August 06, 2001

Ecker, Heather
[V3343] Masterpieces of Islamic Art and Architecture

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This course is absolutely awful - boring, high workload, and uninformative. Heather Ecker takes what could have been a fun subject and makes it confusing drudgery. She assumes that the class has an in-depth understanding of Islamic history throughout her long, irritating lectures (read directly from notes) that skim over the most important features of any peice of art that we studied. She hurries through names and features, showing a lack of interest in the class mastering the material. Most people emerged from this class without an understanding of even the basic principles of the art forms we studied. Be prepared to cover material only up to about 1300 AD and expect much of that to be architecture. To top it off, the workload is insane: four "short" papers (3-6 pages each), a research paper (12 or more pages), and a final. She promises, however to lighten the work slightly for subsequent semesters. To her credit, she is truly an expert in this area. If you want to take advantage of her knowledge, it might be productive to take take this course, but it is definitely not an easy way to complete the art history major or to satisfy major cultures.

Workload:

Very heavy. It includes reading (there is no need to bother doing it - you will rarely dicuss it in class and never be tested on it), four "short" papers, a research paper, and a final.