Southeast Asian 190: Love Craft: Epic Romance of Southeast Asia

Category: Southeast Asian
Course #: 32182
Units: 4
Times and Locations:

TuTh 3:30-5

187 Dwinelle

This course offers an advanced introduction to the literary history, cultural norms, poetic forms and textual traditions of 17th to 19th century Southeast Asia through a comparative study of three epic poems: Tum Teav (Cambodia), Khun Chang Khun Phaen (Thailand), and Tale of Kieu (Vietnam). We will explore the dynamics of desire and transgression, duty and sacrifice, kinship and kingship, and the interplay between folk, court, Buddhist, Confucian, and Hindu values. Finally, we will consider the contemporary currency and iconic status of these works in Southeast Asia and in diaspora; what makes a national canon, and why these epic tales of love, loss and war, remain strangers to the west.