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Book on Southeast Asian art dedicated to professor

Hindu art is abundant and vibrant in Southeast Asia, from peninsular Thailand to the island of Bali, a tradition that has continued unbroken for more than 1,500 years, said Wannasarn (Saam) Noonsuk, Ph.D. ’12 – and Cornell is a key center of scholarship in the field.

An open access book, “Performing Prowess: Essays on Localized Hindu Elements in Southeast Asian Art from Past to Present” published in May. A hardcover edition will be published in Thailand later this year.

“Cornell has been a powerhouse in Southeast Asian Studies and very strong in art history,” said Noonsuk, who is now an assistant professor of art history at California State University (CSU) Fresno.

Inspired by the scholarly excellence and friendship he found studying art history and archaeology in the College of Arts and Sciences and in Cornell’s Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), Noonsuk edited “Performing Prowess: Essays on Localized Hindu Elements in Southeast Asian Art from Past to Present,” an open access book published in May.

The book includes an introduction by Kaja McGowan, associate professor of History of Art and Visual Studies, and essays by Cornell alumni and current doctoral candidates, tracing the ways cultural forces of Hindu belief have persisted in Southeast Asia even after this religion was overshadowed by Buddhism and Islam. The book is dedicated to McGowan, whose scholarly work continues to focus on Bali – home to the largest Hindu community outside India.

Read the full story on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

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