Allies, Lamas, and Protagonists: Buddhist Arts of Tibet and Mongolia
Mon. | Wed. | Fri. | 2:00 - 3:00PM
This course will introduce to Buddhist art and architecture in Tibet and Mongolia through architectural examples and case studies roughly following chronological order from imperial Tibet in the 7th century until the rule of Gelug protagonists in the early 20th century. We will learn about specifics of Tibetan Buddhist architecture and unique cases of Mongolian nomadic temple building; organization of space in different types of Buddhist architecture, their unique iconographic programs, and will discuss, where possible, how images were placed and used in the original context.
Through examining art and architecture, the course will also explore the political, social, and cutlural relations between Tibet and Mongolia developed through centuries. We will ask how each culture addressed such critical issues as, for example, “image” in a Buddhist context, portraiture and representation of lamas and protagonists, and how a Tibetan Buddhist sect–the Gelugpa–gained its domineering presence across borders in the later periods.
Structured around two thematic units “Architectural Space and Iconographies” and “Politics of Representation,” the course will encourage thinking critically about the methodology applied in the study of Tibetan and Mongolian arts. Since our primary focus will be on Buddhist art and architecture, the course will also discuss essential Buddhist terms and concepts as well as the most prominent Buddhist deities.
No pre-requisites are required to enroll in this course.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (B) and Chronological period (II).