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Sears, Tamara

Tamara I. Sears


Aug. 2004 Ph.D., History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
May 1996 B.A., Art History (high honors), Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT


South Asian art and architectural history, including traditions connected to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam; Ancient and medieval architecture; Colonial historiography; Landscape studies; Environmental approaches to art history; Iconology; Transregional studies



Worldly Gurus and Spiritual Kings: Architecture and Asceticism in Medieval India (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014).
 Winner of PROSE Award in the category of Architecture and Urban Planning, for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing by the American Association of Publishers

Mobility, Mercantile Communities, and the Transmission of Architectural Knowledge in Medieval India (special issue of Ars Orientalis, co-edited w/ Nachiket Chanchani, No. 45)



“Mobile Communities and Temple Towns: Kadwāhā at the Turn of the First Millennium A.D.,” in Contextualizing Material Culture in South and Central Asia, vol. 2, edited by Ute Franke and Verena Widorn, South Asian Archaeology 2010 (Brepols, 2016), 345-359.

“Following River Routes and Artistic Transmissions in Medieval Central India,” Ars Orientalis 45 (2015): 43-77.

“Reconsidering Kadwaha's Temples: History, Chronology, and Patronage,” in Prāsāda-nidhi: Studies in Indian Temple Architecture and Sculpture, A felicitation volume in honour of Professor M.A. Dhaky, edited by Parul Pandya Dhar and Gerd J. R. Mevissen (Delhi: Aryan International, 2015), 67-83.

“In the Gaze of the Guru: Shikshadana Scenes at Khajuraho,” in Art, Architecture and Iconography in South Asia A Felicitation Volume in Honour of Dr. Devangana Desai, edited by Anila Verghese and Anna L. Dallapiccola (Delhi: Aryan Books, 2015), 151-168.

“Encountering Ascetics On and Beyond the Indian Temple Wall,” in History and Material Culture in Asian Religions, edited by Benjamin Fleming and Richard Mann (London: Routledge, 2014), 172-94.

“Mapping Omkareshvara’s Early Medieval Past: Following Sculptural Fragments along the Parikrama Path,” in Patrimoine Culturel de L’Eau: Cities and Settlements, Temples and Tanks in Central India, edited by Michael Willis, et. al. (Bhopal : Directorate of Archaeology, Archives and Museums, Govt. of M.P., 2014), 113-132.

“From Guru to God: Yogic Prowess and Places of Practice in Early-Medieval India,” in Yoga: The Art of Transformation, edited by Debra Diamond (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2013), 47-57.

“Building Beyond the Temple: Sacred Centers and Living Communities in Medieval Central India,” in A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture, edited by Rebecca Brown and Deborah Hutton (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 123-152.

“Fortified Maṭhas and Fortress Mosques: The Reuse of Hindu Monastic Sites in the Sultanate Period,” Archives of Asian Art 59 (2009): 7-31.

“Constructing the Guru: Ritual Authority and Architectural Space in Medieval India,” The Art Bulletin 40, no. 1 (March 2008): 7-31.

“Śaiva Monastic Complexes in Twelfth-Century Rajasthan: The Pāśupatas and Cāhamānas at Menāl,” South Asian Studies 23 (2007): 107-26.

“‘Whither Vernacular?’: Discussions from the Seminar,” in Traditional and Vernacular Architecture, edited by Subashree Krishnaswami (Madras: Madras Craft Foundation, 2003), 133-40.


Art of India (undergraduate lecture)
Introduction to Asian Art (undergraduate lecture)
Nature, Landscape, and Environmental Art History (graduate seminar)


Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence (2017)
Clark Art Institute (2017)
National Humanities Center (2016)
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Garden and Landscape Studies Program (2015-2016)
Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship, India (2012)
J. Paul Getty Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (non-residential) (2008-2009)
Society of Architectural Historians (2006)
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (2001)

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