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LA 593: Islamic and South Asian Landscapes: The Alhambra

Topics in Islamic and South Asian cultural landscape history, including historiography, methodology and recent scholarship. An advanced course that requires disciplinary familiarity with research on the built environment, material culture and visual culture.

The focal topic for Spring 2022 is the Alhambra. The Alhambra palace, built in Islamic Granada in the 13th-14th centuries, was a major historic monument, the conquest of which allowed Spain to coalesce as a nation in 1492. It appears well preserved, but prints and photos from 1665 to the present show dramatic changes, raising questions about stewardship, the celebration or repression of cultural and religious difference, and whether the Alhambra remains an authentic work of Islamic architecture or has been remade to satisfy European visions of Spain’s Islamic past.

May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours per semester; may be repeated to a maximum of 12 total hours.