India: National Identity and the Arts

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Mary Storm, Academic Director

Mary Storm, PhD, Academic Director
Mary Storm has a PhD in Indian art history from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MA in East Asian studies and Japanese Buddhist art from Stanford University. In a previous life, she acquired a law degree. Dr. Storm has lived and worked in India for many years, roaming the back roads of India from West Bengal to Rajasthan and from Ladakh to Tamil Nadu in search of archaeological adventure. She has taught at various American institutions as well as at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi in the School of Arts and Aesthetics. She was previously a Ford Foundation Visiting Fellow and associate professor of art history at that university.

When not teaching, researching, or working for SIT Study Abroad, she spends her time painting and writing. She loves to cook both Indian and French food and has a diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. She has published numerous articles on Indian art history and is proud to report her paintings are "exhibited" on many refrigerator doors. Her book Head and Heart: Valour and Self-Sacrifice in the Art of India was published in August 2013 by Routledge. Her present research focuses on the history of Indian food and the creation of national identity.

Arjun Chanuhan Singh – photo by Mark Mosrie

Arjun Chauhan Singh, Program Assistant
Mr. Chauhan first joined SIT New Delhi in the fall of 2007. Mr. Chauhan is a graduate of the Delhi College of Vocational Training and is a recently certified Wilderness First Responder. He enjoys basketball, travel, music, and good food. He lives with his family in South Delhi and is the proud father of two children. 

Lecturers for this program typically include faculty from:

  • School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Delhi University
  • Benares Hindu University
  • School of Planning and Architecture

Ms. Maria Stallone, Lecturer, Indian Classical Music
Maria Stallone is a scholar of Indian classical music, and has a lifelong history of international experience. Maria earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She first traveled to Varanasi, India, where she began her study of Indian classical music, in 1993 with the prestigious Rotary Foundation Fellowship. She completed her graduate work at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, achieving an Award of Merit in ethnomusicology and Urdu. Her other academic distinctions include a diploma in Indian classical music and Hindi from Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi and, most recently, graduate work in Thai studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Maria speaks four languages and has been the recipient of several grants and scholarships promoting her interests and research.

Rameshwar P. Bahuguna, PhD, Lecturer, Indian History Overview and Islam in India
Rameshwar Bahuguna is a professor in the Department of History and Culture, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. He teaches courses on the religious and cultural history of medieval India. His research focuses on medieval sants and sant-based panthic formations.

His publications include several articles in scholarly journals on the medieval sant movement. He is currently working on a monograph about the historical dimensions of medieval vaishnava and sant hagiographies.

Shukla Sawant, PhD, Lecturer, Modernism in Indian Art
Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her research interests include contemporary art and art in colonial India. She has been a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of London and has studied at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Paris.

She recently contributed articles on Sultan Ali, Sanat Kar, and Chittoprasad, among others, to the Delhi Art Gallery catalogue “Manifestations.”

She has participated in artist residencies at Braziers College, Oxford, UK; Khoj Workshop, Modinagar, India; and Began Grond Residency, Utrecht, Netherlands, and has had solo art exhibitions in London, Amsterdam, Mumbai, and Delhi.

Mr. Tapan Chakravarty, Lecturer, Development of New Delhi
Tapan Chakravarty is an architect and urban planner, with an interest in historical conservation. He received his BA and MA in architecture and urban design from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

He has taught at the TVB School of Habitat Studies and the School of Planning at Architecture, and he currently holds a position as professor of interior architecture and design at the Pearl Academy of Fashion, New Delhi. He also freelances as a consultant for architecture and urban design projects, as well as architectural conservation projects.

Chakravarty worked closely with the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to help design the plan to develop Delhi as a World Heritage City.

Anjan Chakraverty, PhD, Lecturer, Benarasi Textiles and Wall Paintings of Benares
Anjan Chakraverty acquired his BA, MA, and PhD from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, and currently serves as the dean of the Arts and Aesthetics Department at the same university.

Chakraverty has published several essays and books on Indian painting and textile history including Sacred Buddhist Painting and Indian Miniature Painting.

Chakraverty is himself a painter and has organized five solo exhibitions in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Kathmandu and has participated in about fifty group shows held in different countries.

Mr. Anjan Mitra, Lecturer, Heritage Walk in Old Calcutta
Anjan Mitra is an architect and city planner who has been involved with architecture and urban development as a researcher, practitioner, and activist. Throughout his career he has advocated sustainable design, and he is involved in various research studies involving urban development, urban economics, conservation, and cultural issues.

He has specialized in conservation, alternative technology, and tourism, and is a member of the heritage subcommittee of Kolkata Municipal Corporation. He is also secretary of the registered society Sustained Actions for Value and Environment and advises the local community on sustainable development.

Mr. Yousuf Saeed, Lecturer, Islamic Poster Art
Yousuf Saeed is an independent filmmaker and researcher based in Delhi. He started his career in educational television (with the Times of India) in 1990, co-directing the science series Turning Point for Doordarshan, and moved on to make documentaries on a variety of subjects. Some of his prominent films include Inside Ladakh, Basant, A Life in Science: Yashpal, and The Train to Heaven, which has been shown at numerous film festivals and academic venues and on TV. His most recent work is a feature-length film entitled Khayal Darpan about the state of classical music in Pakistan.

Besides film and television, Yousuf also worked for Encyclopedia Britannica (India) as the arts editor. He has been a Sarai Fellow (2004) and an Asia Fellow (2005). He has published many essays about the popular devotional art of Indian Muslims and is the author of the book Muslim Devotional Art in India.

Bishnupriya Dutt, PhD, Lecturer, Social Theatre
Bishnupriya Dutt is an Indian theatre practitioner-researcher. She has acted in 40 plays and has directed five. At present, she is an associate professor in the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her areas of research include colonial and postcolonial theatre in India, feminist readings of Indian theatre, and performative practices and popular culture.

Her recent publications include the articles “Historicizing Actress Stories: English Actresses in India” and “Actress Stories: Binodini and Amal Allana” and the texts Engendering Performance: Indian Performer’s Journey in Search of an Identity and Actors from an Alternate Space.

She has completed research projects with the University Grant Commission project on professional and semiprofessional female performers in Indian popular performances.

Ms. Shikha Jhingan, MPhil, Lecturer, Bollywood Music
Shikha Jhingan is an assistant professor at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, New Delhi. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis in cinema studies from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Her published works include “The Singer, the Star, and the Chorus,” and a review of Ganesh Anantharaman’s Bollywood Melodies: A History of the Hindi Film Song.

Urmimala Sarkar Munsi, PhD, Lecturer, Indian Classical Dance
Urmimala Sarkar Munsi is a social anthropologist and dancer/choreographer. She is currently visiting faculty at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her courses include Indian Dance: Theory and Practice; Living Traditions; Dance, Gender, Society; Therapeutic Use of Movement Systems; and Performance Documentation.

Urmimala has contributed to numerous journals and has edited Dance Transcending Borders. She is also co-editor of the book Traversing Tradition: Celebrating Dance in India, part of the Routledge Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific series.


Costs Dates



Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: New Delhi

Language Study: Hindi

Prerequisites: None, although previous coursework in Asian history, Asian art history, or Asian religions is recommended. Read more...

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)


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