Ashley C. Thompson F'19

Ashley C. Thompson
Hiram W Woodward Chair of Southeast Asian Art; Chair, Centre of South East Asian Studies
History of Art and Archaeology
SOAS, University of London

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2019
Professor
History of Art and Archaeology
SOAS, University of London
The Work of Buddhist Art: Reconstructions of Cambodia after Angkor

I seek a Ho Foundation Research Fellowship to complete a monograph provisionally entitled The Work of Buddhist Art: Reconstructions of Cambodia after Angkor. The book’s aim is two-fold: first, to trace the emergence, in the immediate wake of the Angkorian empire (thirteenth to sixteenth centuries), of a distinctive architectural and sculptural tradition, and the way it reflected and accompanied the emergence of a particular historical consciousness; and second, to explore a fundamental, and indeed generative tension in Buddhist art from its very inception—between the aniconic and the anthropomorphic—and its role at this watershed moment in Cambodia’s cultural and political history. Analyses will probe in particular the gendered dimensions of the nexus of aesthetics and politics at hand.