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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

Arts of the Buddha in Southeast Asia

Course Code:
154900148
Status:
Course Not Running 2014/2015
Unit value:
0.5
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Term 1

The course seeks to provide a concentrated knowledge and understanding of aspects of the Buddhist arts of Southeast Asia. The geographical focus is Burma (Myannmar) and Thailand circa 500 - 1500 AD. However, temporal and geographical comparisons are provided with the inclusion of the 9th century AD temple of Borobudur and contemporary elements of Buddhist cultures in Thailand and Burma. In this last element, the aim is to develop critical expertise and visual literacy relevant to not only the making but the sustenance of Buddhist arts in the region.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course aims to provide a concentrated knowledge and understanding of aspects of the Buddhist arts of Southeast Asia. The geographical focus is Burma and Thailand circa 500 - 1500 AD. However, temporal and geographical comparisons are provided with the inclusion of the 9th century AD temple of Borobudur and contemporary elements of Buddhist cultures in Thailand and Burma. In this last element, the aim is to develop critical expertise and visual literacy relevant to not only the making but the sustenance of Buddhist arts in the region.

Method of assessment

Written exam (70%), Essay 1 (5%), Essay 2 (20%), BlackBoard work (5%).

Suggested reading

  • Fraser-Lu, S. 2001. Splendour in Wood: the Buddhist Monasteries of Burma. Trumbull, Ct.: Weatherhill.
  • Gosling, B. 2003. The Pre-Tai Art of Thailand. London: Thames & Hudson/River Books.
  • McArthur, Meher. 2002. Reading Buddhist art: an illustrated guide to Buddhist signs and symbols. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Miksic, J. 1990. Borobodur, golden tales of the Buddha. Singapore, Periplus.
  • Moore, E. 2007. Early landscapes of Myanmar. Bangkok: River Books.
  • Moore, E., Stott, P. and Suryivaudh, S.. 1996. Ancient Capitals of Thailand. London: Thames & Hudson/River Books.
  • Stadtner, Donald. 2005. Ancient Pagan, Buddhist Plain of Merit. Bangkok: River Books.