Art History 185: Architecture of Iran

Published: September 15, 2016

Fall 2016 – Mondays, 3:30-5:20 PM, Dodd 275 – Instructor: Dr. Keelan Overton

This seminar examines icons of Iranian architecture from the early Islamic to early modern periods. Each week will be devoted to analyzing a single site (mosque, tomb, shrine, madrasa, palace, square) through multiple lenses, including the topographical, architectural, socio-historical, political, and religious. Emphasis will be placed on the question of how, when, and why a site entered the canon of Persian art history, and why related examples have been omitted. Students will learn practical skills in reading floor plans, interpreting monuments in three-dimensions, accessing online archival databases, studying rare books in library collections, and museology. Students are expected to complete considerable weekly reading and come to class prepared for analytical discussion.

Requirements include a research paper, class presentation, weekly reading responses, a visit to YRL Special Collections, and/or a Final Exam.

*PTE required (please email the professor directly). Restricted to juniors and seniors. Preference will be given to art history majors and those who have already taken AH 119A-B (Islamic art surveys),  but students in Iranian Studies, NELC, Islamic Studies, and History are encouraged to inquire.

Email Dr. Keelan Overton at