Global Technology in Local Contexts: Lithography in Asia

Through March 17, 2020
UChicago Center in Delhi

Mar. 16

The year 2022 will mark the bicentenary of the arrival of lithography in India, a watershed moment in the history of printing in South Asia that has been described as more significant than the advent of movable type in 1556. An inexpensive, easily accessible printing technology, lithography enjoyed extraordinary success in India; it has been associated with the “democratization of print” in South Asia and rise of commercial printing and journalism in Indian languages. Within India’s multilingual/multiscript cultural landscape, lithography was a versatile mass production medium, while also providing a link with manuscript traditions in its ability to replicate fine calligraphy. Across the Islamic world, Muslim communities embraced it for both religious and secular printing.

The upcoming anniversary provides a timely moment to review the history of lithography in its sociocultural, economic, and aesthetic dimensions, and assess its impact in India and across Asia in local and transregional perspectives. This project through a series of workshop will bring together scholars from the US, Europe, India and other Asian countries to discuss new approaches to the study of a global technology in light of recent interest in material cultures, connected histories, and the circulation of knowledge and technologies. 

This workshops will provide a platform for Indian early-career scholars to present their work in an international setting and engage in conversation with leading scholars in the field. 

This event is by invitation only.