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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Dec 17, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ANTHR 3520 - Kingship and State-Making in Asia

(crosslisted) ARKEO 3520 , ASIAN 3362  
(GHB) (SBA-AS)      
Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

Recommended prerequisite: some foundation in either Asian anthropology, archaeology, or history.

M. Fiskesjö.

Kingship plays an outsize role in Asian countries today, in both democratic and authoritarian countries. Even in countries that abolished the monarchy, the legacy of kingship is very much at play. In this course we will study Asia’s kingdoms, states, and empires, with attention to both tradition and present-day modern states. Focusing on kingship as both ideology and practice, we will study how states and monarchic traditions first came to be, including as Stranger-Kings, Buddhist monarchs, secondary state formation, local adaptations of foreign models, and more. We will examine examples such as China, from the ancient states and early empires to the legacy of empire there today; Cambodia and its Angkor empire modeled on Indian traditions; as well as Burma, Thailand, Japan, and other parts of Asia. Using readings, films, lectures and guest presentations, we will re-examine the role of kingship in Asia so as to enable a new understanding of both ancient, historical, and contemporary Asia.



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