Deepali Dewan

Associate Professor, Status Only, Department of Art History, University of Toronto; Curator, South Asian Arts and Culture, Royal Ontario Museum


Areas of Interest

  • History of photography
  • 19th-century decorative arts
  • Colonialism and modernity
  • Contemporary visual practice
  • Historiography


Deepali Dewan is the Dan Mishra Senior Curator of Global South Asia at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is also an Associate Professor (status only) in the Department of Art History at the University of Toronto and co-editor of the open-access, online, peer-reviewed journal Trans Asian Photography. Her research spans issues of colonial, modern and contemporary visual culture in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, with a focus on the history and theory of photography and its critical historiographies. She has worked on projects spanning the beginnings of photography to the present day such as Raja Deen Dayal: Artist-Photographer in 19th-Century India (2013, co-authored with Deborah Hutton) and Embellished Reality: Indian Painted Photographs (2012), and the exhibition "Generations: Annu Palakunnathu Matthew." Currently, she is exploring vernacular photography through family photos as cultural practice, especially as they intersect with human movement around the globe during the long 20th century. She was part of the steering committee of the SSHRC-funded The Family Camera Network, which resulted in an archive of family photos and their oral histories directly from families at the ROM and The ArQuives.


PhD, University of Minnesota, Art History, 2001
MA, University of Minnesota, Art History, 1995
BA (Hons), McGill University, 1993