Masterpieces of Islamic Art and Architecture

Dec 2001

I thought this was a fantastic class. Heather is a brilliant teacher, she expresses her thoughts clearly, she likes to teach and she makes a challenging subject approachable. The field trips were super - you'll get a chance to rub elbows with museum heavy weights and curators. Heather's sense of humor and approachability made this class all the more enjoyable.

Aug 2001

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.