Tara Mayer studies relationships between material culture - especially clothing - and the construction of European identities in colonial India. Her published work explores the tension between Enlightenment ideas and the praxis of empire in the construction and contestation of gendered and racial identities in the colonial context. Entitled Clothing the Imperial Image: European Dress, Identity, and Authority in Colonial India, her manuscript-in-preparation studies the evolution and articulation of the cultural attitudes that informed European sartorial practices in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century India. It argues that in an age predating hardened notions of race and genetics, visual and aesthetic forms of expression were used not only to communicate European identity but also to construct it. Working with visual and textual sources that connect the metropole to the colony, her research reveals the deeply reciprocal processes of influence, assimilation, and appropriation that took place at the intersection of European and Asian material culture.
This course examines the life, legacy, and myth of Gandhi in its global contexts.
Exploration of the rise of the East India Company as territorial power, the formation of a colonial society in India, competing responses to British rule, the struggle for independence, and the legacies of partition.
History of India during the period of Mughal rule (roughly 1500-1750). Studies the role of India and the Mughals within the global dynamics of the early modern world.Equivalency: ASIA 428
This special one-time course centres on researching the South Asia collection at the Museum of Vancouver (MoV). The Museum holds a unique collection of objects from South Asia, which were brought to Vancouver in the 1930s by local travelers. These objects have never before been catalogued, researched, or exhibited. This research seminar seeks to interrogate these objects for their implications for local and global histories. Led jointly by UBC faculty and a senior MoV curator, the course consists of both classroom elements (examining the theory of material culture research and establishing a historical context for these objects) at UBC and time in the collections at MoV. Students taking this course will develop historical research skills, learn about museum curating, and contribute towards developing an online exhibition of these materials.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of British Columbia, 2012-14.
Sessional Instructor, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, 2012/13.
Research Associate, Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, ÉHÉSS Paris, 2011/12.
Ph.D. History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2010.