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

Postgraduate Course: Radical Change: The Modern Image and Political and Social Reform in Tehran, Istanbul and Bombay (1800-1950) (HIAR11110)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers a critical examination of the history of modern Islamic art and visual culture. It is structured as a series of two-hour seminars. The seminars will focus each week on different themes related to the history of painting, print, and photography in relation to social and political reforms.
Course description This course explores the function and power of the image within practices of cultural, religious, social and political expression in the modern Islamic world. From painting to print and photography, various aspects of art and visual culture in Iran, India and the Ottoman Empire are addressed and contextualized, including caricatures, lithographed journals, picture postcards, photographs, photographic collages, drawings, paintings, and early examples of film. Together, these objects constitute a visual history of modernity and social and political reform in the Islamic world. The course will provide a critical introduction to the history of modern Islamic art and visual culture, while also discussing questions surrounding the use of the image in revolution and war, the mechanical reproduction of the image and the beginnings of celebrity culture, neo-traditional aesthetics, word-and-image interactions, and the practice of iconoclasm.

The weekly topics will vary from year to year, but are likely to include the depiction of slavery in the Middle East and South Asia, women's rights and the development of the political caricature in the Islamic world, political protest and the impact of photography as well as the fashioning of identity in front of the camera, the beginnings of film and cinema, and the display of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian art in museums today.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Visually analyse and interpret in detail modern Middle Eastern and South Asian art and visual culture.
  2. Analyse the way in which the introduction of modern technologies changed the production of art.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of modern Islamic art history and visual culture.
  4. Critically examine the ways in which non-western modern art has been discussed and displayed.
  5. Apply developed skills of analysis, communication, and organisation.
Reading List
Dadi, Iftikhar. Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia. Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Gruber, Christiane J., and Sune Haugbolle, ed. Visual Culture in the Modern Middle East : Rhetoric of the Image. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.

Rekabtalaei, Golbarg. Iranian Cosmopolitanism: A Cinematic History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Roberts, Mary. Istanbul Exchanges : Ottomans, Orientalists, and Nineteenth-century Visual Culture. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015.

Roxburgh, David J., Mary McWilliams, ed. Technologies of the Image : Art in 19th-century Iran. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis; Clear thinking and the development of an argument; Independent research; Presentation and communication skills; Organisation and planning.
KeywordsModern Art,Middle East,South Asia,Photography,Print,Painting,Political Reform,Revolution,Islamic
Course organiserDr Mira Xenia Schwerda
Course secretaryMrs Anna Johns
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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