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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Postgraduate Course: Islam Through the Arts - PG Version (IMES11091)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis one semester long course will examine some of the main artistic expressions within the Muslim world with a particular focus on the Middle East. Islam is often associated with and studied through text with an emphasis on the legalistic framework and political conflicts . In this course, the focus will be on the arts of the Middle East within the social and historical backgrounds from which they emerge and developed.
Course description This course will provide an overview of some of the artistic expressions of Muslims. We will study examples of literature, calligraphy, architecture, painting, drama and film covering both the classical period as well as contemporary Muslim societies. These case studies will provide us with an understanding of Islam as practiced and expressed by Muslims in various time periods as well as some of the fundamental concepts of their faith. The course does not require a prior knowledge of Islam and is appropriate for both those who are studying Islamic Studies and those wishing to acquire an understanding of Islam. There will be some requirement for students to get involved in the production of artistic pieces themselves, though this does not require them to have any prior skills in the fields they will experiment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  10
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 24, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Class Presentation: Submit 500 - 600 words on LEARN with any accompanying slides (5%)
Group Presentation in Week 4 (5%)
4000-word Essay (90%)

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify the main artistic expressions within the Middle East
  2. Evaluate and Critique the main relevant literature on art and Islam
  3. Develop an understanding of the diversity of Muslim expressions of Islam and their arts
  4. Engage critically with the arts and and conduct independant research related to the topics and themes of this module
  5. Demonstrate advanced awareness of the influence of Islam on the arts and apply knowledge gained on the course elsewhere. Carry out independant research to topics related to Islam and the arts to lead seminar discussions
Reading List
Selected Bibliography:
On average three readings will be assigned each week as required reading. There is a longer reading list for each week from which students are expected to draw for their written work, as well as being encouraged to explore more widely.

Renard, J, (1996) Seven Doors to Islam: spirituality and the religious life of Muslims University of California Press.

Cragg, K, (1988) Readings in the Qur¿an: Selected and Translated with an Introductory Essay, Collins.

Sells, M, (1999) Approaching the Qur¿an : the Early Revelations, White Cloud Press.

Nasr, S. H, (1987) Islamic Art and Spirituality, Golgonooza Press.

Bowen, D. L and A Evelyn, (1993) Everyday life in the Muslim Middle East, Indiana University Press.

Bowen, J R, (1993) Muslims Through Discourse: Religion and Ritual in Gayo Society, Princeton University Press.

Schimmel. A (1982) As through a Veil: Mystical Poetry in Islam, Columbia University Press.

Seguy, M. R. (1977) The miraculous journey of Mahomet: Mirâj nâmeh, Bibliothèque nationale, Paris (Manuscrit supplément Turc 190), G. Braziller.

Chelkowski, P.J (1976) Ta¿ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, New York University Press.

Schubel. V J (1993) Religious Performance in Contemporary Islam: Shi¿i Devotional Rituals in South Asia, University of South Carolina Press.

Sperl, S. and C. Shackel (1996) Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa, Brill.

Schimmel. A. (1990) Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, Tauris.

Schimmel. A. (1994) Deciphering the signs of God: A phenomenological Approach to Islam, Edinburgh University Press.

Schimmel. A. (1970) Islamic Calligraphy, Brill.

Blair, Sheila (2006) Islamic Calligraphy, Edinburgh University Press.

Ernst, C. (1997) The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Shambhala Publications.

Safadi Y H. (1978) Islamic Calligraphy, Thames and Hudson.

Ahmad, R (1991) We sinful women: Contemporary Urdu Feminist Poetry, Women's Press.

Mitchell, T (2001) Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA, Wesleyan University Press.

Gray, E (1995) The Green Sea Of Heaven, White Cloud Press.

De Bruijn, J.T. P. (1997) Persian Sufi Poetry: An Introduction To The Mystical Use Of Classical Persian Poems, Curzon.

Schimmel, A. (1987) Islam An Introduction, State University of New York Press.

In addition to the resources available in the library, students will find relevant material in a wide range of journals (available electronically) including, but not limited to: International Journal of Middle East Studies. Middle East Studies, The British Journal of Middle East Studies (BRISMES), , Iranian Studies, Israel Studies Journal, Journal of Palestine Studies, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Policy, Middle East Report (MERIP), Middle East Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, The Middle East Journal, Turkish Studies, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG - IMES10074
Course organiserProf Nacim Pak-Shiraz
Tel: (0131 6)50 8432
Course secretaryMr Iain Harrison
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