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Smriti Dutt

Thesis: Reviving the embroidery art of Chamba Rumal: An exploration of the relationship between verbal and visual narration. (Funded)

Supervisor: Dr. Rosie Dias


My research project focuses on Chamba Rumal, an embroidery tradition from Himachal Pradesh in India. Traditionally, produced on sqaures of muslin, these works constitute a form of miniature art, which elaborates narratives derived from Pahari and Mughal Painting Traditions. Originally made by royal women as wedding gifts or ceremonial coverings, Chamba coverlets were lost to a fast-progressing world but have been revived in recent decades.

The embroidery opens up a world of mythological and folkloric tales carried through generations, cultures and traditions, which additionally invite questions about gender, cross-cultural encounter, historical relationship between Indian Subcontinent and Britain, and the nature and conceptualization of the craft itself. My research critically engages with the art- craft binary, analysing its colonial underpinnings and assumptions, and proposes a new way of understanding "traditional" craft in today's global markets.


Areas of Interest:

  • South Asian Art and Textiles
  • Indian Material Culture
  • Indian Colonial History and Gift Exchange
  • Feminist Art History: Role and Representation of Women in Art
  • Practices of Recreation to explore Historical Practices
  • Relationship between Artisan Communities and their Heritage Craft
  • Indian art as a medium to explore the Shared History and Cultural Contacts between India and China



  • 2019-20121: MA in English Literature (Ambedkar University Delhi, Kashmere Gate Campus, India)
  • 2016-2019: BA in English Literature (Ambedkar University Delhi, Karampura Campus, India)


  • 2022: IELTS Trainer (IELTS Coaching India) (New Delhi, India)
  • 2021: Conservation Lab and Curatorial Intern (National Crafts Museum) (New Delhi, India)
  • 2018-2019: English Language Mentor (Language Buddy Scheme) (Ambedkar University Delhi, India)
  • 2017 - 2019: Earn While Your Learn Intern (Ambedkar University Delhi) (New Delhi, India)

Professional Memberships:

  • American Folklore Society, USA
  • Textile and Clothing Research Centre, New Delhi (India)