Presents an overview of the art, architecture, culture, and history of the Arab world. Discusses the history and development of Arab visual art and architecture from around 1000 BCE to the present time. Explains the relationship between the artistic forms of Arab art with different religious and political factors as well as the impact of different cultures on the identity of Arab art. A field trip to a major museum is required.
Goals, Topics, and Objectives
To develop understanding and appreciation for Arab art and architecture as an important cultural trend interacted with other major cultural forces throughout the different periods in the Middle Eass; to explore and comprehend the relationship between the artistic forms of Arab art and architectural structures in relation to the different religious and political factors as well as the impact of different culture on the identity of Arab art.
- The Early Period in Arab Art, 400 BCE - 400 CE
Demonstrate an aesthetic awareness of The Early Period (400 BCE-400 CE) in Arab art including the emergence of the Nabataeans in Palmyra and Petra, the Art of the Early Arabian Mini States such as Petra, Palmyra, Hatra, Kinda, and Hira against the backdrop of the two dominant contemporary empires: The Roman and the Sassanian, as well as early Jewish Arab art from al-Salhiyyah (Dura Europos) in Syria.
- The Middle Period in Arab Art, 400 - 700 CE
Demonstrate an aesthetic awareness of The Middle Period 400-700 CE in Arab art including formation of indigenous Arab art forms in South Arabia, the north west Arabian Peninsula, and the early Christian and Arab art in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt including an examination of samples of Coptic, Nestorian, Syriac, and other Eastern Christian traditions.
- The Islamic Period in Arab Art, 622 - 1258 CE
Demonstrate an aesthetic awareness of traditional Islamic art history, beginning in 622 CE, to the fall of Baghdad to the Mongol in 1258 including main Islamic artistic periods of the Ummayads, Abassides, and Fatimites. Major monuments and architectural structures will be examined from the different parts of the Islamic world.
- Arabs in Europe, 700 - 1500
Demonstrate and understanding and awareness of the exchange and impact of Arab art on Europe and vice versa through the presence of Arabs in Sicily, southern Italy and Spain, and through the contact caused by the Crusades.
- Islamic Period, 1258-1914
Demonstrate an aesthetic awareness of the Islamic Period, 1258-1914 CE including Mongol domination followed by the Safavids and the Ottomans during times which Arab culture was subject to various cultural impacts from Anatolia, Iran, and central Asia represented by the art of the Saljuqs, Mamluks, Ilkhanites, Timurites, Safavids, and Ottomans.
- The Modern Era
Demonstrate and aesthetic awareness that colonialism and post colonialism of the Modern Era of Arab art including the European colonization of the Arab world, the establishment of “Modern Arab Art” on the European prototype, the struggle of Arab traditional art against European Modern art and the crisis of Arab Art Identity.
- Contemporary Arab Art
Demonstrate an aesthetic awareness of the Renaissance of Classical Arabic Heritage in Contemporary Arab Art and Architecture including the modern trend in investigating and utilizing classical Arab heritage as a cultural stimulus and visual source of modern aesthetics.
- Arab American Contemporary Art
Demonstrate an aesthetic awareness of contemporary art done by Arab Americans as well as Arab American Contemporary Art that is steeped in Arab tradition, and define the similarities and/or differences between the two.
Define the architectural monuments and their functional forms among the Arabs in various periods.
- Conceprts of Arab art
Describe and explain the symbolism and function of different architectural structures in relation to the religious, ritualistic, and social trends during the various phases of Arab history.
- Iconography of Arab art
Evaluate the iconography of different Arab art forms and stylistic approaches in relationship to the religious and ritualistic trends during the various phases of Arab history as well as categorize and differentiate the iconography and context of the various architectural monuments and their decorative qualities.
- Arab art across chronological, geographical, political and cultural boundaries
Interpret and assess how Arab art and architecture developed through and across chronological and geographical boundaries and evaluate the exchange, interaction, impact, and influence of the different cultures on Arab art and aesthetics through the political and cultural contacts.
Assessment and Requirements
- Class Participation
- Class Discussions
- Essay papers
- A research paper with classroom presentation
- A class visit to the Detroit Institute of Art with an accompanying research paper
- Quizzes and tests to be determined by the instructor and described in the syllabus
1.Students will write one long critical research paper for the course along with 2-3 short essay papers on specific topics from the materials of the course.
2. Each student will develop a presentation based on the research paper and present it to the class during the last week of the course.
3. There will be a weekly reading assignment assessed by in class discussion and participation.
4. The whole class will visit the Detroit Institute of Art and tour certain sections related to the Arab art materials. The DIA visit is mandatory, and students will meet at the museum on a prearranged day and time. Students may conduct special research project at different museums that has Arab art materials in Detroit or at a similar institution in the country or abroad.
The text will be formed as a course pack from different appropriate academic materials.
- Humanities and Fine Arts
- Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts