to state formation in Sikkim, and on the post-colonial archaeology of cultural heritage in South Asia.
I am interested in supervising Ph.D. students who wish to research on histories of archaeologies and museums, heritage and issues of ethics, historiographies of pre-colonial India and Bronze-Age civilizations, archaeology and the nation, and the Arts of Early India.
Histories of Archaeology, The archaeology of South Asia and Early India, Art and Architecture of Pre-colonial India, Historiography, Visual Histories, Materiality, Museum Studies, Cultural Heritage and Ethics, Archaeology and Nationalism
Tagore Scholar, National Museum
British Academy, Small Research Grant
Evans Fellowship Committe Grant, Cambridge
The Nehru Trust for the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Commonwelath Visiting Scholar, Dept of Archaeology, Cambridge
Junior Research Fellow, University Grants Commission, India