University Engagement Programme

Mallica Kumbera Landrus


Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus, Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Curator, 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.

She 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 research fellowships at Institutes such as Princeton University, Brown University, and the Jaipur City Palace Museum.

Dr Kumbera Landrus was Director of Princeton’s first Global Seminar in India (2010), a role that required her to organize the programme in India as well as teach the seminar. She was also Research and Teaching Fellow at Princeton University in 2009. At Brown University, she taught several courses as Visiting Professor between 2007 and 2009, besides curating two exhibitions between 2010 and 2011 that focused on modern and contemporary artists. Whereas the first of these exhibitions focused on the early works (1950s-1970s) of Maqbool Fida Husain, the second addressed tradition, trauma and transformation as seen through the works of three contemporary artists, Nalini Malani, Nilima Sheikh and Chitra Ganesh.

Her work experience with galleries and museums began with an internship at the Smithsonian Institute, leading to her engaging with various galleries and museums, including a research fellowship at the Jaipur City Palace Museum and a curatorial consultancy for South Asian objects in the RISD Museum. While she is a contributor to the RISD Museum handbook, some of her other publications include: ‘Sculptures from Kerala: Form and Performance’, in Marg Publications, Mumbai (forthcoming); ‘Trans-cultural Temples: Identity and Practice in Goa,’ in In the Shadow of the Golden Age, ed. Julia Hegewald, University of Bonn Press (forthcoming); “Women Representing Women,” in Tradition, Trauma, Transformation: Representations of Women, Brown University (2011); “Early Masterpieces, 1950s-70s” in M.F. Husain, Brown University (2010); “Goa: the Rome of the Orient,” in Baroque, 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, eds. Nigel Llewellyn and Michael Snodin, V&A Publishing (2009); “Portuguese Goa – Taking Ownership with Architecture,” in Vanamala, ed. Klaus Bruhn and Gerd Mevissen, Wiedler Buchverlag (2006); “Vijayanagara Art: A Political and Historical Metaphor,” in Sagar volume 10, University of Texas at Austin (2003); “Interview with Morgan Professor, Elizabeth Stone,” in Parnassus volume 4, University of Louisville (1998). She is currently working on a book on Indo-Portuguese art and architecture in Goa – focusing on both Christian and Hindu works. Her interests in Indo-Portuguese connections began especially in the late 1990s when she spent two seasons on an archaeological excavation in Portugal.

T: +44 (0)1865 288085