4.614
Building Islam

Required of: 
BSA required; restricted elective for Architecture minor

A review of Islamic history through architecture, this course spans fifteen centuries and three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe.  From the House of the Prophet in Medina in the 7th century to the high-rises of Dubai today, the course casts architecture as the most expressive embodiment of the historical conditions within which Islam was formed and acquired meaning, and to which it in turn gave form and context.  Discussions of building techniques, decoration, religion, society, polity, culture, patronage, and learning are framed by a series of paradigmatic architectural and urban moments that span the foundational examples of Islamic architecture in Arabia and the territories of the major cultures of Antiquity with which Islam came early in contact all the way to the interaction with the West in the age of colonialism, independence, development, and the consequent revival of Islamic architecture today. Each class covers a specific time/place but keeps the thread of the entire story active and moving while emphasizing the interconnectivity of cultures in shaping architecture. 

Class Requirements

3 papers (10 pp. and 30% of the final grade each), and 10% of the final grade for attendance and participation in class discussion.