Soumya James

Independent Art Historian


Recent seminar and colloquium talks

  • “Exploring the feminine in Angkor’s visual imagery.” Research workshop on Approaches to the Study of Khmer and Cham Art at the SOAS University of London, May 16, 2017. URL, abstract (PDF). Archived at
  • "Embedding meanings in text, image and context: The reclining Vishnu and Lakshmi carvings at Phnom Kulen". Council on Southeast Asia Studies Brown Bag Series, Yale University, February 15, 2017.
  • "Embedding meanings in text, image and context: Examples from Angkor", Freer and Sackler Galleries, The Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art, November 30, 2015.
  • "Ancestral maps and economic networks in Phnom Kulen, Cambodia", Whitney Humanities Fellows Talk, November 18, 2015.
  • "Quintessence of a kingdom carved in stone: Phnom Kulen of Cambodia", Inter Asia Initiative, Yale University, March 26, 2015.
  • "Enacting ritual practices in liminal spaces: The Durga Mahishasuramardini image at Banteay Srei", The Ronald and Janette Gatty Lecture Series, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, January 22, 2015.

Presentations at conferences

  • College Art Association, 2015: "Quintessence of a kingdom carved in stone: Phnom Kulen of Cambodia" in American Council For Southern Asian Art Dialogues In Stone: Rock As Medium And Message In South And Southeast Asian Art, New York, February 12, 2015. URL. Archived at
  • 4th Annual International Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies, 2013: "Enacting ritual practices in liminal spaces: The Durga image at Banteay Srei" in Don’t abandon the indirect road: Divergent approaches to Cambodian Visual Cultures, Siem Reap, Cambodia, December 2013. Abstract. Archived at

Classes taught and guest lectures

  • Introduction to Arts of Japan, Meaning and Representation in Chinese art, Introduction to Art History: The Modern Era. Teaching Assistant at Cornell University, August 2002 – May 2004.
  • "Travel, Mobility and Transmission of Visual Knowledge in ancient Cambodia: The issue of localization", invited lecture for the graduate Art History course Travel, Mobility and Transmission (HSAR 799B), Department of the History of Art, Yale University, March 4, 2015.