HISTART 305 - Himalayas: An Aesthetic Exploration
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Undergraduate and graduate students seeking to enroll for this course should have completed at least one course on the arts/languages/religions of South/Central/East Asia.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The Himalayas are the world's longest and loftiest mountain range. This course will commence with a review of influential Indic and Western perceptions of the Himalayas. Thereafter, we will proceed to glean some of the many ways in which the shaping of objects and the crafting of identities are linked in this region today. Subsequently we shall embark on a series of armchair expeditions to recover interconnections between 'art' and 'life' in the Himalayas in centuries past. Traveling in arcs stretching from the Brahmaputra valley in the east up to the upper reaches of the Indus in the west and in along axes extending from the submontane Terai in the south to the frosty Tibetan plateau in the north, we will repeatedly cross China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Resting at sites sought out by explorers, traders, conquerors, and Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims we will query the distinctive forms, layouts, and functions of temples, monasteries, palaces, necropoles, water-structures, and the medley of objects found in them including sculptures, paintings, silk embroideries, ritual objects, and fountains. At our journeys' end, students will have acquired:

  1. Critical appreciation of the impact of geography on artistic production;
  2. Deeper understanding of historical processes that have transpired in this region over the past two millennia;
  3. Enhanced ability to detect dialogues among and between communities living in the Himalayas and in other realms;
  4. Greater confidence to use art historical methodologies to begin documenting and interpreting the region's cultural past and present.

Intended Audience:

Graduate students and upper-level undergraduates interested in Asian studies, History of Art, Anthropology, as well as graduate students from the Center for South Asian Studies and the Center for Chinese Studies.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute combined lecture and discussion sections held weekly.

HISTART 305 - Himalayas: An Aesthetic Exploration
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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