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Through American Eyes: The Mahatma and Margaret Bourke-White A Mini Seminar with Sumathi Ramaswamy

Lemke Room, Bird Library

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Ramaswamy will conduct a mini-seminar on representations of Mohandas Gandhi i drawing upon the Margaret Bourke-White collection housed at the Special Collections Research Center. 

Focusing on an iconic set of photographs of Mohandas K. Gandhi taken by the American photographer Margaret Bourke-White when she visited India in the 1940s, this mini-seminar considers the role played by the camera in creating and consolidating an image of Gandhi as Mahatma.  In addition, we will explore how iconic photographs (such as Bourke-White’s) have an afterlife in the work of the contemporary artist of India who turns to them as productive resource but also as problematic inheritance and provocative incitement.

Co-sponsors: Syracuse University College of Arts & Sciences; Syracuse University Humanities Center; Syracuse University Libraries; Department of Art and Music Histories; Department of History; Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies Department of Magazine, News and Digital Journalism; Goldring Arts Journalism Program; Visual Communications Department, Newhouse; Light Work; Lender Center for Social Justice; Democratizing Knowledge Project, and Renée Crown University Honors Program.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to Emera Bridger Wilson ( by November 4.

For more information or to request an accommodation, please contact: Emera Bridger Wilson (

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