Islamic Art and Architecture

Instructor: Esra Akın-Kıvanç

This course examines Islamic art and architecture in relationship to the cultural, religious, and sociopolitical values and practices that unified Muslims from Europe to South Asia from the advent of Islam in the seventh century to the present day. Our study of the theoretical and aesthetic foundations of Islamic art centers around Muslim responses to the visual traditions of older religious systems such as Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity, and the ways in which Muslim religious thought has historically shaped the functional, formal, and stylistic dimensions of Islamic artistic production. Readings from primary texts (art-historical treatises as well as religious and literary texts) facilitate an appreciation of art's role and meaning in the everyday lives of Muslims at home and in diaspora.