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, writer Meena Alexander, screenwriter and producer Sabrina Dhawan, and moderator Risha Lee, 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.

Risha Lee is a curator and scholar. Born in Oakland, California and based in Brooklyn, she earned a BA with high honors from Harvard College and a PhD in Art History from Columbia University. Her work has focused on cross-cultural encounters across South and Southeast Asia, China, and North America. She has taught at Columbia University and the American University of Beirut. Her most recent exhibition, The World Is Sound, currently is installed at the Rubin Museum of Art, and another of her exhibitions, OM Lab, is at the Wang Center of Stony Brook University in its second iteration.

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.

Sabrina Dhawan
graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program in 2001 with her debut feature as screenwriter, Monsoon Wedding. Amongst other awards, it won the ‘Leon D’Oro’ at the Venice Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination. Her student short Saanjh – As Night Fallswon ‘Best of the Festival’ at the Palm Springs Film Festival; ‘Most Original Film’ from New Line Cinema, ‘Audience Impact’ Award at Angelus Awards, and was nominated for a Student Academy Award.Sabrina’s other produced screenplay credits include Kaminey, directed by Vishal Bharadwaj for UTV; Ishqiya, directed by Abhishek Chaubey for Shemaroo Entertainment. 11.9.01, directed by Nair for Canal Plus; Cosmopolitan for PBS; Rangoon, directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. She served as co-producer on Bollywood Hero, a mini-series for IFC and as story consultant on Bharadwaj’s Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola and wrote a documentary Greatest Love Story Ever Told to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema for UTV and Shekhar Kapoor. The studios and production companies Sabrina has been commissioned to write for include UTV, 20th Century Fox, HBO, Disney, Fox-Star, Killer Films, ABC Family and Fox Searchlight. Sabrina has taught at filmmaking labs around the world, including Uganda, Tanzania, India, and the continental USA. Sabrina is currently working on a staged musical adaptation of the movie Monsoon Wedding that made its debut at Berkley Rep in May 2017.

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
Richard Davis, Associate Professor of Religion, Bard College
Shahzia Sikander, visual artist
Sadia Abbas, Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers-Newark

Saturday, November 11
18 West 86th Street

12 pm: Empire, Post-Empire, Neo-Empire
Risha Lee, Independent Curator and Scholar
Gyan Prakash, Professor of History, Princeton University
Meena Alexander, poet, scholar, and writer
Sabrina Dhawan, screenwriter and producer

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
18 West 86th Street

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