Dr. Kirtana Thangavelu


Kirtana Thangavelu received her degrees in Art History from M.S University, Baroda; Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She is an Associate Professor in Fine Arts in the S.N School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, and a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

She teaches courses on Religious Traditions in South Asian art, Modernity and Nationalism in Indian Art, Narrative and Storytelling Traditions in Asian Art, Tangible/ Intangible Heritage Studies, and Art Writing. Her research was on the interface between oral, performance and visual narratives in the picture story-telling traditions from South India. The work deals with the ways in which these rich, resilient narrative traditions have retained matrices of orality, caste and ritual in the context of a rapidly changing world.  She is currently involved with curriculum planning and developing pedagogical practices that integrate the insights of art history for students enrolled in the practicing art disciplines of MFA programs in Indian universities.

Degrees Held

Art History from M.S University, Baroda
Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan,
PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

Research interest

Her research has focused on the Cheriyal paintings, an painted and not written form of Caste Puranas that originate from the area of Warangal and has since become the official State art form of Telangana.