2023-2024 Catalog

RELS 278 Islamic Art, Architecture, and Visual Culture

An exploration of art, architecture, and visual culture created within the context of Muslim-majority or Muslim-ruled societies within Western Asia, North Africa, and Europe from the 7th to the 21st centuries. Students will study sacred and secular architecture and architectural decoration, sculpture, painting, manuscripts, textiles, and metalwork, including objects in Los Angeles area collections. We will consider theoretical framings of the field, such as what is “Islamic” about Islamic art. We will also consider how Islamic art circulates globally and  the emergence of modern Islamic art, including the visual cultures of protest in contemporary Muslim-majority countries. Readings will include primary sources, exhibition catalogs, and scholarly articles; and, in possible, students will visit museums and a mosque. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of Muslim arts historically and geographically.


4 units

Cross Listed Courses

ARTH 278

Core Requirements Met

  • Global Connections
  • Fine Arts
  • Pre-1800