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ARTHIST 2Y03 Erly Islamic Art to Middl Ages

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Sabine Noack-Haley

Email: noacks@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 434

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23719

Office Hours: Tues. 9:30-11:30 am & by appointment



Course Objectives:

For the rapidly spreading, new religion of Islam in the 7th century, new architectural and artistic forms were created and further evolved over the centuries. The course will explore pre-existing traditions (e.g. Sassanid, Late Roman, and Byzantine) in the lands of Early Islam and their role as sources for the new visual culture and architecture. It will also analyze the establishment of new canons and styles in different regions of the Islamic world and their development and interactions from the Near and Middle East over the North of Africa to the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily until the 15th century.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Hillenbrand, Robert, Islamic Art and Architecture (Thames & Hudson 1999)

Additional reading and instructions for the writing assignment may be posted successively as the course progresses on the course website on ‘Avenue to Learn’.


Method of Assessment:

Participation at lectures: 5%

First writing assignment (terminological): 10% (will be graded prior to February 23, 2018)

Second writing assignment (short essay): 20%

Museum presentation: 10%

Short oral group presentation: 10%

Midterm exam: 20%

Final exam: 25% 


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

The writing assignments and exams will receive a letter grade based on the grading scale shown below. Grading criteria for writing assignments will include factual accuracy, clarity of organization, appropriate use of examples, and style of presentation (including grammar, punctuation and spelling). Late submissions of the writing assignment will be penalized 3% per calendar day late, including weekends (e.g. a B+ paper, one day late becomes a B). Late penalties will not be waived unless your Faculty/Program Office advises the instructor that you have submitted to that office the appropriate documentation to support your inability to submit the work by the due date.

Final exam: No make-up exams will be given unless the absence was necessitated by a documented emergency; emergencies and/or absences must be processed through the student’s faculty office.

Grading Scale:

A+ 90-100 B+ 77-79 C+ 67-69 D+ 57-59

A 85-89 B 73-76 C 63-66 D 53-56

A- 80-84 B- 70-72 C- 60-62 D- 50-52

F 0-49

 


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.


Topics and Readings:

Week 1: Jan. 5 (1): Introduction

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 1

Jan. 8 (2): The Mediterranean world around 600 CE. The Sassanid Empire, the Late Roman heritage & Byzantium: artistic lineages

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 1

Jan. 10 (3): Mecca, Medina, and the beginnings of Islamic architecture

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 1

Jan. 12 (4): Al-Aqsa Mosque. Great mosque of San’a and early qur’anic manuscripts. Great mosque of Damascus: the conversion of a holy site

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 1

Week 3: Jan. 15 (5): Umayyad desert castles

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 1

Jan. 17 (6): Umayyad desert castles

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 1

Jan. 19 (7): Residential cities for the Abbasid caliphs

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 2

Week 4: Jan. 22 (8): Tulunid mosques of Cairo – influence from Samarra; Qairawan, Great mosque: Umayyad, Abbasid, and Byzantine elements

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 2

Jan. 24 (9): Cordoba, Great mosque, and its ‘copy’ in Toledo

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 7

Jan. 26 (10): The palatine city Madinat az-Zahra’ and its workshops (marble, ivory, metal, ceramics)

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 7

Week 5: Jan. 29 (11): Evolution of Western Umayyad traditions in Spain and the Maghreb

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 7

Jan. 31 (12): The Andalusian apogee: Alhambra palace (Granada)

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 7

Feb. 2 (13): Nasrid ceramics

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 7

Week 6: Feb. 5 (14): Transformations under the Marinids

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 7

Feb. 7 (15): Fatimid North Africa and some rare figural sculpture

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 3

Feb. 9 (16): The legacy of Islamic art in Sicily

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 10

Week 7: Feb. 12 (17): Fatimid art and architecture in Egypt

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 11

------- First writing assignment due.

Feb. 14 (18): Preparation of an excursion to the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto

Feb. 16 (19): Excursion to the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (date to be confirmed)

Week 8: Reading week – no classes

Week 9: Feb. 26 (20): Midterm exam

Feb. 28 (21): The Early Islamic East: Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 4

March 2 (22): Samanid art and architecture

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 4

Week 10: March 5 (23): Coming from Central Asia: The saljuqs

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 4

March 7 (24): Cross-currents in Syria, Iraq and Anatolia in the Age of the Atabegs

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 5

March 9 (25): Pluralism in the minor arts

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 5

Week 11: March 12 (26): Short oral group presentations

March 14 (27): Short oral group presentations

March 16 (28): Mamluk art and architecture

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 6

Week 12: March 19 (29): Mamluk minor arts

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 6

March 21 (30): Mongol conquests and their reflection in the arts

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 8

March 23 (31): Ilkhanid art. The Shahname

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 8

Week 13: March 26 (32): Timurid art and architecture

Reading: Hillenbrand, Chap. 8

March 28 (33): A review of architectural key elements and their development

March 30 (34): Elements of influence in Romanesque and Gothic architecture

------- Second writing assignment due.

Week 14: April 2 (35): Islamic gardens: Visualizing paradise

Reading: tbd

April 4 (36): A review of human representation in monumental, minor, and manuscript arts

April 6 (37): The beauty of science: astrolabes and other instruments; Playing with technology: automata – moving figures

Week 15: April 9 (38): Summary

Final exam


Other Course Information:

-- Writing assignments are to be typed in font size 12, double spaced. A title page needs to provide the student’s first and last name and student number, course number, assignment number, and an assignment title created by the student. The text length for the first assignment shall be 1-2 pages, while that of the second assignment shall be 4-8 pages (not counting title page, image-pages and bibliography). Nature of the first writing assignment: The student is to select from a list (made accessible by the instructor on ‘Avenue to learn’) two terms that are specific to Islamic art/architecture as well as one term that is relevant to art historical methodology, and is to explain the meaning of the term by providing its etymology and a typical example of a work of Islamic art/ architecture to which the respective term is applicable in a meaningful way. Due date of the first writing assignment: A paper copy of the first writing assignment is to be submitted to the instructor no later than on February 12th at 9:30 am. Nature of the second writing assignment: The instructor will post on ‘Avenue to learn’ a selection of five essay topics, accompanied by the titles of some reference material. Each topic will focus on a certain artistic or architectural motif tradition, whose formal and iconographic characteristics and evolution the student is expected to analyze by referring to the indicated scholarly publications. Due date of the second writing assignment: A paper copy of the second writing assignment is to be submitted to the instructor no later than on March 30th at 11:30 am.

A class excursion to the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto will be part of the course. The feasibility of the suggested date of February 16 will be verified in class with all participants, and a different date will be found if necessary. Each student will be assigned a brief introduction to one of the objects in the museum, whose preparation the instructor will assist with. A short oral group presentation (groups of 2-3 members) with power points on a different object (list of choices will be posted on ATL) will be delivered in class.

-- It is the policy of the School of the Arts that all e-mail communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the student's own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account. All emails should be signed by the sender.

-- Attendance at lectures is mandatory. Cellular phones and other communication devices should be turned off at the beginning of lectures. Students are expected to remain for the duration of the class meeting time. At certain points in the course it may make good sense to modify the schedule outlined above. The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly (in class and posting any changes to the course website on ‘Avenue to Learn’).

-- Academic Integrity Policy: You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.
For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, specifically Appendix 3, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/univsec/policy/AcademicIntegrity.pdf

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one's own or for which other credit has been obtained.
2. Improper collaboration in group work.
3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

PLEASE NOTE:

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster e-mail and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

When necessary, additional information and references will be posted on Avenue to Learn.