Face of the Bayon in Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Strategically located for trade, rich in resources, and containing a surprising variety of cultural traditions, the civilizations of mainland and island Southeast Asia are among the most dynamic and unique 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 particular focus on the royal arts of the great civilizations that arose within the borders of modern Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia.
September 6 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 Eastern Java, under whose reigns the grand structures at Borobudur and Prambanan were built.
September 13 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.
September 20 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 Cham state, by contrast, was an expansive empire with strong cultural ties to the rest of the region. Art and architecture is used to trace the interactions and conflicts that characterize the relationship between these two states.
September 27 The Burmese Kingdom of Pagan
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 this state related to the cultures that occupied the region prior to their emergence.
October 4 The Sukhothai Period
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 and innovative art and architecture provide a gateway into this period of Thai history. The discussion also provides a glimpse at what came before and after.
World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*
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