BFA Communication Design, National Institute of Design, 1998
BA Anthropology, Victoria University of Wellington, 2000
MFA Studio Art, Pennsylvania State University, 2009
PhD Anthropology, University College London, 2015
Urmila Mohan is an anthropologist and curator of material culture and religion with a focus on textiles and Hinduism in India and Indonesia. She is the founder and editor of Jugaad: A Material Religions Project (jugaad.pub) and has published articles and chapters on materiality, praxis and aesthetics in the context of religion. Her research has been funded by Victoria and Albert Museum (Nehru Trust for Indian Collections), London; Asian Cultural Council, New York; Coby Foundation Ltd., New York, and Rotary International. Recent publications include “Editorial: Marching the Devotional Subject: The Bodily-and-Material Cultures of Religion” (with J.-P. Warnier) in Journal of Material Culture, and “Religion and Ritual: The Modern Religio-colorscape” in A Cultural History of Color in the Modern Age. Her doctoral research at University College London is being published as a monograph, exploring clothing as devotional efficacy in a global Hindu group and she is currently co-editing a volume on praxis and subjectivation highlighting the work of the group Matière à Penser. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in museum anthropology at Bard Graduate Center, curating an exhibit on the ceremonial uses of textiles collected by Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in 1930s Bali, Indonesia, and writing the monograph Fabricating Power with Balinese Textiles (University of Chicago Press/BGC). A transdisciplinary scholar who works across domains and geographies, she draws upon her background in anthropology, history, design and art to develop and teach courses that connect these fields.
India and Indonesia; Material and Visual Culture; Religion; Praxeology; Power and Subjectivation; Museum Anthropology; Historical Anthropology