Urmila Mohan

Urmila Mohan is a 2016-18 Postdoctoral Fellow in Museum Anthropology across the American Museum of Natural History and the Bard Graduate Center. Her current project explores how textile artifacts, collected by anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in Bali, Indonesia, in the 1930s, act as embodied means of transformation through their religious use and symbolic, aesthetic and praxeological value. Urmila earned her doctorate in Anthropology (material and visual culture) at University College London (UCL) where she is also a Research Associate. Her doctoral thesis was on clothing as sociality and materiality in a contemporary Hindu group. With an education in art and design, she brings an applied knowledge of materials as well as a creative sensibility to her scholarly interest in practice and embodiment. Recent publications include "Dressing God: Clothing as Material of Religious Subjectivity in a Hindu Group", in the edited volume "The Social Life of Materials: Studies in Materials and Society", Bloomsbury, 2015, and “From prayer beads to the mechanical counter: The negotiation of chanting practices within a Hindu group”, ASSR Special Issue on Material Religion, 2016. She is currently editing a publication based upon the 2014 UCL conference on religious subjectivation as well as a volume on the Matière à Penser group.

Research Interests: Praxeology, Sensoriality, Agency, Efficacy, Art, Craft, Design

                                             Profile at UCL     /     Profile at Bard Graduate Center

Blog posts

The "Temple of the Vedic Planetarium" as Mission, Monument and Memorial

Paper Offerings: Judaic Themes in the Artwork of Donna Ruff 

The Religious Book as Object: An Interview with Dorina Miller Parmenter



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