Photograph from the Macnabb Collection of a street scene in Lahore, taken by an unknown photographer, most likely during the 1890s.

Empire, Post-Empire, Neo-Empire

On Saturday November 11 at 12 pm, as part of our public festival Lahore on my Mind, join historian Gyan Prakash, artist Rina Banerjee, and writer Meena Alexander for a round table discussion titled Empire, Post-Empire, Neo-Empire.

Lahore on my Mind is a public festival, curated by art historian Sugata Ray, that moves between the past and the present to explore the early modern, colonial, and contemporary cultural worlds of South Asia. Featuring artist interventions and discussions with thinkers, curators, and artists from the United States, Europe, and South Asia. This interdisciplinary event takes John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London as a starting point to reflect on the role of visual arts, performative practices, and literary cultures in shaping South Asia’s aesthetics, arts, and cultural politics in a globalized world.

We are pleased to extend complimentary need-based community tickets by request to all ticketed events. To learn more, please email

Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.

Meena Alexander is an internationally acclaimed poet, scholar, and writer. Born in Allahabad, India, and raised in India and Sudan, Alexander lives and works in New York City, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and at the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD program in English. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, literary memoirs, essays, and works of fiction and literary criticism.

Rina Banerjee was born in Calcutta, India in 1963. She grew up in London, England, and eventually moved to New York, NY. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering at Case Western University in 1993 and took a job as a polymer research chemist upon graduation. After several years, she left the science profession to receive her Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University in 1995. Banerjee’s work has been exhibited internationally, including but not limited to New York, NY; Paris, France; London, England; Tokyo, Japan; Los Angeles, CA; New Delhi, India; Milan, Italy; Singapore; and notably a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in 2013. The artist’s works are also included in many private and public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Queens Museum, Queens, NY; and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Rina Banerjee currently lives and works in New York City.

Gyan Prakash is a historian of modern India and the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University. Prakash is a member of the Subaltern Studies Collective. His field of research concerns urban modernity, genealogies of modernity, and problems of postcolonial thought and politics. He writes about modern South Asian history, comparative colonialism and postcolonial theory, urban history, global history, and the history of science.

Thursday, November 9
18 West 86th Street

7 pm: Meena Alexander Poetry Reading

Meena Alexander is an internationally acclaimed poet who was born in Allahabad, India and lives and works in New York City.

Friday, November 10
38 West 86th Street

7 pm: Openings
Shahzia Sikander, visual artist
Manan Ahmed, Assistant Professor of History, Columbia University

Saturday, November 11
18 West 86th Street

12 pm: Empire, Post-Empire, Neo-Empire
Gyan Prakash, Professor of History, Princeton University
Rina Banerjee, visual artist
Meena Alexander, poet, scholar, and writer

2 pm : Outside Kipling’s Wonder House
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, Honorary Director, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India
Nadeem Omar Tarar, Director, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
Navina Najat Haidar, Curator of Islamic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

FREE with an RSVP
4 pm: Interventions in the Gallery: Alok Vaid-Menon
Alok Vaid-Menon is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer.