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dc.contributor.authorJames, Soumyaen_US
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 8213914
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines the significance of the feminine in ancient Cambodian (Khmer) art focusing on three specific sites dated to the Angkor period (9th to 14th century). Despite the plethora of images and epigraphic references that indicate a critical role for the feminine, most narratives based on the primary sources are centered around the masculine aspects of Khmer history and culture. This predisposition that had its beginnings in the colonial period continues to be perpetuated even in more recent scholarship. The images, monuments, inscriptions, myths and performance traditions examined in this dissertation, and the role of the devotee in interacting with them, poses a challenge to the pre-existing biases against the feminine in Khmer art. Rather than looking at source materials as isolable units, this dissertation explores the possibility that sources such as images, monuments, landscape, myth and performance practices have fluid boundaries, informing and connecting with each other, profoundly influencing our understanding about the significance of the feminine. Subsequently, categories such as political, economic and performative need not necessarily be placed in a hierarchical order nor be isolated from each other as they are in some extant literature. Furthermore, this study also examines sources as being more than mere symbols, rather embodying the actual political and cultural processes of the time. For example, vi- sual depictions, inscribing on temple walls and the manipulation of landscape to interact with built forms could be perceived as encapsulating performative moments. Cultural expressions are therefore at the heart of the political and economic machinery of the kingdom. Images like the Mahalakshmi, Siva, Mahishasuramardini, Vishnu, Lakshmi and Ananta at the three sites likely embodied both Hindu and local sacred entities. These particular representations in their specific locations, along with inscriptions, localized Tantric beliefs, autochthonous myths and performance practices conjointly indicate the critical importance of the feminine to kingship, territorial might, economic and spiritual well-being of the kingdom, elucidated also through a haptic experience of religious sites and imagery. Through an alternative approach to the study of Khmer source materials, this dissertation suggests that the feminine was a powerful presence in Khmer art.en_US
dc.subjectPrasat Kravanen_US
dc.subjectBanteay Sreien_US
dc.subjectKbal Speanen_US
dc.titleThe Symbiosis Of Image, Monument And Landscape: A Study Of Select Goddess Images At Prasat Kravan, Kbal Spean And Banteay Srei In Cambodiaen_US
dc.typedissertation or thesisen_US of Art and Archaeology Universityen_US of Philosophy D., History of Art and Archaeology
dc.contributor.chairMcGowan, Kaja Mariaen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWillford, Andrew C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberO'Connor, Stanley Jamesen_US

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