Religious Architecture of Islamic Cultures (AH2126.01)

Razan Francis

This introductory course explores the architecture of the Islamic world from the beginning of Islam to the present, extending from Spain to India. By examining architectural monuments from different periods and locales, the course demonstrates how architectural production was not only informed by religious ritual, but also shaped by cultural encounters with a diversity of ethnic, religious, and national groups. We will situate these structures and sites in their intellectual and historical environments and analyze them in relation to such themes as patronage and audience, local and regional craftsmanship, sacred and royal space, geometry and ornament, spolia, and building technologies. As we grasp the regional and global factors that conditioned the original architectural creation, we will also consider each one’s afterlife and changing history and temporality. How do subsequent historical events—e.g., colonialism, the collapse of empires, the rise of nation-states, the constant redrawing of political boundaries, the shift from Islamic to secular regimes, our present-day conflicts and realities—alter the meaning, perception, and reception of Islamic architecture? No previous background is required for this course. All readings are available in English.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M 4:10pm - 6:00pm; Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 2000, All courses, Areas of Study, Art History, Four Credit, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons, Razan Francis, Visual Arts.