Old Javanese – known in Bali as Kawi, the language of poets – artfully integrated lexemes, poetic meters and figures of speech from the world of Sanskrit into an Austronesian linguistic base. It played a crucial role in the artistic, ritual and sociopolitical life of pre-modern Java and Bali and spread its influence over a large area of the Malay-Indonesian archipelago. However, Kawi is not merely of historical interest; today it is a distinct linguistic code within Balinese and Javanese that is crucial for understanding how ethical and aesthetic ideals and the dynamics of ritual practice are shaped by the textual and oral traditions of Kawi.
The aim of this course is to provide the tools needed for reading works of the prose (parwa) and verse (kakawin) forms of literature as well as didactic and documentary works. Students from disciplines ranging from art history and comparative religion to linguistics and comparative literature, as well as those focusing on some aspect of Indonesian society will benefit from this course. To attend the course no prior experience is required.
Thomas M. Hunter has been a student of Kawi for over thirty years and has produced many articles and book chapters that focus on this important cultural inheritance of the Indonesian archipelago. His research has been supported by the NEH, The Institute for Advanced Study (Jerusalem) and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He currently lectures in Sanskrit, Indian and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.
A reasonable knowledge of English (the medium of the classes).
Brochure is available here. For more information, please visit http://www.eth.uni-heidelberg.de/institut/summerschool.html