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Maggie Schuster completed her MA degree!

Jahangir and Prince Khurram Entertained by Nur Jahan, Album folio with painting

Maggie Schuster defended her MA thesis entitled "Entering the Zenana: Ephemera and Power in Mughal Architecture"

PhD Student Maggie Schuster has completed her MA degree by successfully defending her thesis titled "Entering the Zenana: Ephemera and Power in Mughal Architecture" on December 7, 2021. Congratulations Maggie!

The chair of Maggie's thesis committee and her primary advisor was Professor Catherine Becker, Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art and Architecture.

Here is a summary of the thesis that Maggie has shared:

"The thesis focuses on ephemeral architecture or the physical and sensorial elements of architecture that change constantly through both human and thingly intervention. It examines objects, paintings, and literature from the Mughal period to investigate the ephemeral experience of the royal Mughal zenana. I argue that in the ephemeral architecture of the zenana we see the actions of royal Mughal women and the labor force that supported them, both of whom are obscured in court chronicles and later Mughal histories. This broadens how we understand power dynamics within these spaces, as through the examination of power over the ephemeral architecture, we can track how the politics in these spaces changed over time."