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Art and Kingship in Southeast Asia

2 Session Weekend Lecture/Seminar

2 sessions from April 6 to April 13, 2024
Upcoming Session:
Saturday, April 6, 2024 - 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0370
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Face from the Bayon, Angkor, Cambodia

Strategically located for trade, rich in resources, and containing a variety of cultural traditions, the civilizations of mainland and island Southeast Asia are among the most dynamic in the world. Robert DeCaroli, an associate professor in the department of history and art history at George Mason University, examines the cultural and artistic traditions of ancient Southeast Asia from the earliest archaeological evidence to the onset of colonialism, with a focus on the royal arts of the great civilizations that arose within the borders of modern Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), and Vietnam.

April 6

11 a.m.  The Kingdoms of Java

Get an introduction to the earliest states and civilizations of Southeast Asia, particularly the Sailendra and Sanjaya kingdoms of Central and East Java, under whose reigns the grand structures at Borobudur and Prambanan were built.

1 p.m. Break

1:30 p.m.  The Khmer Empire of Cambodia

In a survey of the art of kingdoms centered in the regions that are now modern Cambodia, an examination of pre-Angkorian sculpture prefaces a look at the rise and eventual decline of the Devarajas, who ruled the Khmer Empire. Several grand structures are discussed, including Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple.

April 13

11 a.m.  Dai Viet and Champa

Culturally distinct from the rest of Southeast Asia, the state of Dai Viet (in the region of modern North Vietnam) had longstanding cultural connections to China due to centuries of occupation. The state of Champa, by contrast, was an expansive empire with strong cultural ties to the rest of the region. Art and architecture are used to trace the interactions and conflicts of these two states.

1 p.m. Break

1:30 p.m.  The Burmese Kingdom of Pagan and the Sukhothai Period

Relative latecomers to the Southeast Asian political scene, the Burmese created an expansive royal state whose influences are still felt today. Follow the emergence of the Burmese state based in Pagan and how it related to the cultures that had previously occupied the region.

The Thai royal state of Sukhothai rose to power in the 13th century and had a profound impact on Thai art, religion, and cultural identity. Spectacular, innovative art and architecture provide a gateway into this period of Thai history. The discussion also offers a glimpse into what came before and after.

2 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

General Information

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.