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Costume Scholar Pravina Shukla

Gena Asher interviews Pravina Shukla, professor of folklore at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Pravina Shukla in black top, wearing string of pearls, nose stud.

Photo: Adam Schwartz/WFIU

Pravina Shukla

What you wear [in India] situates yourself in terms of context, where you are in the developmental stage of your life, age, body type, region, religion . . . you are adhering to a code. [If I] went to a wedding wearing a black sari, I’m sending a message to the bride and groom that I don’t approve of their wedding.

Pravina Shukla is a professor in the Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology at Indiana University in Bloomington. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Anthropology Department, the India Studies Program, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design.

Her research interests include folk art, body art, dress, costume, and foodways. She is author of The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India, and Costume: Performing Identities through Dress.

Shukla is currently working on a second book, concentrating on costume, and she co-edited a collection titled The Individual and Tradition: Folkloristic Perspectives.

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