Dr Yuthika Sharma works on the visual culture of South Asia in the early modern and colonial period through the lens of cultural exchange, gender and labour relations. Her research has focused on artistic agency and the transmission of visual knowledge in the long eighteenth century in the backdrop of shifting patterns of production and patronage and new artistic imaginaries in the backdrop of an emerging marketplace. Her co-authored book-catalogue with William Dalrymple, Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi 1707-1857 (Yale University Press, 2012) was instrumental in drawing attention to a hitherto neglected period of India's transition from a Mughal state to a colonial outpost, countering the received wisdom of a decline of the arts in the long 18th century. Her research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, The Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.
Before joining HoA, Dr Sharma worked in the Asia Department of the British Museum (2014-15). She was also AHRC Cultural Engagement fellow in the Department of History at UCL as part of the Leverhulme Trust funded project, The East India Company at Home (2013). Most recently, she collaborated on the Leverhulme Trust funded British Museum-Oxford University research project, Empires of Faith (2017).
Dr Sharma maintains an active interest in issues surrounding art historical pedagogy, collecting and curatorial practice. She has curated a number of exhibitions in the US and the UK and continues to work with area museums. Her recent work with the University of Edinburgh Library's Special Collections culminated in the University's Fringe festival exhibition, Highlands to Hindustan (2017).
In addition to serving as an Associate Editor for South Asian Studies journal (BASAS), Dr Sharma served as Visiting External Examiner, History of Art and Archaeology (Undergraduate) at SOAS University of London for three years from 2017-2020.
Dr Sharma offers two specialist honours courses, a third-year honours course on visual culture in early modern India (1500-1900) and Timeless Heroines, a fourth-year honours course that looks at the longue durée of feminist practices covering two thousand years of South Asian art from early Buddhist period to Contemporary art practice. Her postgraduate option course on Art and Cultural Exchange in Mughal India looks at questions of visual identity in the backdrop of a globalising Mughal empire (1526-1858) and the rise of colonialism. Dr Sharma also teaches the survey of South Asia oriented towards first and second-year undergraduates, and research methodology courses for Analysing Art History and Research, Theory and Methods.
Dr Sharma’s research interests lie at the intersection of colonialism and culture. Her research has focused on artistic exchange in the long 18th century, women in colonial India as well as British colonial and late imperial landscape history. Her recent articles look at portraiture and the practice of proto-colonial survey strategies, the contested art history of ivory souvenirs in colonial India as well as the role of ‘oriental’ commodities in the British domestic sphere.
Dr Sharma leads the research cluster CHITrA, Connecting Histories of Indian and Transregional Art. The cluster emerged from an earlier partnership with Dr Lotte Hoek and Professor Ed Hollis, as members of the scientific committee for the international biennial symposium of the American Council for South and South East Asian Art at ECA in Nov 2019, chaired by Dr Sharma. CHITrA meets regularly in the semester through a monthly reading group. For regular updates follow us on Twitter @ArtsofSouthAsia
2017. Philippa Ardych, Nadia Ali, Robert Bracey, Katherine Cross, Dominic Daglish, Jas Elsner, Miriam Frenkel, Stefanie Lenk, Maria Lidova, Yuthika Sharma, Rachel Wood. Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.
2012. William Dalrymple and Yuthika Sharma, Eds. Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857 Yale University Press, with Asia Society Press.
2008. Vidya Dehejia, Dipti Khera, Yuthika Sharma. Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj. Ahmedabad: Mapin Publications.
2018. Yuthika Sharma ‘Village portraits in William Fraser’s Portfolio of Native Drawings’ in C Branfoot (ed.) Portraiture in India since the Mughals: Art, History, Representation. I.B. Tauris.
2018. Yuthika Sharma with Pauline Davies, ‘A jaghire without a crime: East India Company and the Indian Ocean Material World at Osterley 1700-1800’ The East India Company at Home,1757-1857: The British country house in an imperial and global context. London: UCL Press.
2017. Chanchal Dadlani and Yuthika Sharma, “Beyond the Taj Mahal: Late Mughal Visual Culture, 1658-1858” in “Modernity, Empire, Colony, Nation (1650-1950)” in Gulru Necipoglu and Finbarr Barry Flood, Eds. Companion to Islamic Art Vol. II London: Wiley-Blackwell.
2017. Yuthika Sharma. 'Mughal Delhi on my Lapel: The Charmed Life of Ivory Miniatures in Delhi, 1827–1880'. in J McDonagh, R Sundar Rajan, S Chaudhari & B Murray, Eds. Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World. Routledge.
Further publications are available through Research Explorer.
Imagining the Divine (Oct 2017-March 2018) Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University. Co-curator with Jas Elsner et.al.
Highlands to Hindustan(2017), Edinburgh University Fringe Exhibition and UK-India Year of Culture Exhibition. Curator.