Q&A with Uranchimeg Tsultem, scholar of Mongolian and contemporary art
Uranchimeg Tsultem , Edgar and Dorothy Fehnel Chair in International Studies and assistant professor of art history in the Herron School of Art + Design, studies Mongolian art and architecture along with global contemporary art. As a member of the IUPAH cohort, she plans on using this as an opportunity to understand environmental art history, develop new courses at Herron and learn about other research endeavors happening at IU. She will also work to complete a manuscript on eco-aesthetics in Mongolian art and culture.
Question: What are your career goals?
Answer: To become a leading voice in global contemporary art and its related fields (i.e. curatorial practice); to become an important contributor in decolonizing art-historical discipline for an inclusive and unbiased field of studies; to advance my leadership and management skills.
Q: What is your greatest achievement as a scholar?
A: Reviewers of my monograph, A Monastery on the Move: Art and Politics in Later Buddhist Mongolia (Honolulu: Hawaii UP, 2020), note its contribution to building of the “emerging field of Mongolian Buddhism” and suggest that it “will surely remain a point of reference in the field for many years to come.” (Matthew Kapstein, “Recent Scholarship on Mongolian Buddhism”, H-Net Reviews, 2002: 5). My book was included in required reading lists in undergrad and graduate courses taught at IUB and Columbia University (upper-division course “HIST-C300/CEUS-R361: Mongolia’s Middle Ages” taught at IUB in spring 2022 and a grad seminar “EARL 4410: Tibetan Monastic Institutions,” taught at Columbia University in the fall of 2020).
Q: What are your research interests?
A: Mongolian Buddhist art and architecture and global contemporary art
Q: What do you see as the importance of this fellowship and related project?
A: Deepening of my understanding of environmental art history and its contribution to the debate on the Anthropocene; using the lens of environmental art history in approaching contemporary art in my book project; bringing a leading art historian T J Demos to IUPUI and have him engage with my students and colleagues at IUPUI; developing a new course on environmental art and the Anthropocene to teach at Herron; and learning about research projects at IU and deepening my sense of belonging at this great university.