Dr Megha Rajguru lectures in the history of art and design with research interests in South Asian material culture, museum collections and exhibitions.
Her postdoctoral research is a study of Indian modernism in design and visual culture, museum curating and museum participatory practices in the UK. She has recently won the University of Brighton’s Rising Star award and is investigating designs for modern living in the Indian urban home between 1970-1990.
Dr Megha Rajguru is a Senior Lecturer in the History of Art and Design and Cultural and Critical Studies. She is part of the University of Brighton's Internationalising Design History research cluster. Her research is a study of South Asian material culture in museum collections and Modernism in post-independence India. Her work in the latter is particularly concerned with international development and the shaping of Indian design between 1970-1990. She has recently won University of Brighton's Rising Star award with Dr Yunah Lee for a two-year collaborative research project (2015-17) Modular Living in Asia and is co-organising the international conference Modern Living in Asia 1970-1990 in Brighton in April 2017.
Megha’s PhD (2010) was a study of the curating of Indian religious artefacts in British museums and galleries. It examined the role of artistic intervention in interpreting intangible qualities of material sacred objects. The research makes a contribution to the study of curating objects of worship, an ongoing debate in museum studies, and offers alternative modes of curatorial thinking that are closely aligned to art practice. She has published her research on museum intervention artistic practice in the Journal of Visual Arts Practice and Journal of Museum Ethnography.
She convened and chaired a conference panel at the 2013 Design History Society Annual Conference entitled Exhibiting South Asia at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. She also co-presented a paper with Dr Nicola Ashmore on the Hindu Shrine project at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery (2002), published as a chapter in Design Objects and the Museum (Bloomsbury Academic) in 2016.
Megha’s research also engages with contemporary networks and institutions of design. She was Research Fellow on the AHRC funded Brighton Fuse 2 project between 2013-14, which mapped and measured the Creative Digital Information Technology (CDIT) freelance cluster in the city of Brighton and Hove. She carried out qualitative research and made policy recommendations with the Fuse research team to government representatives.
Megha has been part of an art collective comprised of artists, activists and academics to remake Picasso’s Guernica in the form of a textile artwork or a large-scale protest banner, responding to contemporary wars and loss of life.The artwork was exhibited at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, East Sussex at the Conscience and Conflict: Spanish Civil War and British Artists exhibition (8 November 2014-15 February 2015).
Megha has worked in gallery education in 2004-05 at Tate Britain. She is a Visiting Faculty member at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. She is a peer reviewer for various journals such as the Journal of Design History, Third Text and Craft Research.
Rajguru, Megha (2017) Visions of modernity: architectural vignettes and modern living in urban India 1975-1990 Journal of Design History, 31 (1). pp. 83-101. ISSN 0952-4649
Rajguru, Megha and Ashmore, Nicola (2016) Indian Living Cultures: Collected, Exhibited and Performed In: Farrelly, Liz and Weddell, Jo, eds. Design objects and the museum. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781472577238
Rajguru, Megha (2015) Review - Empires of vision: a reader Visual Studies. ISSN 1472-586X
Sapsed, Jonathan, Camerani, Roberto, Masucci, Monica, Petermann, Mylene, Rajguru, Megha and Jones, Phil (2015) Brighton Fuse 2: Freelancers in the Creative, Digital, IT Economy [Report (for external body)]
Ashmore, Nicola, Purbrick, Louise and Rajguru, Megha (2014) Remaking Picasso's Guernica [Exhibition]
Rajguru, Megha (2014) Review - Mimesis across empires: artworks and networks in India, 1765-1860 Visual Studies, 30 (1). pp. 106-107. ISSN 1472-586X
Ashmore, Nicola and Rajguru, Megha (2014) Remaking Picasso's Guernica as a banner In: Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth, V&A Museum, London, 29-30 November 2013.
Rajguru, Megha (2013) Chanting in the gallery: ritual sound and its phenomenology in contemporary art Journal of Visual Art Practice, 12 (2). pp. 181-193. ISSN 1470-2029
Rajguru, Megha (2012) Creating new realities: contemporary art in the 'world art' museum gallery International Journal of the Arts in Society, 6 (5). pp. 149-168. ISSN 1833-1866
Rajguru, Megha (2012) Progress [Digital and visual media]
Rajguru, Megha (2012) From shrine to plinth: illuminating the identity of the the hindu deity in the museum through artistic intervention Journal of Museum Ethnography, 24. pp. 110-128. ISSN 0954–7169
Rajguru, Megha (2010) From shrine to plinth: studying the dialectics of Hindu deities displayed in the museum through artworks and their exhibition Doctoral thesis, University of Brighton.
Organiser with Dr Yunah Lees, 10-11 April April 2017, Modern Living in Asia 1945-1990, University of Brighton. Funded by University of Brighton's Rising Star Award.
26 - 28 September 2016, Modern Living: Domestic Interiors in 1980s Urban India. ICDHS conference, "Building Trans/national Contemporary Design History", Taiwan Tech, Taipei.
19-20 April 2016, Ethnographic Objects or Design: Taking Stock, "Design Beyond the West: Ethnographic Collections and the History of Global Design", Centre for Material Culture, Leiden, Netherland. Invited to speak.
24 September 2015, From Shrine to Plinth: the Dichotomies of the Worshipped and Collected Object. Invited to speak by Mohile Parikh Centre, Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya (former Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai. Invited to speak.
11-13 September 2015, Visions for a Modern Utopia: Architectural Vignettes in India in the 1980s. Design History Society Annual Conference, '"How we Live, How we might live": Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism', California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California.
27 January 2015, Brighton Fuse Freelance Research: The Results. Impact Hub Westminster, London.
4-6 September 2014. With Nicola Ashmore, Remaking Picasso's Guernica as a banner, a work of art; an act of protest. Design History Society Annual Conference, 'Design for War and Peace', Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, Oxford.
29-30 November 2013. With Nicola Ashmore, Remaking Picasso's Guernica as a banner, a work of art; an act of protest. 'Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth', V&A, London.
5-8 September 2013. With Nicola Ashmore, Living Cultures: Collected, Exhibited and Performed, Design History Society Conference, ‘Towards Global Histories of Design: Postcolonial Perspectives’, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.
7 June 2013. With Nicola Ashmore, Living Cultures: Collected, Exhibited and Performed, Festival of Social Science ‘Space / Power / Culture’ symposium, University of Brighton.
15-16 April 2013. See How I See It? Museum Ethnography through the Eyes of the Museum Visitor. Museum Ethnographers Group Annual Conference, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, UK
11 October 2012, Community Art: Who is it for? A Brooks Gallery, Hoxton, London
10 May 2011. Creating New Realities: Contemporary Art in the ‘World Art’ Museum Gallery, “ArteFacts. Knowledge is Art – Art is Knowledge”, International Conference of the Arts in Society, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin, Germany
17 June 2010. Can the object speak for itself? Interpretation and Contextualisation in Practice-Based PhDs, “The Adventure of Research: Is Research enough of an Adventure?” Post-Graduate Research Association Annual Conference, Canterbury Christchurch University, Canterbury
12-13 April 2010. From Shrine to Plinth: Illuminating the Identity of the Hindu Deity in the Museum through Artistic Intervention,“Making Things”, Museum Ethnographer’s Group Annual Conference, Museum of English Rural Life, Reading
11 November 2008. “Don’t Touch…Touch!” Challenges Encountered when Exhibiting Interactive Artworks and Disseminating Research in the Museum Space, “IOTA (Image-Object-Text Analysis)” Research Seminar, University of Brighton
4 November 2008. Interpreting Non-Material Beliefs through Objects: A Critical Analysis of Sculpture, ‘Tactile Ganesh’ and the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Art and Life. “Student Research Conference” Centre for Research and Development, University of Brighton
19 October 2006, Visual Arts Research and Practice, Whitechapel Gallery, London
7 July 2006. From the Cupboard to the Plinth: Context As Interplay, “The Role of Context in Art and Design Research”, Research into Practice Conference, University of Hertfordshire. Hatfield
Peer Reviewer for The International Conference on Design History and Design Studies (ICDHS) 2016, Taipei.
Peer Reviewer for Journal of Design History, Third Text and Craft Research.
Co-convenor and Chair: 5-8 September 2013, Exhibiting South Asia, Design History Society Conference, ‘Towards Global Histories of Design: Postcolonial Perspectives’, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India
Chair: 24-26 July 2013, Philosophy and Museums: Ethics, Aesthetics and Ontology, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, University of Glasgow and The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, UK
Chair: 5 February 2013, NGender Seminar, University of Sussex, UK
15 October-13 November 2015, Modern and Sustainable Living: Domestic Interior Design in India (1970-1990), Gwangju Design Biennale, Research posters - Design History and Practice: New Perspectives from University of Brighton, Seoul, Korea.
8 November 2014-15 February 2014, display of Guernica banner with Remaking Picasso's Guernica Collective at Conscience and Conflict: Spanish Civil War and British Artists, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK.
15 September-6 December 2009, Indian Summer, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, UK (contribution to group exhibition)
26 July-4 September 2008, From Shrine to Plinth, Croydon Clocktower, Croydon, London.
BBC Radio Sussex interview, 18 October, 8:40 am, Remaking Picasso’s Guernica.
ITV, Art Shows the Human Cost of Conflict, 'News Feature' showing the “Remaking Picasso’s Guernica” banner at Pallant House Gallery in exhibition Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War, 10 November 2014 at 5:16pm.
Gujarati News interview, Design History Society Conference, Ahmedabad, India, 5 September 2013.
Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2012-Present
Member of Internationalising Design History Research cluster (IDH), University of Brighton, 2015-Present
Rising Star Award, 2015-2017, University of Brighton (£10,000)
Early Career Research Conference Support Fund, 2016 (£750)
Early Career Research Conference Support Fund, 2015 (£750)
Research Student Grant, 2008, Centre for Research and Development, Faculty of Arts (£1500)