CED Alumna Madhuri Desai (Ph.D. in Architecture ‘07) was recognized with the Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award by the Society of Architectural Historians on April 25 at SAH’s annual international conference. Desai, an associate professor of art history and Asian studies at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Arts and Architecture, is the first art history faculty member from Penn State to receive the award.
Her book, “Banaras Reconstructed: Architecture and Sacred Space in a Hindu Holy City,” examines the iconic Hindu religious center in Northern India, often described as the oldest living city in the world. Between the late sixteenth and early twentieth centuries, Banaras was reconstructed materially as well as imaginatively, and embellished with temples, monasteries, mansions, and riverfront fortress-palaces. This refurbished sacred landscape became the subject of pilgrimage maps and its spectacular riverfront was depicted in panoramas and described in travelogues.
In her book, Desai examines the confluences, as well as the tensions, that have shaped this complex and remarkable city.
The Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award was established in 1949 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar. Read more about the award and SAH on their website.