HISTART 305 - Himalayas: An Aesthetic Exploration
Fall 2020, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
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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 some influential modern and contemporary 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 along axes extending from the sub-montane Terai in the south to the frosty Tibetan plateau in the north, we will repeatedly cross China, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Resting at sites sought out by explorers, traders, conquerors, and pilgrims, we will query the distinctive forms, layouts, and functions of a range of temples, monasteries, and gardens and the medley of objects found in them. These include steles, manuscript paintings, and water-fountains. Finally, we will return to the present and consider how communities living in the Himalayas are creating new forms of material culture to respond to new challenges such as environmental degradation and disaster.

Course Requirements:

Exams, essays, quizzes, regular attendance and participation in lectures and trips to archives, art and anthropology museums

Intended Audience:

Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students who have taken at least one course in History of Art, Asian Studies, International Studies, or Environmental Studies

Class Format:

ASIAN 335.001, ASIAN 582.001, ENVIRON 304.010, HISTART 305.001, HISTART 505.001, and INTLSTD 384.005 will meet in person on select Tuesdays and Thursdays with the remainder of meetings being held virtually. ASIAN 335.002 is for students who will be participating 100% online and class meetings will be held virtually Tuesday-Thursday.


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

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