Introduction to Islamic Visual Culture

ARTH-A281 — Fall 2024

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Maria Domene-Danés
Wylie Hall 101
Days and Times
TuTh 9:45-11:00 am
Course Description

This course surveys Islamic art from the 7th century to modernity/contemporaneity. We will examine key themes such as the concept of Islam, the figure of the Prophet Muhammad and the poetry of the Qur'an and how these subjects intertwine with visual artistic manifestations defined as "Islamic." We will explore the astonishing world of Islamic art through the discussion of emblematic early sites like the Ka'ba in Mecca and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The geographical spread of Islam during many centuries developed a new artistic vocabulary that, insteaad of homogenizing different territories, fused into pre-exisiting art traditions such as the Byzantine, Persian, North African, Southern Spanish, Anatolian, Central Asian, Mesopotamian or Indian "models." These fusions led to the formation of complex and hybrid works of art and architecture. Historical events and discourses such as the Medeival Crusades, Colonialism and Post-colonialism, or Orientalism will further complicate and enrich out discussions of what Islamic art is.