paul lavy portrait photo

(photo by Jonel Jugueta)

Associate Professor, Art History Area Graduate Director
Office Room 219 / 808.956.5259 /

RESEARCH AREAS - Art and architecture history of early Southeast Asia

Paul Lavy received his BA in cultural anthropology and his MA and PhD in South and Southeast Asian art history. Prior to coming to UH Manoa, he taught ancient art history at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and Asian and Islamic art history at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Dr. Lavy has conducted research in India and throughout Southeast, particularly in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam (where he lived for a couple of years). His ongoing research, which has been funded by the University of Hawaii Research Council, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asian Cultural Council, and the National Security Education Program, investigates the links between art/architecture and political history in early historic Southeast Asia. His primary interests are the Hindu-Buddhist artistic traditions associated with the Mekong Delta and Preangkorian Khmer civilization and their relationships with the art of South Asia. He is currently researching and writing a book on early sculpture from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, entitled The Crowned Gods of Early Southeast Asia.

PhD - University of California, Los Angeles, CA
MA - University of California, Los Angeles, CA
BA - Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA

• University of Hawaii Board of Regents’ Excellence in Teaching Award, 2014
• “Syncretism in Buddhist Architecture of Mainland Southeast Asia,” in Cambridge World History of Religious Architecture, ed. Richard Etlin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, in press.
• “Conch-on-Hip Images in Peninsular Thailand and Early Vaisnava Sculpture in Southeast Asia.” In Before Siam: Essays in Art and Archaeology, ed. Nicolas Revire and Stephen A. Murphy (Bangkok: River Books, 2014), 152-173.
• “A Lopburi Buddha at the Honolulu Museum of Art,” Orientations 43, 5 (June 2012): 53-59.
• "As in Heaven, So on Earth: The Role of Vishnu, Harihara, and Shiva Images in the Politics of Preangkorian Southeast Asia," Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 34, 1 (2003): 21-39.

ART 175 (Survey of Global Art History I: Prehistory to the 14th Century)
ART 490B (The World of Angkor: Art/Architecture of Ancient Khmer Civilization)
ART 490C (Art/Architecture of Thailand)
ART 490D/ANTH 491 (The Monumental Past in Southeast Asia: Nationalism, Heritage, and Memory)
ART 491B (Art/Architecture of Island Southeast Asia)
ART 491C (Art/Architecture of Mainland Southeast Asia)
ART 492B (Art/Architecture of India and South Asia)
ART 492C (Hindu Visual Culture)
ART 791 (Graduate Seminar in South/Southeast Asian Art History)
Past topics include:
(1) The Life, Body, and Relics of the Buddha in the Art of S/SE Asia;
(2) “Hinduization” and the Art/Architecture of S/SE Asia;
(3) Reconsidering Theravada Buddhist Art History in S/SE Asia; and
(4) Reconsidering Mahayana and Esoteric Buddhist Art History in S/SE Asia
ART 792/ASAN 792 (Orientalism and Visual Culture: History, Theory, Prospects)