January 22, 2018

Matrix scholars visit Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in India for cultural exchange

Tags: Culture, Museum

In 2017, Matrix collaborated with the MSU Museum to continue building exciting partnership activities with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) in Pune, India. The MSU Museum launched a formal staff exchange program with BORI in September 2016 that focuses on Indian and Indian American history and culture, and as part of this exchange Dr. Dean Rehberger, Director of MATRIX; Dr.Walter Hawthorne, Chair of the MSU History Department; Dr. Marsha MacDowell, Curator, MSU Museum and Professor of Art, Art History, and Design; and Dr. C. Kurt Dewhurst, Director of Arts and Culture, University Outreach & Engagement and Curator, MSU Museum and Prof. of English, visited BORI in September 2017.

During the visit, they conducted research in Goa, India, and Pune, India, and delivered several talks, titled “Matrix, Archives, and the Digital Humanities,” "Digital Humanities, Museums, and Online Presence," and "Digital Humanities Research and Teaching." The primary focus of the visit was discussing new opportunities for the exchange program, and new projects involving BORI and MSU Museum collections and digital humanities methodologies.

Following the visit to India, the MSU Museum hosted two colleagues from BORI in October 2017 for intensive consultations with museum and other MSU faculty, staff, and administrators. The visiting colleagues were Dr. Amruta Natu, Curator and Collection Manager, and Dr. Sudheer Vaishampayan, Head of Technology. Part of the visit included discussing a course of learning experiences pertaining to American museums and archives as part of the exchange program. During the visit the MSU Museum also hosted the annual Taste of India event program with current and prospective donors. The event included food prepared by local community cooks, Indian dance and music presentations by MSU students (under the direction of Dr. Sitara Thobani, MSU Residential College of Arts and Humanities), and short presentations by visiting staff from BORI.