Gods in the Time of Democracy: Book Launch Event

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Friday, January 14th, 2022

Friday, January 14, 202211:00AM - 1:00PMOnline Event, Online Event
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Please join us for a panel discussion of Kajri Jain’s new book, Gods in the Time of Democracy (Duke University Press, 2021)

In 2018 India’s prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world’s tallest statue: a 597-foot figure of nationalist leader Sardar Patel. Twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, it is but one of many massive statues built following India’s economic reforms of the 1990s. Drawing on a decade of fieldwork at giant statue sites in India and its diaspora, Gods in the Time of Democracy examines how monumental icons emerged as a religious and political form in contemporary India. Centering the ex-colony in rethinking key concepts of the image, it mobilizes the concept of emergence towards a radical treatment of art historical objects as dynamic assemblages. Its richly layered narrative describes how these public icons have proliferated at the intersections between new image technologies, neo-spiritual religious movements, Hindu nationalist politics, globalization, and Dalit-Bahujan verifications of equality and presence.

Learn more about the book at: https://www.dukeupress.edu/gods-in-the-time-of-democracy


Kavita Singh
School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Francis Cody
Anthropology/Asian Institute, University of Toronto

Yi Gu
Culture & Media/Art History, University of Toronto

J. Barton Scott
Historical Studies/Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Kajri Jain
Visual Studies/Art History, University of Toronto; Author of the 'Gods in the Time of Democracy' ((Duke University Press, 2021).

Christoph Emmrich
Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies; Buddhist Studies/ Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Centre for South Asian Studies


Department of Visual Studies (UTM)

Department of Art History (UofT)

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