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Title: Material histories and wood-carving : fragments from modern Punjab
Author: Zubair, Nadine
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 1484
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2020
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In pre-colonial times, wood-carved doors, doorways, balconies and windows were essential and recognisable facets of public and domestic buildings in the Punjab. Colonial directives, however, led to significant changes both in the built landscape and in the production, consumption and meaning of wood-carving. Discerning in these changes an emphasis on fragmentation, this thesis explores the material effects of colonial-era engagements with regional arts and crafts, urban redesign, education, and public administration. It attempts to disrupt the false sense of coherence implied by the idea of a 'circuit' of culture, to grapple instead with the affordances of the fragment. Despite their proliferation and prolonged participation within local practice, carved architectural fragments are now rarely encountered in the buildings for which they were produced. Global demand for these items has dispersed them to far-flung private collections, museums, restaurants, and houses in every occupied continent, making them uncannily familiar visual tropes with performative significance. This project considers archival records, architectural specimens from museums and collections, Punjabi narratives, and primary and secondary historical sources as fragments, and explores their affordances in relation to the Punjab and Britain from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. By using hitherto unpublished archival material, and drawing these fragments into 'critical constellations', this thesis aims to reframe and rebalance the historical and temporal contextualisation of their production, pedagogy and consumption. It then suggests an alternative reading of fragments: as invocations of a more dynamic, mutative and transformative cultural condition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available