Course Title: 01:082:320  Islamic Art and Architecture: Visual Cultures of Islam

Academic Credits:  3 credits   

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites: None

   CREDIT NOT GIVEN FOR THIS COURSE AND 01:667:320 or 01:685:320.   

Core Curriculum: None

Course Description:

This course is the first part of a chronological survey of Islamic art and architecture that covers the period from Islam’s origins in the seventh century to the onset of ‘modern’ empires in the fifteenth century. The course’s overall aim is to highlight the diversity of Islamic visual cultures spanning the region between India and Spain by looking closely at specific cities, sites, monuments, and objects. The lectures, though chronologically structured, will ask larger questions like:

  • What were the ambitions of medieval patrons?
  • In what ways did the built environment reflect their identities and desires?
  • What roles did women and non-Muslim minorities play in making things?
  • What about figural representation—did (and does) Islam ban figural imagery?
  • And, is ‘Islamic’ an adequate designation for all that we study?

Learning Goals:

Whenever possible, the course expands its range of sources and seeks responses from students on eyewitness accounts (travel narratives, embassy letters, artistic commissions, legal documents) contemporary to the sites and objects in question as well as the most recent historical representations for students to have occasion to critically respond.

Required and Recommended Course Materials:

1) Oleg Grabar, Richard Ettinghausen, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina, The Art and Architecture of Islam, 650-1250, 2nd ed. (New Haven and London: Yale U.P., 2001). [listed as “Grabar et al” in syllabus]
2) Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, The Art and Architecture of Islam, 1250-1800 (New Haven and London: Yale U.P., 1994). [listed as “Blair & Bloom” in syllabus]
3) Wiley [listed as “Companion I or Companion II” in syllabus]

All assigned readings are available as PDFs.





Two short response papers: 15% each
Attendance and participation: 15%
First Exam: 25%
Second Exam: 30%


Fall, 2022 -  Deniz Türker

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current.  For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.