The Social Worlds of Indian Aesthetics: a View from the Mughal Period by Dr. Allison Busch

Professor Busch shares highlights from a book project on “Aesthetic Worlds of the Indian Heroine” that explores Mughal India’s deep engagement with classical aesthetics through paintings and poems about female beauty. Many Mughal-period connoisseurs articulated their vision of the arts using the traditional Sanskrit vocabulary of rasa, or emotion. Evidence suggests how the gatherings where painting and poetry were experienced were a venue for self-cultivation and a means to strengthen bonds of love and friendship. The talk highlights the importance of aesthetics and affect in shaping the social and political worlds of Mughal India’s men and women.