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Personal profile

Research interests

My research has focused on early modern southeastern India, with a broad interest in the embodied experience of sacred space. My publications have been motivated by questions about the relationship between text, narrative and image; the nature of portraiture; the depiction and functions of landscape. My first book, Materiality and Imagination in Early Modern Murals, argues that temple mural paintings from southeastern India, 1500-1800, reflect and instantiate a turn to mimetic representation as a key feature of cultural expression in devotional narrative, landscape, and portraiture. My second book, tentatively titled Trees and the Ecologies of Art in South India, reconceives the importance of trees in South Asian art and religious practice in light of their changing social, economic, artistic, religious, and environmental ecologies.

I am a Visiting Scholar at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, where I am part of a multidisciplinary team focused on the “interwoven” sonic and visual histories of the Indian Ocean world. This project grows out of a multi-year collaboration with scholars, collectors, and institutions across South Asia interested in the digitization of sonic and visual archives. I am also part of a research team collaborating on publication of a set of interconnected temples in southeastern India.

My research has been supported by fellowships in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and the University of Chicago; the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery (CASVA); the American Academy of Religion; and the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Columbia University

Award Date: May 1 2013

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

Research Output

Motivated Reading: Text and Image in the Expanded Temple

Seastrand, A. L., Jul 3 2019, In : South Asian Studies. 35, 2, p. 206-219 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Text, image, and portrait in early modern South Indian murals

    Seastrand, A. L., Jan 1 2018, In : Artibus Asiae. 78, 1, p. 29-60 32 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    ஓராண் வழியைத் தேடி: ஆழ்வார் திருநகரி சுவரொவியங்களில் குருகுருபரம்பரை பிரபாவம்

    Translated title of the contribution: Finding an Unbroken Lineage: The Splendor of Alvar Tirunakari's Guruparampara Wall PaintingsSeastrand, A. L., 2017, In : Maṇaṟkēṇi. 40, September-December, p. 51-72

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Press / Media

    Interview with Panippookkal magazine of Tamil Culture

    Anna L Seastrand


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Drawn to the Beautiful Murals of Nayak Period

    Anna L Seastrand


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    A Journey through Murals in South India

    Anna L Seastrand


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research