Melia Belli Bose

M.A. University of London,
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Associate Professor
Asian Art

Fine Arts Building 131
By appointment | Phone 250-721-7942


Melia Belli Bose is a specialist in the visual cultures of early modern and contemporary South Asia. She received her PhD in 2009 from the University of California, Los Angeles and her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Melia has spent several years in different parts of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, studying languages, conducting research, and hiking in the Himalayas. Her research and language study have been supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Asian Cultural Council, and the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies.

Prior to joining the Department of Art History and Visual Studies at U. Vic. in 2016, Melia taught at several colleges and universities throughout Southern California and Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a post-doctoral teaching professor. She was an Assistant Professor of Asian Art History at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was awarded tenure.

Melia’s first book, Royal Umbrellas of Stone: Memory, Politics, and Public Identity in Rajput Funerary Art (Brill, 2015) examines memorial architecture commemorating members of the royal Hindu Rajput community in northern India. Melia holds an interest in the arts of death and memorialization throughout Asia and in 2014 guest-edited and contributed to an edition of the journal Ars Orientalis titled “The Arts of Death in Asia.” Another of Melia’s research interests is intersections of gender, power, and art throughout Asia. She recently edited and contributed to the volume Women, Gender, and Art in Asia ca. 1500-1900 (Routledge, 2016). She has also published peer-reviewed book chapters and articles in journals such as Archives of Asian Art, Ars Orientalis, Artibus Asiae, and Asian Ethnology on Maratha painting and architecture; monuments commissioned by Mayawati, a female dalit politician in Lucknow; contemporary Bangladeshi art, and the Hindi panegyrics of a Rajput folk hero.

Although her research is focused on South Asian art, Melia also greatly enjoys teaching a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate courses on the arts of China, Korea, Japan, and the Islamic World.