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Fiona Buckee

Dr Fiona Buckee

Honorary Research Fellow

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


Dr Fiona Buckee has a First-Class BA in Philosophy and an MA with Distinction in Comparative Religion from Manchester University, and a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction in Asian Art from the British Museum. She completed her PhD in Indian Temple Architecture in 2010 at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Dr Buckee teaches a broad range of South Asian art subjects at graduate and postgraduate levels, with a particular focus on Indian sculpture and architecture. She has taught at The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and Sotheby’s Institute since 2004, and from 2007 - 2019 was a regular Convenor of and core lecturer for the Indian Art Module of SOAS Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art. In 2010/11 she was a Senior Teaching Fellow in South Asian Art at SOAS University, and in 2015/16  Lecturer in South Asian Art and Architecture, on both occasions teaching BA and MA courses, and overseeing Independent Study Projects. The titles of her taught modules have included: ‘The Indian Temple’ (MA); ‘Directed Reading in Indian Art’ (MA); ‘Early Indian Art’ (BA); ‘Hindu Art and Architecture’ (BA), ‘Arts of South and Southeast Asia’ (co-taught, BA).

From 2012 – 2018, Dr Buckee was a Research Associate in the Art and Archaeology Department at SOAS, before joining the Department of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University as an Honorary Research Fellow in 2020. Her research interests lie in the formalistic analysis of Indian temple architecture. She has published on subjects including the design of Latina temple spires and Temple 45 at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, and the dating and history of the Mundeshvari Temple in southwest Bihar.  She is currently completing a second article about the temples from Mundeshvari which provides an account and analysis of the fifth and sixth century fragments from the hilltop along with a more general discussion of temple architecture during this period.

Between 2009 – 2011 Dr Buckee was an Associate Editor for the journal South Asian Studies, one of the two academic journals of the British Association for South Asian Studies. She was an Associate Board Member of KINOE, (Kids in Need of Education), a UK registered charity that works to educate disadvantaged children in India and Nepal from 2015 - 2018. 


My research interests lie in the design and formalistic development of Indian temple architecture.

I am currently working on my second paper about the architecture from Mundeshvari Hill, southwest Bihar. This study discusses the five earliest architectural fragments that survive from the hilltop, these ranging, I propose, from the late 5th to mid-6th century in date. The paper goes on to address more general questions about the design of North Indian shrines in this enigmatic, formative period of structural stone temple architecture, including whether there ever existed a Gupta-period flat-roofed temple type.


2021  'Subsidiary Architecture in Hindu Temple Complexes from Tamil Nādu.' In Studies in Asian Art and Culture, Bonn University Press (In Press)

2020 'The Curious Case of the Octagonal Temple: an Architectural Analysis and Revised History of the Temples of Muṇḍeśvarī Hill. ' Archives of Asian Art (Vol.70.2)

2014  'The Design of the Spire from Temple 45 at Sanchi.', South Asian Studies, Vol. 30,Issue 1

2011 'Review: The Great Temple at Thanjavur: One Thousand Years, 1010 – 2010. George Michell and Indira Viswanathan.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol 74, No. 3

2009  Contributor, 10,000 Years of Art, Phaidon Press Limited


2018  'A Revised History of the Temples of Mundeshvari Hill.' Annual Allchin Symposium, Cambridge University

2018  'The Curious Case of the Octagonal Temple.' 24th Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeology and Art, Naples

2010  'Designing a Latina Spire: Temple 45, Sanchi.' Indian Art Circle, SOAS


Teaching Experience.

SOAS University:       

As Lecturer in South Asian Art and Architecture (2015-16) and Senior Teaching Fellow (2010 – 2011) in the Dept. of History of Art and Archaeology, I guided and assessed Independent Study Projects, and designed, taught and assessed Master's and Batchelor's Modules including the following: 'The Indian Temple' (MA); 'Directed Readings in Indian Art' (MA); 'Early Indian Art' (BA); 'Hindu Art and Architecture' (BA); 'Introduction to South and Southeast Asian Art' (Co-teaching, BA).

As Convener of the Indian Art Module for the Diploma in Asian Art between 2010 – 2019 I contributed to all aspects of organising and delivering the course: planning the timetable; inviting speakers; giving lectures, gallery visits, and tutorials; and marking essays and exams. I was a key lecturer on the course with topics covering Buddhist, Hindu and Jain architecture and sculpture from South Asia.

The V&A:               

I have contributed multiple lectures on South Asian Buddhist and Hindu sculpture and architecture to The Arts of South and Southeast Asia course between 2014 – 2020. As Co-Tutor of the course in 2018 I gave additional seminars to Diploma students.

The British Museum:

As Assistant Tutor, Tutor and contributing Lecturer on Indian and Islamic Art Modules of the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art (2002 – 2005) I was involved in aspects of planning the modules, giving lectures, tutorials and gallery visits, and assessing the students work.

Freelance Lectures:

I gave a lecture entitled 'The Buddha Image in India' for The Art Fund in 2019, and have contributed numerous lectures on diverse South Asian art and architecture topics on Asian art courses run by Sotheby's Institute of Art between 2005 – 2010.


Current Appointments:

2020 – present         Honorary Research Fellow, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University

Past Appointments:

2010 – 2019             Course Convenor and Lecturer, Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, SOAS University

2018                          Tutor and Lecturer, Arts of South and Southeast Asian Art, The V&A

2012 – 2018             Research Associate, Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS University

2015 – 2018             Associate Board Member, KINOE (Kids in Need of Education, registered charity)

2015 – 2016             Lecturer in South Asian Art and Architecture, SOAS University

2009 – 2011             Associate Editor, South Asian Studies

2010 – 2011             Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS University

2006                          Assistant Editor, The Temple in South Asia , Adam Hardy (ed) (London: The British Academy, 2007)

2002 – 2005             Tutor and Lecturer , Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, The British Museum


2005 – 2009              PhD in North Indian Temple Architecture, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

2001 – 2002              Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, The British Museum                 Distinction

1998 – 1999     MA in Comparative Religion, University of Manchester                     Distinction         

1994 – 1998              BA(Hons) in Philosophy, University of Manchester                            First class

Awards and Funding:

2005 – 2008              Arts and Humanities Research Council, Full PhD Funding

2001 – 2002              Scholarship, Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, British Museum

1999                           Brandon Memorial Prize for MA Dissertation in Comparative Religion, Manchester University

External profiles