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Shubhangni Gupta

Shubhangni Gupta's profile image

Shubhangni Gupta

Second Year Cohort
Research Interests: 
heritage, India, preservation, Rajasthan, policy, law, culture, art


My research intends to look at how heritage networks are instituted and preserved in the sphere of monument preservation in rural Rajasthan. Through this exploration, I also hope to unpack what the term ‘rural’ implies in 21st century Rajasthan, as it is not a simplistic tool of distinction from the perceived ‘urban’. Two primary theoretical explorations are crucial to the project. Firstly, the project seeks to explore the relationship between the perceived value of a monument and the nature of preservation designed in response to such perceptions. Secondly, the project will focus on how different notions of ownership direct the manner in which monument preservation is designed. Rural Rajasthan, in contrast to its ‘urban’ counterpart, therefore, becomes an interesting space to explore these questions as it has a rich repository of historical buildings that are situated in areas that have escaped the reach of institutionalised state intervention and commercial heritage tourism. My research will look at how owners of rural historical buildings are conflicted to view them as ‘properties’ or as heritage ‘monuments’, and by the extension the impact state intervention and public policy have on such an understanding in the rural. The project will attempt to answer these questions to critically analyse the fluid notions of ownership attached to monuments, that enable them to be envisioned and designed as spaces of multidimensional value. The intention of this project is not only to understand how rural heritage networks are designed, but also how such a study can help policy makers integrate them into mainstream heritage networks and the tourism appeal of the country

I completed my B.A. and M.A. in Modern Indian History from Delhi University in 2014 and 2016 respectively. I completed my MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2018, where my dissertation focussed on the first colonial legislation on the preservation of monuments in India and how it impacted preservation practices in the country.