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Dr Ranjana Thapalyal PhD, Education, Goldsmiths, University of London M.Phil, History of Art, University of Glasgow Postgraduate Art Teachers' Certificate (University of London Institute of Education) BA (Hons) Ceramics, West Surrey College of Art and Design (Now known as UCA Farnham)

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Programme Leader, MRes Creative Practices

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Ranjana Thapalyal
Programme leader, MRes Creative Practices

Ranjana Thapalyal

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Dr Ranjana Thapalyal

Ranjana Thapalyal an artist and academic, working in painting, ceramics, and ephemeral mixed media collations. Her recent research examines the ‘self’ in creative education, and
applies Hindu Vedantist (Ancient Indian) and Yoruba (West African) philosophical concepts of self and mutuality with others, to creative education and its expectation of high levels of individuality. Engaged for some time with reflecting on the relevance of ancient philosophical traditions in contemporary arts education, practices and enquires, she is also interested in contributing to inter-disiciplinary dialogue that can suitably inform discussion of cultural and chronological difference. This stems in part from her inter-disciplinary educational background (art school; art history; pedagogic training and research) and inter-cultural upbringing both of which inform the pedagogic contents of the courses she teaches.

Conference appearances include a dialogue with philosopher Christine Battersby introducing feminist readings of Indian philosophy, at ‘Engendering Dialogue III: Feminist Philosophy and Education’, University of Dundee; ‘Of Sacred Crossroads’ 2008, University of the West Indies, and the Canada International Conference on Education, 2010.

Some Publications: Chapters on Indian ceramics (Sanjeeva Prakashan, 1989/2006), Kashmiri woodcrafts (Mapin Publications, 1990), and feminist readings of ancient Indian aesthetic theory of the emotions (I.B. Tauris, 2007). Papers and articles have appeared in the International Journal of Art and Design Education (2004) and art and design magazines in India and the UK. In 2018, Thapalyal’s book, Education as Mutual Translation- a Yoruba and Vedantic interface for pedagogy in the Creative Arts, will be published by Brill Publishers, Leiden/Boston.

Some Exhibitions: Shows in New Delhi, Mumbai, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Artist's residencies include the Burrell Collection, 2005, and gallery education work includes the Whitechapel Gallery and Camden Art Centre London. Research led creative practice led to the 2002 Scottish Arts Council funded Talacchanda, Tramway, Glasgow, presenting contemporary art and classical dance based on the ancient Indian dramatic treatise the Natya Sastra with collaborator Anjana Rajan.

At the GSA Ranjana has tutored in Ceramics, First Year Fine Art, and the Forum for Critical Enquiry, and is currently Programme Leader of M.Res Creative Practices in the School of Fine Art. She is interested in PhD applications that resonate with the research interests below:

Research interests:
Philosophy of Education and social justice in higher education contexts; African and Hindu philosophy and art; the self in creative contexts; feminism and creativity in ancient traditions; meta-theatre in ancient Indian and other ancient performance traditions of the South; intercultural education; inter-disciplinary education and creative practices; post-colonialism; cultural studies.