Nalini N. Rao, PhD
Associate Professor of World Art
Nalini N. Rao joined the Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo faculty as Professor of World Art in September 2000. Rao came to SUA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she taught courses in Survey of Asian Art, Art of India and Southeast Asia. Before that she was an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Hawaii, Hilo (1998), and she was a Consulting Curator for Asian Art at the Amarillo Museum of Art in Texas (1997). Prior to that she was an instructor of Buddhist Art of India & Southeast Asia at California State University, Long Beach (1996) and Instructor in History of Western Art at California State University, Northridge (1995).
Rao holds two Ph.D.'s: one in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles and the other in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Mysore, Mysore, India and an M.A. in History from the University of Marathawanda, Aurangabad, India.
Currently, Rao is involved in a number of research projects including, South Indian Monasteries: An investigation of the origin and evolution of South Indian Hindu monastic institutions from ninth to the 17th centuries, researching Asian sculpture and paintings in the private collection of Dr. William T. Price and studying a large private collection of Mughal, Rajasthani, Pahari, and Bengal paintings, Tibetan Tankas, Gandhara terracottas and South Indian bronzes for cataloging and eventual publication.
Rao is an author of two books, Boundaries and Transformations (1997) and Royal Artistic Imagery at Vijayanagara (forthcoming). She has also written several articles including, ‘Royal Portraits at Vijayanagara: Identification and Meaning' in New Trends in Indian Art and Architecture (1992) and ‘The Buddha and Bodhisattva as Rescuers of Seamen' in Recent Advances in Marine Archaeology (1988).
Rao resides in Mission Viejo, California.