Going Global in Mughal India: A Digital Muraqqa
Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Publication
This project uses the tools of digital humanities to track the itineraries of the terrestrial globe in Mughal India. Supported by grants from the Arts and Sciences Committee on Faculty Research and the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, Ramaswamy has undertaken this project as a cultural historian interested in documenting cartographic practices in the Indian subcontinent. Using Turning the Pages™ software, she has assembled imperial Mughal paintings from the seventeenth century in a digital album (muraqqa’) that showcases "the calculated display” of the globe of the earth within the frame of each work. She has also been concerned in this project in making available to a wider public a specific set of highly-specialized arguments regarding the arrival of the terrestrial globe as an object and as representation in India. Not least, this project uses the new tools of digital humanities to explore both the promise—and the limits—of online scholarship and curatorial work.
Ramaswamy's later book Terrestrial Lessons: The Conquest of the World as Globe (University of Chicago Press, 2017) references this digital exhibition, which, in her own words, "allowed me to lay out - pictorially and digitally - the rudiments of the argument I develop in these pages."