The Museum and its Fragments: Dispossession and Writing the Border


Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art


History of Art


"The Museum and its Fragments" unearths the history of the Lahore Museum’s painful fragmentation in the twentieth century. The Lahore Museum became a central coordinate of the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent, when its collections of art and archeology were divided between India and Pakistan, alongside the region’s territory, infrastructure, and peoples. My book harnesses this cross-border story to think deeply about post-colonial border-making and the impact of such processes of decolonization and division on our knowledge of art, society, and modernism. In both its narrative and form, this book challenges the national logics at the core of art history in South Asia, centering the border as problem and method. By turning to the fragment, to elucidate how the materiality and mobility of the visual arts inhabit the partition’s dispossessions of place and identity, this book activates a series of archival strategies that re-envision the limits and futures of cross-border history writing.