This Course at MIT

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 4.619 Historiography of Islamic Architecture as it was taught by Professor Nasser Rabbat in Fall 2014.

This seminar presented a critical review of literature on Islamic architecture in the last two centuries and analyzed its historical and theoretical frameworks. It challenged the tacit assumptions and biases of standard studies of Islamic architecture and addressed historiographic and critical questions concerning how knowledge of a field is defined, produced, and reproduced.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

This course included weekly reading and writing assignments and required active participation in discussions. The course aimed at providing the student with a general overview of the literature on Islamic architecture and helped him/her in learning how to read texts critically. Another goal for this course was to help students deduce arguments from thick and dense descriptions.

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

Many students will continue to take more historiographic courses after completing this one. Most students who took this course were SMArchS or PhD students focusing on the history, theory, and criticism of architecture. These students were usually preparing for a career in academe.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

Students were required to obtain permission of the instructor.

Requirements Satisfied

H-Level Graduate Credit

Offered

Every other fall semester

The Classroom

  • Classroom with windows, a chalkboard and chairs placed around a rectangular seminar table.

    Lecture

    The classroom had a capacity of 18 with an LCD screen and moveable chairs placed around a seminar table.

 

Student Information

10 students took this course when it was offered in Fall 2014.

Breakdown by Year

All of the students in this course were graduate students.

Breakdown by Major

1/2 were SMArchS students in the Aga Khan Program, 1/3 were PhD students in the HTC Program, and one student was in the ACT Program. All of these programs are at the department of architecture.

Typical Student Background

Most students that took the class had a professional architectural degree already. Two students were art historians by training, one had an urban planning masters degree and one was an artist.

 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

3 hours per week

Met 1 time per week for 3 hours per session; 13 sessions total.

 

Out of Class

9 hours per week

Students spent time outside of class working on short presentations and the final research paper.

 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
3 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
4 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
7 No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session scheduled; student presentations held. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
8 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
9 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
12 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
13 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
14 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; student presentations held. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; student presentations held. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when lecture sessions are held. Lecture session
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