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“From New Spain to Mughal India: Rethinking Early Modern Animal Studies with a Turkey, ca. 1612”

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Prof. Sugata Ray (UC Berkeley) joins Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) to delve into the history of two much-maligned birds of the early modern Indian Ocean world: the dodo and the turkey. As a historian of South Asian art working at the intersection of animal, environmental, and postcolonial studies, Prof. Ray starts with pictures of these birds and expands to discuss their intertwining political, cultural, and ecological roles in the earliest days of the Eurocene collapse.

Prof. Ray is Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian art in the History of Art Department and the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850, which was published by the University of Washington Press and won the 2021 Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion and the 2020 Religion and the Arts Book Award. With Venugopal Maddipati, he has also coedited the 2020 volume, Water Histories of South Asia: The Materiality of Liquescence.


Image credit: A painting of a dodo by Ustad Mansur, ca. 1625, via Wikipedia Commons.

The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”