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Hindu Myths in the Art of South and Southeast Asia


Admission requirements

Successful completion of 5481KIHR Introduction to Hindu Religions or 5481VPMHS Premodern Histories of SSEA or 5481VS112 Classical Cultures of SSEA: Seminar I. Please, contact the Coordinator of Studies or M.J. Klokke, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the above mentioned requirement.


This course focuses on the representation of Hindu myths and epics in the art of South and Southeast Asia. Special attention goes to text-image relationships, to the careful selection of episodes leading to new visual versions of ‘the text’ with new emphases, to the way in which art historical and culture-historical contexts play a role in the construction of meaning, and to the domestic, religious, and political use of Hindu myths and epics. Examples will in particular include reliefs and paintings on Hindu temples of India, Indonesia and Cambodia. Themes to be discussed include: creation myths; the goddess Durga slaying the buffalo demon; the churning of the ocean by the gods; the banishment of Rama and his faithful wife Sita, the adventures of Krsna and/or the meditation of Arjuna.

Course objectives

  • Advanced knowledge of the art and material culture of South and Southeast Asia.

  • Insight in the function of art in its art historical and cultural context.

  • Insight in the art historical discipline as applied to South and Southeast Asian art.

  • Academic skills to present a visual analysis, both orally and in written form


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


Brief oral presentation, written assignment (web posting), take home examination after block 1, paper (2000 words) at the end of the course.


  • Oral presentation: 10%

  • Written assignment: 10%

  • Take home examination after block 3: 30%

  • Paper (2000 words) at the end of the course: 50%


Take home examination and paper may be revised if handed in at the set deadline

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Syllabus with reading list will be posted on the Brightspace site at the beginning of the course.


General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte: not applicable.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: VRIESHOF