Saumya Agarwal is an art historian and a cultural studies scholar. Her primary area of research, and the subject of her 2021 dissertation, are wall paintings decorating 19th and 20th-century merchant houses in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. She is currently conducting ethnohistoric research on the painters of Shekhawati. This has been funded by the India Foundation for the Arts through an Arts Research Grant. She has previously been a fellow at Musée du quai Branly. She has also been an Assistant Professor at various Delhi University colleges. Her academic articles have been published in national and international journals including Economic and Political Weekly and Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture. She also regularly contributes to academic blogs, podcasts, and news websites.
Agarwal’s areas of interest include concepts of time and temporality, place-making practices, popular visual culture, artistic practices, transcultural studies, and film studies. She has a strong interest in approaching the visual in innovative ways as an important resource for socio-historical enquiry.