What is the course about?
In this study day, we will examine the establishment and the development of Islamic art in Central Asia. We will also consider the important role played by the Silk Road not only in the commercial activities but also in the movement of ideas.
What will we cover?
In the first part of the study day, we will cover the pre-Islamic times with the great Sasanian Empire (224-651) and the Turk-Asiatic legacy. We will continue with an in-depth analysis of the artistic world of the Abbasids (750-1258) and the Great Seljuks of Iran (1040-1157). In the second part of the study day, we will explore the art and architecture of the Mongol dynasties. We will start from the influential role played by Genghis Khan (1162-1227) and his immediate successors to the advent of Ilkhanids (1256-1353) and Timurids (1370-1507), whose conversion to Islam provided a new impulse to the artistic scene of Iran and Central Asia.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- discuss the arts and artefacts produced in Central Asia;
- locate artwork and artefacts in their historical, political, religious, cultural context;
- establish skills of critical and visual analysis.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This an introductory class. No previous knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching is intended to be interactive. PowerPoint presentations with a wide range of slides will accompany the prepared talks. Questioning is welcomed throughout. Handouts with a selected bibliography and other helpful information for further self-study will be provided.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other cost for the study day. Please, bring with you a notebook, a pencil and your eagerness to learn a lot about Central Asia and its articulated history.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other Classical Civilisation or history classes.