A Survey of Islamic Art and Material Culture from Early Islam to the Ottoman Period


Fall 2012


5th Floor Classroom


Abigail Balbale

This course will explore the great diversity of cultural production across the Islamic world from the 7th to the 15th century. It introduces students to Islamic art and its branches, as well as to major monuments. Early Islamic art and material culture developed from late Roman and Iranian-Sasanian traditions, and were transformed by new religious ideas and socio-economic developments. What made objects or structures ‘Islamic’? The changing role of figurative art will also be explored. The goal of the course is to understand Islamic art, architecture and material culture as the visual expression of the civilization creating it. Students will have the opportunity to give presentations on certain topics and objects. Visits to collections of Islamic art are planned. 3 credits. (satisfies non-Western or pre-1800 requirement)