Object Knowledge: Art, Artifact, and Authority in Southeast Asia

DATE: Friday, October 30, 2009, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

PLACE: Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue

SPONSORS: Institute of East Asian Studies,Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Society for Asian Art, Asian Art Museum, Townsend Center for the Humanities, and Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies



Note: Registration is required. To register contact Caverlee Cary.

Recent scholarship on the role of cultural production in defining and articulating national identity has gravitated towards Europe, the Pacific, Africa, China and Australia. Building on earlier work on the social lives of things and the complex mechanisms that determine patterns of desire, exchange, taste, and consumption, scholars of these areas have productively explored the role of objects as dynamic and multivalent repositories and transmitters of historical and cultural narrative with the power to connect and transect, as well as to divide and delineate, cultural, ethnic, and social groups. "Object knowledge" here denotes both the meanings associated with things in diverse cultural landscapes, and the knowledge that objects can embody and signify to those who study and collect them outside of their original contexts. As objects move through time and fields of ownership — from sponsor to artisan, merchant to consumer, custodian to thief, donor to holder, alms-giver to monk, collector to museum — how do they shape spectrums of value, belief, and taste?

While Southeast Asia has proved a critical site for innovative theories on nationalism and cultural politics, work on material culture in the region is still predominantly oriented toward archaeology and ancient ruins. Despite reflections on the potency and tactility of power as vested in sacred and ritual objects in Southeast Asia, and on the power of monuments and images of nation to rally modern political community, more work remains to be done on the influence of material transactions in shaping social relations, spiritual beliefs and ethnic identifications.

Designed to complement the concurrent Asian Art Museum exhibit, Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma, 1775–1950, this symposium aims to forge new dialogue on the recent genealogy of material culture in Southeast Asia, with specific reference to Siam, the Shan states, and Burma. By bringing together curators, historians, art historians and anthropologists, we aim to stimulate new inquiry into the interpretive potency and methodological possibilities of "object knowledge" in Southeast Asia.

The Thai carvings on the website banner image are courtesy of Susan Kepner.



Note: Registration is required. To register contact Caverlee Cary.

Caverlee Cary
Four Reigns
The classic Thai novel "Four Reigns" begins in the innermost court of the Siamese king at the height of the fifth reign, moving inexorably outward in space and forward in time to build a sovereign-centered history of Siam through the protagonist's experience. Events, objects, and spaces delineate relationships between patron and client, between women and men, between Siam and the West. Through a discussion of selected moments in the novel in the context of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Siam, this paper explores the construction and presentation of an image of Siam, not only in fictional form, but on the world stage.

M.L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati
The Lives of Siamese Women Reflected in Personal Possessions
What do belongings tell us about their owners? Why did Siamese women possess few belongings? What were their most important personal possessions? This paper examines the lives and roles of Siamese women in the nineteenth-century through their personal possessions.

John Guy
Dressing Oneself: Attire and Authority in the Courts of Southeast Asia
The court cultures of the kingdoms of Southeast Asia in the early nineteenth century were deeply traditional, conservative, and archaistic, preoccupied with looking back to a not so distant age when power was absolute. The first half of the nineteenth century represented a time when that authority was beginning to be challenged, not internally where dissent was suppressed swiftly and ruthlessly, but by forces external to the kingdom. Threats to the power structure of these kingdoms were not new, but the aggressive European colonizer represented a force more powerful than encountered in the past. The imposition of colonial regents to govern alongside local rulers represented the ultimate loss of power and dignity. These shifts in power away from the traditional loci, embodied in the person of the king, to foreign agencies, produced unprecedented challenges for traditional rulers which found expression in a number of ways, including attitudes to traditional dress. Exceptionally in the region Siam — who assumed the role of coloniser not colonised - provides a different set of responses to those courts forced to share the throne.

Dress is critical to self-image; indeed in pre-modern Southeast Asian societies it is one of its most defining public expressions. The courts of Southeast Asia displayed a heightened sense of the importance of image, conveyed through dress and protocol, and skilfully blended the indigenous and the exotic, traditional authority and the power to attract from afar.

In this paper I will visit four courts of nineteenth-century Southeast Asia, Mandalay, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Central Java, to reflect upon the differing manner in which these courts gave expression through dress to issues of identity and authority in a changing world.

Justin McDaniel
Ultraman and the Siam Commercial Bank: Murals and Agency in Modern Thailand
Past and present, perhaps the best way to see the diversity of Thai Buddhist art is to spend time looking at murals. This traditional art form does anything but reinforce tradition or Buddhist teachings. In fact many murals do not depict Buddhist teachings or texts at all. These are creative sites, not repositories of orthodox ideals. Buddhist history and teachings were/are simply some of the subjects depicted on Thai murals despite the fact that their "canvases" are the walls of Buddhist monastic buildings. In fact, some of these non-Buddhist murals are painted on the sides of manuscript libraries which indicate that teaching these non-Buddhist stories or even secular romances and political histories was important part of Buddhist monastic life.

Forrest McGill
A Bodhisattva in Arcadia
Why do some late-nineteenth-century Thai artworks place Vessantara in versions of the classical landscape of seventeenth-century French and Italian painting? How did a Thai artist become familiar with this European classical landscape tradition? Why would the artist be attracted to this tradition more than to other models available? What do the artworks suggest about the dynamics of cultural change in nineteenth-century Siam?

Maurizio Peleggi
Icons, Antiquities, and Mnemonic Sites: The Multiple Lives of Thai Buddha Images
Religious images possess multiple social lives: as icons, they are the object of devotion; as antiquities, displayed in museums and collections, they attract the gaze of scholars and connoisseurs; and as mnemonic sites, they manifest the cultural and spiritual values of their creators. While religious images may be said to play these roles regardless of the specific faith they embody, recent scholarship on Buddhist material culture has highlighted commonalities in the social function and attending perception of Buddha images across South, East, and Southeast Asia. The devotional approach to religious icons (as well as royal images) in Thailand today testifies to the surviving belief in their sacredness and supernatural power; yet, a parallel perception of images as antiquities also began to emerge in the latter half of the nineteenth century as a result of the ruling elite's embrace of European culture. Finally, the elevation of Thailand's Buddhist monuments to sites of memory in the twentieth century has renewed their political significance and made them into national symbols. My paper discusses the various social functions of Thai images of the Buddha with reference to specific pieces and in relation to the wider historical context of their creation and fruition.

Catherine Raymond
Adorned Buddha images from 18th and 19th century Burma: Image, Ritual, and Function
"Adorned Buddhas," perhaps a less-than-adequate translation of the French "Buddha paré," describes a subset of Buddhist iconography whereby the figure is elaborately crowned and bejeweled. Most prevalent in Mahayana world it exists also in the Hinayana world and especially abundant in Burma — with examples from the Pagan Kingdom dated as early as the end of the First Millenium — Adorned Buddhas have long induced much conjecture as to their specialized form and their particular function.

Adorned Buddhas have been produced continually through the post-Pagan era down to present days, and are characteristic also of the ancient neighboring kingdom of Arakan and of the Shan and Mon States. Adorned Buddhas seemed to have become especially popular amongst the Shan after 1784, following the conquest of Arakan by the Burmese king Bodawpaya, who seized the Mahamuni image — the palladium of Arakan and the greatest of Adorned Buddhas — from Mrauk-U, thence relocating the seat of the Mahamuni cult to the Burmese royal capital Amarapura.

In Burma, Adorned Buddhas are commonly known as Jambupati, of which the iconography has been variously interpreted as indicative of the Mahayana tradition; or associated with the historical Prince Siddhartha; or with the Chakravartin, or "Universal Monarch"; or with Ari Metteya, the Future Buddha; or with the Cosmic Buddha; or — not least — with the dhammaraja or abhisekha Buddha images commemorating more earthly coronations.

While our larger research objective is to re-situate the iconographic manifestations of Adorned Buddhas within their regional and historical contexts of borders fluctuating and alliances shifting across the centuries, this presentation addresses a specific collection of Adorned Buddhas of particularly Shan provenance: all bearing relatively detailed inscriptions which may be revelatory of localized practice and belief.

Mandy Sadan
Pockets of Influence - Museum display and the discourse of the periphery
Even though curators are increasingly concerned that museum displays are sensitive to a plurality of views and discourses, it is perhaps inevitable that any exhibition will produce its own centres and peripheries. When viewed from the perspective of non-Buddhist minorities in Burma and Thailand, the current exhibition with its focus on Buddhist artefacts can seem as distancing as any. Yet there are also often surprising alternative discourses produced from these peripheral perspectives. Non-national minorities engaging with the cultural output of dominant national or religious communities can often layer their own narratives and object biographies upon historical artefacts in the most revealing of ways. Sometimes these discourses are produced in relation to a subsidiary or minor part of an artefact, its mode of manufacture, its edges and interiors, rather than its total form. This paper will be an exploration of such a discourse. The exhibition has on display a fine silk Burmese man's skirtcloth. This textile has the ability to provoke an intense cultural discourse among non-Buddhist Kachin minorities in Burma, which can reveal much about the localization of influence of the Burmese court in the nineteenth century in the Kachin region. This discourse relates not to the intricately woven acheik design, but rather to the mysterious 'pocket' that has been identified by the curators of the current exhibition. This paper will explore a marginal discourse about this subsidiary piece of cloth in a peripheral political environment.

Juliane Schober
Embodying the Dharma
Buddhist icons and architecture are cultural repositories inscribed with meaning that is constituted and performed in ritual and cultural practices. Their artistic styles articulate not just the aesthetics of Buddhist cultures. They also give form to cultural ideologies, ritual practices and religious aspirations.

My presentation focuses on religious icons as representations of the Buddha and their cultural uses in investing meaning in the practices of Buddhist communities and individuals. I illustrate my claims by referring to Burmese icons like the Buddha image on p. 76 of the catalog, stupas like Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, and textual representations of the Buddha's message, such as the palm leaf manuscript depicted on p. 81. Objects like these embody Buddhist knowledge. They are believed to be powerful because they embody a transcending and timeless Buddhist reality. Their use in ritual helps to define social hierarchies and historical realities in local, regional and national contexts.

Donald M. Stadtner
Prophecy and Burma's Emerald Buddha
Prophecy is embedded within Buddhism, beginning with even the prediction of the birth of Gotama himself by Dipankara. Indeed, the ability to forecast events permeates the Pali canon, its commentaries and all of the chronicle traditions, both in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

event image

Prophecy encompassed many dimensions in Theravada traditions, such as the rise of dynasties and cities and the enshrinement of relics. It not only highlighted the miraculous nature of those able to see into the future but also dictated the very course of human events, in as much as each prophecy was always realized. Prophecy, therefore, molded events as much as predicted them and enveloped dynasties and capitals in an auspicious and validating aura. The prophetic utterances were often initiated by the Buddha smiling, which prompted faithful Ananda to ask the reason; the prophecy then ensued. But prophecies could be made by a host of characters and even relics themselves could foresee their own destinies.

Perhaps the most arresting prophecy in Burma appears in a myth cycle which begins with the Pagan ruler Anawrahta (r. 1044-1077), who journeyed to China to secure a tooth-relic from the emperor. However, the god Sakka privately lamented to Anawrahta that the Buddha had prophesied that the tooth was not to leave China As consolation, the deity then granted the Burmese king an Emerald Buddha (mya yup-tu daw, or 'royal emerald image'). The precious image was taken to Pagan, according to the chronicles, but was never associated with any specific temple. Following this reference the Emerald Buddha disappears from the record.

The failure in China to acquire the tooh relic induced Anawrahta to appeal to a Sri Lankan king who dispatched a tooth replica that multiplied itself at Pagan, aided by dreams visited upon both the Burmese and Sri Lankan monarchs. This legend was recorded in 18th- and 19th-century Burmese chronicles and probably arose no earlier than the 16th or 17th centuries, together with the myth of the Emerald Buddha given to Anawrahta.

The tradition of the Burmese Emerald Buddha then remained dormant for centuries, dropping from historical sources — until 1994. In this year the Emerald Buddha was miraculously 're-discovered' among other images preserved at the Shwe Kyi Myin Pagoda, Mandalay, a repository for ancient sacred royal Buddhas once under worship in Mandalay Palace.

The discovery of the Buddha at the Shwe Kyi Myin pagoda in 1994 'miraculously' coincided with the arrival from China of a tooth-relic that was put on tour within Burma. The Emerald Buddha, so identified with Anawrahta, was displayed with the Chinese tooth-relic, and two replicas. The message was clear: the new ruling elite had succeeded where Anawrahta had failed. The re-discovery and elevation of the Emerald Buddha illustrates how old and new effortlessly blend in today's Burma and how traditional myths and symbols continue to have such resonance.

Leslie Woodhouse
A Foreign Princess at the Siamese Court: Princess Dara Rasami and the Politics of Gender and Ethnic Difference
The reign of Siam's King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910) is possibly the best-studied period in Thai history: a watershed era when Siam undertook its transformation from kingdom to nation-state within a context of intense European imperialist competition in Southeast Asia. Yet the roles played by women in this period remain largely unexamined. The deployment of a patriarchal dynastic model in Thai historiography, as well as an Orientalist tendency to exoticize it as a "harem," discount Siam's Inner Palace as a purely domestic space and thus outside the arena of legitimate political activity.

This project aims to restore the domestic arena of Siam's Inner Palace to our understanding of traditional Siamese power structures. I do so by focusing on the life of a woman who functions as the exception that proves the rule: a "foreign" consort named Chao (Princess) Dara Rasami, who came to the Siamese court from the neighboring kingdom of Lan Na in the mid-1880s. During her thirty-year career as a royal consort in the all-female "Inner Palace," Dara played important social and political roles. As an ethnically different woman from a neighboring kingdom, Dara Rasami functioned as both a hostage and a diplomat for her home kingdom in Chiang Mai, ultimately earning a somewhat higher status for her home region under Siamese rule. As a representative of cultural difference within the palace, Dara's performance of Chiang Mai identity participated in Siam's discourse of "siwilai," or a hierarchy of civilizations of which Siam was the pinnacle. As such, Dara Rasami's story provides a fresh perspective on both the socio-political roles played by Siamese palace women, and the contingency of Siam's position in relationship to the intense imperialist pressures it faced in the late nineteenth century.

Hiram Woodward
Thai Design as Described in Printed Manuals
No manuscript texts concerning Thai design are known, but 20th-century printed manuals illustrate how the most common designs (primarily lai kanok) are formed and describe their aesthetic principles. This paper discusses how these teachings can be applied to historic examples.



Note: Registration is required. To register contact Caverlee Cary.

9:15 am - Performance of Suang Gauk (Burmese Harp)

Morning coffee and tea

10:00 am - Welcome Remarks - Penny Edwards

Session 1 — Power, Peripheries, and Perspectives
10:10 am

Chair: Forrest McGill

Maurizio PeleggiIcons, Antiquities, and Mnemonic Sites: The Multiple Lives of Thai Buddha Images

Mandy SadanPockets of Influence - Museum display and the discourse of the periphery

John GuyDressing Oneself: Attire and Authority in the Courts of Southeast Asia

Session 2 — Gender Politics in Siam
11:30 am

Chair: Penny Edwards

Leslie WoodhouseA Foreign Princess at the Siamese Court: Princess Dara Rasami and the Politics of Gender and Ethnic Difference

Caverlee CaryFour Reigns

Pattaratorn ChirapravatiThe Lives of Siamese Women Reflected in Personal Possessions

12:40 pm - Lunch break

Session 3 — Art, Aesthetics, and Beliefs
2:00 pm

Chair: Piriya Krairiksh

Hiram WoodwardThai Design as Described in Printed Manuals

Catherine RaymondAdorned Buddha images from 18th and 19th century Burma: Image, Ritual, and Function

Forrest McGillA Bodhisattva in Arcadia

3:15 pm - Afternoon break

Session 4 — Re-examining Buddhist Arts
3:30 pm

Chair: Maurizio Peleggi

Juliane SchoberEmbodying the Dharma

Donald M. StadtnerProphecy and Burma's Emerald Buddha

Justin McDanielUltraman and the Siam Commercial Bank: Murals and Agency in Modern Thailand

Roundtable Comments, Discussion, Closing Remarks
4:45 pm



Note: Registration is required. To register contact Caverlee Cary.

Caverlee Cary received her PhD in the History of Art from Cornell University in 1994. Her dissertation dealt with the construction of history and of art history as a discipline in Siam (now Thailand), and the reconfiguring of objects associated with Buddhism as the country's art historical patrimony. Since then she has been on the staff of the University of California, Berkeley, in International and Area Studies, the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, and the Geographic Information Science Center. She is currently the Assistant Director for Program Planning at the Institute of East Asian Studies.

Pattaratorn Chirapravati is Associate Professor of Asian Art History and Curatorial Studies and the Director of the Asian Studies Program at California State University, Sacramento. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History and Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University, and she served as assistant curator of Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, where she co-curated the exhibition "The Kingdom of Siam: The Arts of Central Thailand, 1350–1800," and is co-curating the upcoming "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma 1775–1950." A specialist in the art of Thailand, her research treats the political uses of religious icons and the interpretation of religious practices and texts from art works. She is the newly appointed director of the Asian Studies Program. Her publications include Votive Tablets in Thailand: Origin, Styles, and Past Lives of the Buddha: Wat Si Chum — Art, Architecture and Inscriptions, as well as numerous articles on Southeast Asian art.

Penny Edwards is Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley. She specializes in the modern cultural and political history of Cambodia and Burma, with a focus on textual, material and visual narratives of national, religious, gender and racial identity. Her book Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation, 1860–1945 (Hawaii University Press, 2007) explores the crystallisation of concepts of nation in and between Khmer and French secular and religious intellectual milieux. She has authored a number of academic articles and is joint editor of Pigments of the Imagination: Rethinking Mixed Race (a special issue of the Journal of Intercultural Studies, February 2007), Beyond China: Migrating Identities (Centre for the Study of Chinese Southern Diaspora, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, 2002) and Lost in the Whitewash: Aboriginal-Asian Encounters in Australia, 1901 to 2001 (Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra 2003). Edwards teaches Undergraduate Course 10A and will be offering a variety of graduate seminars on topics ranging from nationalism to gender and Buddhism

John Guy is Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London. His current research focuses on Hindu-Buddhist sculpture and devotional worship in both India and early Southeast Asia. He has worked on a number of archaeological excavations, at both land and maritime sites, and served as an advisor to UNESCO on historical sites in Southeast Asia.

He has curated and co-curated a number of exhibitions, including The Peaceful Liberators. Jain Art from India (LACMA, V&A1995), Unseen Indian Bronzes (V&A 2000), La Escultura en Los Templos Indios. El arte de la Devocion (Barcelona 2007), Buddhist Manuscript Painting: The Palm-leaf Tradition (MMA 2008), Peaceful Conquerors: Jain Manuscript Painting (MMA, 2009), and contributed to others, most recently Vietnam Art and Culture (Brussels 2003), Encounters: the Meeting of East and West (V&A 2004), La sculpture du Champa (Musee Guimet 2005), The Goddess. Divine Energy (Sydney 2006), Cholas. Bronzes of Southern India (Royal Academy 2006), and Vietnam. From Myth to Modernity (Singapore 2008).

Major publications include Oriental Trade Ceramics in South East Asia (OUP 1986), Ceramic Traditions of Southeast Asia (OUP 1989), Arts of India: 1550-1900 (co-editor V&A 1990), Indian Art and Connoisseurship (Mapin 1995), Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition (co-author 1997), Woven Cargoes. Indian Textiles in the East (T&H 1998; paperback edition T&H 2009), La Escultura en Los Templos Indios. El arte de la Devocion (La Caixa 2007) and Indian Temple Sculpture (V&A / Abrams 2007). He is currently researching early Indian sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art collection.

Piriya Krairiksh, Thammasat University, Emeritus

Justin McDaniel is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies in 2003. He taught Buddhism and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside before moving to the University of Pennsylvania. His research foci include Lao, Thai, Pali and Sanskrit linguistics and literature, Southeast Asian Buddhism, ritual studies, manuscript studies, and Southeast Asian history. He is the chair of the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Studies Association and the founder of the NEH funded Thai Digital Monastery Project. His research foci include Lao, Thai, Kheun, Pali, and Sanskrit literature, Southeast Asian Buddhism, and Indic philology. He is the author of Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words: Histories of Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand, as well as articles in the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, the Journal of the Siam Society, and the Journal of Burma Studies.

Forrest McGill is Chief Curator and Wattis Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. He has worked for thirty years as a museum administrator and curator, professor, and researcher in Asian art. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. From 1998 through early 2003 he led a team of curators in planning the organization and layout of 2500 artworks in the Asian Art Museum's new building, and preparing all the new labels and didactic materials. From 1999 through 2005 he organized and edited the catalogue for the exhibition "The Kingdom of Siam, The Art and Culture of Central Thailand 1350–1800." The exhibition was the first from Thailand in the US since 1972, and the first in the world to focus on the 400-year Ayutthaya period. In 2005–2006 McGill organized and wrote the introductory book for the exhibition "A Curious Affair: The Fascination between East and West." In the past several years he has focused on preparing the Emerald Cities exhibition and its catalogue.

Maurizio Peleggi is Associate Profesor at National University of Singapore, Department of History. His areas of research include the history of modern Thailand as well as visual and material culture. I am the author of Thailand, the Worldly Kingdom (London: Reaktion, 2007); Lords of Things: The Fashioning of the Siamese Monarchy's Modern Image (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002); and The Politics of Ruins and the Business of Nostalgia (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2002); and coeditor, with John Clark and T.K. Sabapathy, of Eye of the Beholder: Reception, Audience and Practice of Modern Asia Art (Sydney: 2006). His essays in edited volumes and journals deal with dress and bodily practice, historiography and social memory, and the history of archaeology in Thailand, as well as colonial-era hotels in Asia and images of alterity in Italian medieval painting.

Catherine Raymond is Associate Professor, Art History, Southeast Asian Art, Northern Illinois University. She holds a Ph.D. in Art and Archaeology and in Indian and Southeast Asian studies from La Sorbonne (Université de Paris III). She was trained in France under Professors Jean Boisselier (Thailand, Cambodia,Vietnam); Madeleine Giteau (Cambodia and Laos); and Denise Bernot (Burma/Myanmar). She also received her DREA (equivalent to an M.A.) in Burmese Languages and Civilizations at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales. Her special interest is the arts of Burma/Myanmar, especially Theravada iconography, and the interaction of the arts within South and Southeast Asian civilization. She is Team Leader for a project developing an inventory of Lao Buddhist Iconography. Since her appointment as Director of the Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University, she has resumed her research in the former Buddhist kingdom of Arakan (presently Union of Myanmar's Rakhine State). She also curates the extensive Burma collection at the NIU Art Museum, where she is presently developing new digital approaches to teaching Burmese art at all levels and towards lending a much wider familiarization with this unique resource, both on- and off-campus.

Mandy Sadan is Lecturer in the History of South East Asia at SOAS, London University. She has conducted long term fieldwork among Jinghpaw communities in Burma, and recently in North East India, Thailand and Yunnan. Prior to taking up her present post, she worked as researcher in the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford and has also co-ordinated a number of research projects for the Green Centre for World Art at Brighton Museum. Her interests in material and visual culture relate primarily to the study of textile manufacture and markets and photography.

Juliane Schober is Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of Graduate Studies at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Illinois. She is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and is former Director of the Program for Southeast Asian Studies. Her present project traces the genealogies on modern Buddhism in Burma during the country's pre-colonial, colonial and independent eras. She has contributed to several encyclopedias, including The Encyclopedia of Religion (MacMillan, Second Edition), The Encyclopedia of Buddhism (MacMillan, edited by Buswell, Lopez and Strong, 2003) and The Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Routledge, forthcoming, edited by Prebish and Keown).

Donald M. Stadtner was for many years an Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, after completing his Ph.D. in Indian art at the University of California, Berkeley. His new book, "Sacred Sites of Burma" (Bangkok: River Books) is to be issued late in 2009. He divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and research trips to India and Southeast Asia.

Leslie Woodhouse recently completed her PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation in Thai history focused upon a "foreign" princess named Dara Rasami who became a consort of Siam's fifth king, Chulalongkorn. As part of this study, Leslie examined the political and cultural roles of the women of Siam's "Inner Palace," which functioned as the center of Siamese society, culture and fashion for centuries. Leslie is currently working on her book manuscript.

Hiram Woodward was the Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, 1986-2004. He is the author of The Sacred Sculpture of Thailand (1997) and The Art and Architecture of Thailand: From Prehistoric Times through the Thirteenth Century (2003).



Note: Registration is required. To register contact Caverlee Cary.

Berkeley City Club

"Object Knowledge: Art, Artifact, and Authority in Southeast Asia" will take place at the Berkeley City Club. The Berkeley City Club has been declared a Berkeley Designated Landmark, California State Landmark and has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, 1977. The beautiful Berkeley City Club building was designed and built in 1929 by architect Julia Morgan who was the architect of "Hearst Castle" in San Simeon, CA.

Berkeley City Club; 2315 Durant Avenue; Berkeley, Californa; Map courtesy of Mapquest

If traveling by BART, exit the Richmond-Fremont line at the Berkeley station (not North Berkeley). When you leave the BART station, walk south down Shattuck Avenue to Durant Avenue (four blocks if you depart the station via the escalator in the middle of the station) and turn left. Walk up Durant Avenue two blocks. The Berkeley City Club is on Durant Avenue between Ellsworth and Dana.

From Interstate 80

To reach the campus by car from Interstate 80, exit at the University Avenue off-ramp in Berkeley. Take University Avenue east (toward the hills) approximately two miles until you reach Shattuck Avenue. Turn right on Shattuck. Drive six blocks south until you reach Durant Avenue. Turn left on Durant and drive two blocks. The Berkeley City Club is on Durant Avenue between Ellsworth and Dana.

From Highways 24/13

To reach the campus from Highways 24/13, exit 13 at Tunnel Road in Berkeley. Continue on Tunnel Road as it becomes Ashby. Turn right on Shattuck Avenue. Drive down Shattuck until you reach Durant Avenue. Turn right on Durant Avenue and drive two blocks. The Berkeley City Club is on Durant Avenue between Ellsworth and Dana.

Specific directions can be found at Mapquest.

Directions to the campus are also available at www.berkeley.edu/ visitors/ traveling.html.

Parking in Berkeley

There are various public parking lots and facilities near the Berkeley campus and in downtown Berkeley. This list includes municipal and privately owned parking lots and garages open to the public. Please consult signs for hours and fees prior to entering the facilities.

Other lots:

  • Berkeley Way near Shattuck
  • Center Street near Shattuck
  • Allston Way near Shattuck
  • Kittredge Street near Milvia

More information is available on the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation page.