Nachiket Chanchani (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2012) is a tenure-track assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of the History of Art and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. His writings are appearing in Artibus Asiae, Archives of Asian Art, History of Photography, Arts Orientalis, Art in Translation, Arts Asiatiques, in various edited books, and on the editorial pages of venerable and widely read The Hindu newspaper. He has been closely invoked with curatorial projects at premier art museums and has been awarded fellowships from the Nehru Trust at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Asian Cultural Council, New York, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, and other institutions.
During tenure as a Royal Netherlands Academy Jan Gonda Fellow at the IIAS, Nachiket intends to finish his writing a monograph that seeks to explicate how a remote mountainous landscape around the glacial sources of the Ganga River in the Central Himalayas in Northern India was transformed into a region encoded with deep meaning and one approached by millions of Hindus as a primary locus of pilgrimage. From approximately the third century BCE up to the thirteenth century CE, scores of stone edifices and steles were erected in this landscape. Primarily spanning this epoch, Nachiket’s book project explores how—through their forms, locations, and interactions with the natural environment and with processes occurring within the context of social and political life—these lithic ensembles evoked mythic worlds, embedded historical memories in the topography, changed the mountain range's appearance, and shifted its total semiotic effect.
For details on Nachiket’s publications and his activities see his primary webpage: http://lsa.umich.edu/histart/people/faculty/nachiket.html