Mallica Kumbera Landrus

Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Curator


Research summary:

Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus is an art and architectural historian specializing in the history of art and visual culture of India, particularly with regard to the intersection of art, architecture, religion, politics, economics, geographic, and social life. Her research and teaching interests expand to the artistic and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe, with a focus on the trade routes and their associations with cultural and ancestral roots. She is also interested in examining the reception of cross-cultural ideas as well as the production of transcultural objects through this process of exchange.


Dr Kumbera Landrus received her PhD in 2006 from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and since then has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has also held teaching and/or research posts at Princeton University, Brown University, the Jaipur City Palace Museum, and the Smithsonian Institute.

At the University of Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum, Dr Kumbera Landrus’ work involves working within and around the accepted pedagogical modes and the application to them of a rigorous and imaginative cross-disciplinary instruction grounded in her specialist knowledge and teaching experience. Besides teaching her own complete options around the Ashmolean collections, Dr Kumbera Landrus also contributes object-based lectures and sessions towards various core and option courses at Oxford in various departments/faculties including History of Art, Archaeology, History, International Development, School of Geography and the Environment, Oriental Studies, and the Said Business School, where she is currently an Associate Fellow.

Courses/Options taught in Oxford:

Material and Visual Culture of South Asia (For the MPhil and MSt in Modern South Asian Studies)

Trade and Exchange in Modern South Asia: Transcultural Objects, Ideas and Identities (MPhil and MSc in South Asian Studies, SIAS)

Encountering South Asian Sculpture (For second year BA History of Art)

Medicine and Visual Culture (For fourth year Special Study Module in Clinical Medicine)

Supervision on topics in South Asian art and architecture across the Social Sciences and Humanities

Contributions to: Introduction to the History of Art (BA History of Art); Theory and Methods in the History of Art (MSt History of Art); Heritage Science and Conservation (BSc in Geography and the Environment); Dawn of the Global World 1450-1800 (MSt in Modern British and European History); The Evolution of Modern Management (MBA Säid Business School); and other contributions in various core courses and other modules in International Development, School of Archaeology, Säid Business School, History Faculty, School of Geography and the Environment, and Oriental Studies.

Featured publications

"Parish Churches, Colonisation and Conversion in Sixteenth Century Portuguese Goa," in Parish Churches in the Early Modern World, ed. Andrew Spicer, Ashgate, 2015.

Yoshida Hiroshi: A Japanese artist in India, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 19 June – 13 September 2015, (Kolkata). Edited by C Pollard and M Kumbera Landrus.

Bengal and Modernity: Early 20th century art in India, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2 March – 1 June 2015 (Kolkata). Contributors: S Bhandare, M Kumbera Landrus, A Lahiri, P Mitter and P Pal.

"Trans-cultural Temples: Identity and Practice in Goa", in In the Shadow of the Golden Age, ed. Julia Hegewald, EB Verlag, Berlin 2014.

"Sculptures from Kerala: Form and Performance", in Marg Publications, Mumbai, March 2014.

"Women Representing Women", in Tradition, Trauma, Transformation: Representations of Women, Brown University, March 2011.

"Early Masterpieces, 1950s-70s", in M.F. Husain, Brown University, February 2010.

"Goa: the Rome of the Orient", in Baroque, 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, eds. Nigel Llewellyn and Michael Snodin. London: V & A Publishing, 2009.

Catalogue entries on the Indian objects [Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Colonial] in Selected Works, Catalogue of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence 2008, pp. 48-52.

"Portuguese Goa – Taking Ownership with Architecture", in Vanamala, ed. Klaus Bruhn and Gerd Mevissen, Wiedler Buchverlag, Berlin, 2006, pp. 97-107.

"Vijayanagara Art: A Political and Historical Metaphor", in Sagar 10 (University of Texas at Austin, 2003) 78–101.