ReSIA: Cloth and Time in the Mughal Empire

Key information

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Online via Zoom

About this event

Speaker: Sylvia W. Houghteling

By the start of the seventeenth century, cloth from South Asia had spread throughout the globe. Carried in watertight chests on maritime vessels, painted cotton bedcovers and embroidered hangings travelled to the Americas, Europe, Africa, and East and West Asia.

However, the perception of South Asian textiles as the consummate material of global trade can obscure the fact that the seventeenth-century circulation of fabric existed across different scales and distinctive temporalities. The circulation of textiles was often seasonal: Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) timed his gifts of warm, woollen garments to arrive at the start of the cold winter weather.

The case of cloth circulating within the Mughal Empire, therefore, requires a reconsideration of how to approach objects – commodities like textiles and other luxuries of the maritime trade – that eventually travelled great distances.

The Research Seminar in Islamic Art (ReSIA) is convened by Professor Anna Contadini.

Event Recording