Rekha Menon, Professor
"I am a visual artist, an art historian, and a dancer. I perform Indian classical dance. Traditional Indian art has always integrated philosophy and aesthetics with all the diverse art forms. Artistic expressions in music, dance, sculpture, architecture, and paintings are inspired by philosophy, and in turn they feed back to evolve philosophy and aesthetics. In Indian history of art, the images of visual arts and musical dance movements speak the same 'cosmic language.'"
"I've always been interested in the interdisciplinary nature of the arts, and at Berklee I have the opportunity to integrate music, dance, and visual art and teach courses such as Indian Art, Music and Dance, Asian Art, and Global Perspectives in Post-Modern Art. Music doesn't stand alone, but works together with visual art and dance, with its emphasis on breaking down the categorical boundaries between 'distinct' art forms. The interdisciplinary nature of my courses gives students the opportunity to see how art history, music, dance, and philosophy are mutually related."
"By using dance, I can demonstrate to students how rhythm, tone, and expressions of dance movements are very similar to Indian music and art, and how diverse arts come together. A key aspect to my interpretations is a keen sense that theory is not separate from artistic production. I do not believe in pedantic discourses to my students. My philosophy of teaching is to understand the student and try to unlock their innate critical abilities, their socio-centric skills, and encourage them on their intellectual journey. Classes, I believe, should be lively, fun and interactive, while conveying knowledge."
"While students at Berklee are learning music and are aspiring musicians, the bringing together of different art forms from various cultures helps them to think in different and creative ways. It gives them an opportunity to learn art histories, aesthetics, and the perspective I can provide will help them understand the correlation between visual arts and music/dance."
"In today's global and diverse world, students can really benefit from these courses. Learning about other cultures, their own art history, philosophy, and art histories of others gives them greater inspiration and opportunity to achieve higher levels of creativity."
- B.F.A., Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai, India, painting/print-making
- M.F.A., M.S. University of Vadodara, India, art criticism/art history
- M.A., Ph.D., Binghamton University, philosophy/art history
- Author of Seductive Aesthetics of Post Colonialism
- Publication of a number of articles in art and philosophy journals
- Participation in many international conferences
- Subjects include aesthetics, Asian art, Indian and Western art history, contemporary visual art, art criticism and theory, Indian dance, and philosophy, including phenomenology, existentialism, and Indian thought
- Artist and classical dancer
- Recipient of the Fulbright fellowship in art history, the Drescher Award, and the Ross fellowship