INCL 255 Thai Cultural Arts
This course explores the Thai arts as both cultural expression and cultural epistemology (a way of engaging and knowing the world that differs from Western empiricism and consumerism). It provides hands on experience of the ways in which the arts can serve as an agent of preservation as well as an agent of transformation in culture. It seeks to guide students in the exploration of the spiritual, philosophical, social, and psychological drivers of the cultural arts in order to gain a deeper appreciation of diversity and human creativity. Students will be introduced to a broad array of artistic expression and media in Thailand under the guidance of local experts and artists (including visual arts, music, hand crafts, culinary arts, dance, Likay, and other performing arts). Students will come to appreciate the unique role and effectiveness of the arts in culture (e.g. prophetic confrontation of injustice with the status quo, or communicating in ways that overcome linguistic barriers, etc.) and gain a new sense of value of the arts for their life and work. The course has a high emphasis on participation and reflection. Culture: Art. Liberal Arts.