Mudit Trivedi is an archaeologist with interests in religious subjectivity, materiality, craft and historical anthropology.
His first book project, An Archaeology of Virtue, considers the archaeology of conversion to Islam through the results of an ongoing long-term archaeological project he has co-directed at the site of Indor in Rajasthan, North India. This research bridges archaeological and anthropological conceptualizations of tradition. It considers the thematizations of ethical relations, hierarchies and gendered pious praxis in material media. It brings together analyses of architectural, spatial and artifactual datasets combined with compositional elemental analyses. The project’s wider goals are to rethink the secular modern commitments of archaeology and the nature of the archaeological trace.
Mudit is also interested in developing critiques of archaeology’s disciplinary commitments to liberal values and legal infrastructures. A first paper from this project critically re-situates colonial Treasure Trove laws that framed the archaeological common good around the taking of finds from others. This second project reconsiders archaeological praxis and the discipline’s recourse to property law in a series of South Asian contexts ranging from accidental finds to disputes centred on waqfs.
His forthcoming publications relate to these combined interests. They cover archaeometric insights into social contexts of glass artifact production and use in South Asian and other contexts; the long-term settlement history of the region of Mewat in North India, and theoretical problems in the historical and archaeological study of religion and conversion. He is co-editing a forthcoming special issue on ‘Archaeologies of the Medieval in South Asia’.