Overview of Course
Architecture, the most readily visible and accessible art form, is defined as the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings. This survey course will explore the history of architecture found in Europe, the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and South and East Asia—all areas traversed during our sea voyage. Our examination will focus on the meanings of architectural forms and details. Building materials and techniques, sculptural decorations, the types and uses of structures, their patronage, and the political and social foundations underlying their inception will also be investigated. Students will become familiar with major monuments produced in these regions of the world but also, importantly, will apply acquired knowledge of well-known monuments to understanding the purposes and meanings of less familiar structures encountered in various locations during the progress of our travels, observing how major styles of architecture are translated in countries at a distance from the site of origin of each style. Students’ ability to see and describe similarities and dissimilarities among the prominent architectural features—forms, materials, and uses—within varied regions of the globe will be essential. Various modes of active learning—including student run discussions, visual analysis exercises, oral and visual presentations, and practicing other skills of the discipline of art history –will be supplemented by lectures.