Monuments of Islamic Architecture

A version of the course Monuments of Islamic Architecture presented by Professors Gulru Necipoglu and David Roxburgh at Harvard University. The course presents an introduction to ten iconic monuments of the Islamic world from the beginning of Islam to the early modern period. The course introduces various types of building-mosques, palaces, multifunctional complexes-and city types and the factors that shaped them, artistic, patronal, socio-political, religio-cultural, and economic. Each case study is divided into two lectures. The first presents the monument or city by “walking” through it. The second is devoted to themes elicited from the example, developed in light of comparative monuments, sites, and/or written sources, and to problems of patronage, production, audience and meaning as they pertain to architectural history. This collection comprises 22 PowerPoint lectures. 

The lecture course has no pre-requisites. Students unfamiliar with the general contours of Islamic history, however, are encouraged to read the book edited by Francis Robinson, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) that provides strong overviews of key historical events, people, institutions, and environments.

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