Art 301, sec. 301: Undergraduate Seminar
Living Monuments: India
Jaffe room 201: Weds. 2-5
Professor Michael W. Meister
office: Jaffe 308

Thesis: One objective of an undergraduate seminar at Penn is to encourage students to participate in on-going faculty research. This seminar will introduce students to a project undertaken by a team of scholars supported by the J. Paul Getty Trust that has focused on a small group of temples in India. These have been in use for over 1,000 years. It will introduce students to architectural and sculptural issues as well as to the way these monuments have functioned as social institutions over time. We will use some primary research materials as well as secondary sources for discussion. A Workshop on this project is being planned for mid April at Penn and students in the seminar may also participate in organizing an exhibition of some of the material.

Resources: The University of Pennsylvania South Asia Art Archive is located off the South Asia Reference Room, on the fifth floor at the west end of Van Pelt library. This archive contains ca. 70,000 photogarphs of sculptures and monuments in India. To gain access to this archive please contact the South Asia bibliographer, David Nelson, or his staff. This Archive will be an integral part of our work this semester.

On-line: "Self Preservation and the Life of Temples," a brief introduction to the Getty project and to the four temples in the study, can be found on-line at:

Books: The following paperbacks have been ordered through the Penn Book Center on 34th street:

Babb, Lawrence. Absent Lord: Ascetics and Kings in a Jain Ritual Culture. Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 1996.

Cort, John E., ed. Open boundaries : Jain Communities and cultures in Indian History. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998.

Kubler, George. The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962.

Michell, George. The Hindu Temple. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988 [1977].

Reserve: Additional readings will be placed on reserve as needed. Already shelved in the Fine Arts Library Reserve is:

Desai, Vishakha N. and Darielle Mason, eds. Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculptures from North India A. D. 700-1200.