Old Stacks, New Leaves
The Arts of the Book in South Asia
- PUBLISHED: May 2023
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art History / Asian Art, Asian Studies / South Asia, Literary Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 328 Pages, 7 x 10 in, 129 color illus.
- ISBN: 9780295751115
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
In the twenty-first century, debates on the future of books and print culture have intensified with the rise of digital technologies, and the contemporary art world has witnessed an explosion of interest in the book form. Amid this artistic and intellectual activity, there has been little scrutiny of book arts in South Asia and their particular ontologies, histories, and genealogies. This volume weaves together scholarly essays, original artistic projects, and works of creative nonfiction to trace a history of illustrated books in South Asia from 1100 CE to the present.
From Nepalese palm-leaf manuscripts and imperial Mughal albums to lithographed cookbooks and mimeographed magazines, contributors examine a diverse range of materials rarely, if ever, studied together. Thematically organized, the chapters stage a critical dialogue between artists and scholars, emphasizing the visual, material, aesthetic, and phenomenological dimensions of books. Against narratives of the death of books in a digital age, this volume argues for the book as a vital form and dynamic practice. Written in a lucid and lively style, it will be of interest to scholars, curators, artists, critics, students, museum visitors, and readers of contemporary comics and graphic novels.
Authors & Contributors
Sonal Khullar is W. Norman Brown Associate Professor of South Asian Studies in the Department of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. She is author of Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930–1990. Contributors: Elizabeth Dadi, Iftikhar Dadi, Sylvia Houghteling, Jinah Kim, Naila Mahmood, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Yael Rice, Holly Shaffer, T. Shanaathanan, Parismita Singh, Laura Weinstein, and Anand A. Yang
Highly original and innovative. There is nothing like this whatsoever either currently available or out of print.- Catherine B. Asher, author of Architecture of Mughal India
Bringing together insightful scholarship and exciting projects from a group of talented scholars and artists, Old Stacks, New Leaves creates a rich dialogue that will appeal to students and specialists alike.- Chanchal Dadlani, author of From Stone to Paper: Architecture as History in the Late Mughal Empire
Paper and ink, bindings and covers, painted images and marginal notes, lithographed books and mimeographed magazines, bookshelves and pavement stalls—this rich and gorgeous book explores the material lives and afterlives of books in South Asia. Old Stacks, New Leaves kicks off a much-needed conversation between book and art historians, artists, and writers that leaves no doubt about the profound impact and inspiration that books in their material form continue to exercise. A visual and intellectual feast.- Francesca Orsini, author of Print and Pleasure: Popular Literature and Entertaining Fictions in Colonial North India
What is a book, in South Asia? In this book, the answers to that simple question proved to be far-reaching, provocative, and captivating.- Richard H. Davis, author of The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography