Sria Chatterjee

Headshot of Sria ChatterjeeAs Head of Research and Learning, Sria oversees the Paul Mellon Centre’s broad range of research projects, events, learning programmes, and collaborations. With the Director, she contributes to shaping the strategic direction of the research and learning culture of the Centre and is invested in creating and sharing knowledge about the British arts and its diverse and complex histories.

An art historian and environmental humanities scholar, Sria’s research interests lie at the intersection of art, science, and environment. She specialises in the political ecologies of art and design from the colonial to the contemporary. Sria is currently working on her first book, which provides a close look at the deep links between nationalism, agriculture, and the natural environment through the history of art, design, and media. Other projects consider the relationships between the arts, climate, health, and colonialism. Her work is led by the conviction that art historical research and methods can productively be brought to bear on some of the pressing social questions of our time.

Sria leads the multi-year Climate & Colonialism research project at the Paul Mellon Centre. In 2020, she founded and led the award-winning digital project, Visualizing the Virus.

Before coming to the Paul Mellon Centre, Sria was a fellow at the Max-Planck Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and an Advanced Researcher at the at the FHNW Academy of Art & Design in Basel, Switzerland, where she held a Swiss National Science Foundation fellowship. She served as Contributing Editor at British Art Studies from 2020–2022 and remains involved in the journal as Editorial Advisor. In 2023, Sria served as a judge for the Pen Hessell-Tiltman Prize for historical non-fiction.

Sria received her PhD from the Art & Archaeology department at Princeton University in 2019 and was awarded the Charlotte Procter Honorific Prize Fellowship for her dissertation. She has degrees from Oxford University in the UK and Jadavpur University in India.

In 2024, Sria will be on research leave from the Paul Mellon Centre and on a fellowship at the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University.

Selected Publications

Political Plants: Art, Design, and Plant Sentience, Cultural Politics, Issue 19 (2023) 86–106

Contingent Contagion, Viral Theory, e-flux journal issue 30 (2022)

‘Museums, Climate, and Colonialism’, Museums Journal, the Climate Justice special issue (2022)

‘The Tropics’ in Words of Weather: A glossary, ed. Jussi Parikka and Daphne Dragona. (Onassis Foundation, 2022)

‘Abstraction & Belonging’ in Radical Landscapes: Art, Identity, Activism, ed. Darren Pih. (Tate Publishing, 2022)

The Long Shadow of Colonial Science’, Noema Magazine (2021)

‘Arts of Science in the Contact Zone' in Reading Objects in the Contact Zone, ed. Eva-Maria Troelenberg et al. (Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021)

‘Rethinking Midcentury Modern: A View from Postcolonial India’ in Design Struggles: Intersecting Histories, Pedagogies, Perspectives, ed. Claudia Mareis et al. (Valiz, 2021)

‘The Bauhaus’ in Twentieth-century Indian Art, ed. Partha Mitter, Parul Dave Mukherjee, Rakhee Balaram (Thames and Hudson, 2021)

The Arts, Environmental Justice, and the Ecological Crisis: A Provocation’ in British Art Studies, Issue 18. 2020

‘Intimacy without Mastery: Multispecies Justice and Knowing other Lifeworlds’ in Contemporary Political Theory. Co-written with Astrida Neimanis. 2020

Postindustrialism and the Long Arts and Crafts Movement: between Britain, India and the United States of America’, British Art Studies, Issue 15. 2020

‘After the Global Turn. Eco-Politics, Migration, and the Futures of Art History’ in: kunstlicht 1, 2018. vol. 40. Co-written with Eva-Maria Troelenberg.

‘Who makes us if we don’t make ourselves? Towards theories of representation beyond the human’ in Precarious Terrains and Entangled Situations (Konsthall C, 2018). In English and Swedish.

‘Writing a transcultural modern: Calcutta, 1922' in Regina Bittner, Kathrin Rhomberg ed., The Bauhaus in Kolkata (Hatje Kantz, 2013)

‘Eine transkulturelle Moderne schreiben. Kalkutta 1922’ in Das Bauhaus in Kalkutta. Eine Begegnung kosmopolitischer Avantgarde, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau (Hatje Kantz, 2013)

People of Clay: portrait objects in the Peabody Essex Museum’, Museum History Journal, Vol. 6.2. 2013