Heidi Pauwels receives National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for book on ‘India’s 18th century Mona Lisa’ 

(February 4, 2020)

Heidi Pauwels, professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Literature, has been awarded a $45,000 National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to work on her planned book, “The Voice of India’s 18th Century Mona Lisa: Songs by Rasik Bihari of Kishangarh.”

The book will explore the poetry and life of an 18th-century woman known as Bani-Thani, or Rasik Bihari, who was an elegant court performer and favorite of the Indian crown prince Sāvant Singh (1699-1764) of Kishangarh, a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. She turns out to have been a composer in her own right under the pseudonym of Rasik Bihari.

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