Georgina Pope (KCL) - 2014-15 Students
The monks of the Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam worship Krishna through dance, song and musical drama
From the early medieval period to the present, performance practices have changed, keeping pace with the fluctuating political and economic fortunes of the monastic institution at large. My thesis will examine three contemporary performance sites of sattriya art forms – on tour, in the museum, and ‘at home’ under the gaze of tourists – and locate my observations in a history of ‘performing the monastery’. The study is intended as a South Asian ethnographic contribution to the burgeoning literature around cultural tourism, specifically to debates around the commodification of culture.