Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ART 13.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture, 1.5 hours laboratory. (66 hours total per quarter)

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Description -
This course is a comprehensive overview of the visual culture of Islamic peoples from the seventh through the 21st centuries. We will examine painting, objects, and architecture to better understand the rich cultural heritage of this world religion.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify historic influences on the development of Islamic Art.
  2. Identify ways in which influences were transformed in Islamic Art.
  3. Recognize and name the major periods in Islamic culture (e.g. Umayyad, Ottoman, etc.) based on stylistic attributes as well as specific thematic indicators.
  4. Demonstrate and discuss the impact of mystic Sufi theology on the architecture of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  5. Identify images and forms in Islamic Art and be able to discuss the meanings and uses of these symbols for the Moslem.
  6. Identify and discuss architectural forms in Islamic Art and be able to discuss their function and purpose for the Moslem.
  7. Demonstrate increased visual awareness of the richness of Islamic art through oral and written comment.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Slide collection and projection equipment adequate for the lectures on the subject.
  2. Access the Artstor online image archive. Classroom must be internet connected and provided with digital projector, DVD player, and VHs player.
  3. When taught via Foothill Global Access, ongoing access to a computer with e-mail address, software and hardware, and internet.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
The following content is delivered via Lecture (Lec) in the scheduled class sessions unless otherwise stated.
  1. Introduction to the geography and history of the Middle East.
  2. Introduction to the art of the Middle East on the eve of the Arab Invasions: Byzantium, Sassanian Iran, and the Arabian peninsula.
  3. Umayyad Art (Damascus 661-750)
  4. Abbasid Art (Baghdad 750-1000)
  5. Islamic Art during the dismemberment of the Byzantine Empire and the rise of independent states
    1. Islamic art of Central Asia 10 - 14 Century: the Samanids, the Ghaznavids, the Seljuk Turks, and the Mongols.
    2. Islamic Art of North Africa and Spain 10 - 14 Century: The Idrisids, the Almohads, the Nasrids, the Aghlabids, and the Fatimids.
    3. Art of Islam 15 - 17 Century: The Timurids, the Mamluks, the Safavids, the Mughuls, and the Ottomans Turks.
    4. Islamic art and culture into the 21st century with particular reference to tensions with the west.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Two midterms
  2. Final exam (midterms and final include slide identification, short answer and essay questions)
  3. Research Paper
  4. Seminar (Small Group)
  5. Moderated online discussions
Representative Text(s) -
Gorden, Matthew S., Islam, New York; Oxford University Press, 2002.
Robert Hillenbrand. Islamic Art and Architecture, Thames and Hudson, London, 1999.

Although the Gordon text is older, it is still an excellent resource for introductory courses in this subject.
The Hillenbrand text is old, however, it is still an excellent (and very affordable) text for our students.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Cooperative learning exercises
  4. Oral presentations
  5. Independent study
  6. Field trips
Lab Content -
  1. The lab consists of eight weekly instructor-proctored discussion sessions held via Etudes online.
  2. In addition each student will attend a library orientation/term paper introduction in the library with the instructor (there are 7-8 sessions scheduled each quarter).
  3. Finally, every student will prepare and present a seminar. The seminar sessions require the students to present their material to the instructor outside of class time. All lab activity attendance (discussions/library orientation/seminar) is recorded and graded.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Approximately one chapter of text (30 - 60 pages) per week
  2. Primary/secondary source reading from handouts
  3. 7-8 page paper prepared using the MLA format and researched using primary and secondary sources only.