Lily pad

Lilypads in the pond at Kingscote Gardens, Stanford. Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero


Monday Wednesday
10:00 AM - 11:20 AM
What do we owe our parents? This course centers how Buddhist authors in Cambodia and Vietnam have wrestled with questions of debt and gratitude in the family. We will begin with the Indian and Chinese antecedents that shaped ideals of filial piety in the region of Southeast Asia formerly known as "Indochina." The core of our readings and discussions will engage classical Khmer and Vietnamese literature in translation, including the verse novels "A Child Called Dream" and "The Tale of Kieu." The course will close with Asian American celebrations and critiques of filial piety. Our aim throughout the quarter will be to complicate contemporary views on familial debts by charting a specific religious and literary history in Southeast Asia.