[skip to content]

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

Art of monumental Southeast Asia

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2014/2015
Unit value:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1
The course examines the extraordinary creativity and syncretism seen the monumental temples and cities of Southeast Asia. Hindu and Buddhist religious currents from India, Sri Lanka and elsewhere merged with prehistoric cultures, ancestral and animistic beliefs across Southeast Asia, at the classic kingdoms of Bagan, Sukhothai and Angkor, at Borobudur and many other sites. We also consider the relationship of these to later kingdoms, their sculpture and architecture, the on-going role of sacred art in these countries and their diasporas as well as issues arising from tourism at living religious sites in Southeast Asia.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

  • To identify, illustrate and discuss critically approaches, issues, concepts, materials and themes in the course and to select suitable case studies to illustrate these themes.
  • To select and use the range of skills required in understanding the past and present Southeast Asian context of Hindu-Buddhist arts and develop transferable independent study and research skills


12 weeks - 2 contact hours a week

Method of assessment

2 assignment 2,000-2,500 words each worth 45% of mark each and slide test worth 10% of mark

Suggested reading

  • Coe, Michael. 2003. Angkor and the Khmer Civilization. London: Thames and Hudson. Ch.6 Hariharalaya, Angkor Wat.
  • Glover, Ian. 2003. National and political uses of Archaeology in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia& the Malay World, Mar2003,31/89: 15-31
  • Gosling, B. 2004. Origins of Thai Art. River Books, Bangkok.
  • Miksic, J. 1990. Borobodur, golden tales of the Buddha. Singapore, Periplus.
  • Moore, E.  2011. Unexpected spaces at the Shwedagon pagoda, Myanmar, Blackwell Companion to Asian Art (edited by R.Brown and D. Hutton). Oxford, Blackwell Publishing. Pp. 178-200.