Sukaina Husain

Project Title: Games of ‘aql: Painters, calligraphers and the formation of the Mughal culture of reason (‘aql), 1572-1609 [working title]

My research project examines the extent to which calligraphic and painterly structures of knowledge impacted the formation of ideas about tahqiq or independent verification in the sixteenth and seventeenth century Mughal imperium. By looking at material objects such as the calligrapher’s mashq or exercise sheet and the painter’s compositional frame or tarh as representations of practices of making, knowing and seeing, my dissertation positions the bodily, experiential and practical knowledge of artists in conversation with the theoria of Mughal intellectuals such as Abu’l Fazl ‘Allami (d. 1602), and examines the extent to which the former framed ideas about rationality and reason in elite Mughal court society.

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: History of Art

University: University of Edinburgh

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