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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Around 900: The Early Islamic West in a Global Context (HIAR11099)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed for students interested in early and medieval Islamic arts in general, and the Islamic West (Spain and North Africa) specifically. It explores visual culture of early Islamic North Africa and Spain (c. 650-1250) in their global contexts.
Course description We will examine the monuments and visual/material culture of 9th century Aghlabid dynasty of Tunisia and the 10th century Cordoban Umayyad court of Spain, and consider trading, political, and other connections that linked the arts of these court societies to those of northern Iberia and Europe beyond the Pyrenees (including the Vikings), the Islamic and Byzantine territories to the east, and other areas of the western Mediterranean such as Sicily. Themes include connections to Antiquity and Late Antiquity, issues of centre/periphery in Islamic art history, urbanism, visual culture as a means of self-fashioning, interchanges with non-Muslim polities, conceptions of earthly sovereignty, the divine, gender, and connections between the arts and other spheres of cultural production.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Students will give a class presentation and will be supported to develop this in a one-to-one meeting beforehand, and will receive verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting afterwards.

1 x 4000 word SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Written feedback on student essays will be provided, in addition to a one-to-one meeting
Feedback In addition to the feedback given on the formative assessment presentation, students will be given a one-to-one meeting to discuss the presentation in advance. They will also have a one-to-one meeting to discuss the outcome of the summative assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evidence a detailed knowledge and understanding of the arts and visual culture of the early/medieval Islamic west
  2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the way this period and region has been analysed and critiqued in the scholarship
  3. Perceive and analyse the ways in which forms, materials, techniques, and ideas developed during earlier periods (antiquity & late antiquity) around the Mediterranean continued to underpin later medieval arts in the Islamic west
  4. Demonstrate confidence in identifying, conceptualising and defining new problems and issues raised by the material
Reading List
The Aghlabids and Their Neighbours: Art and Material Culture in 9th-Century North Africa. Glaire D. Anderson, Corisande Fenwick, and Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain. New York: Distributed by H.N. Abrams, 1992.
Anderson, Glaire D. The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia: Architecture and Court Culture in Umayyad Córdoba. Paperback ed.: Ashgate, 2013.
Dodds, Jerrilynn Denise. Architecture and Ideology in Early Medieval Spain. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990.
Revisiting Al-Andalus: Perspectives on the Material Culture of Islamic Iberia and Beyond. Anderson, Glaire D, and Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds. Leiden;Boston: Brill, 2007.
Rosser-Owen, Mariam. Islamic Arts from Spain. Hardback ed. London: Distributed in North America by Harry N. Abrams, 2010.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1.Detailed knowledge and understanding of the Islamic arts and visual culture around 900 CE;
2. A critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles in the literature on the art of this culture and period;
3. The ability to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding in using a range of skills and techniques to analyse visual and textual materials;
4. The ability to present and convey, both in writing and orally, information about specialised topics to peers and to specialists in a professional manner.
KeywordsIslam,Medieval,Spain,Tunisia,Ummayad,Aghlabid,Islamic arts
Course organiserDr Glaire Anderson
Course secretaryMiss Emma Binks
Tel: (0131 6)51 5735
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