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HA7038 Arts Of The Book

From early Qur’an manuscripts to the medieval Persian Book of Kings, Mughal portraiture to Ottoman world maps, this module will examine the arts of the book and works on paper through the renowned Islamic collection at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Working in closely with the collection, students will examine manuscripts from the archives, discover the hidden treasures of the Library and explore the world of bookmaking, calligraphy and manuscript production from the Islamic world at first hand. Seminars will address issues including cultural identity, patronage, object biographies and collecting histories through topics including calligraphy and book making, parchment to paper technologies, Spanish Qur’ans, Mughal portraiture, illustrated astrological and botanical manuscripts, and the epic Persian Book of Kings or Shahnameh manuscripts.
  • Module Organiser:
    • Anna McSweeney
  • Contact Hours:
    • 2 hours per week
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • The module is assessed by a combination of oral presentations, practical exercises and written assignments


Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Describe the processes, technologies and materials in the production of medieval Islamic manuscripts using appropriate terminology
  • Identify and evaluate a range of historically significant illustrated Islamic manuscripts in Irish collections
  • Explain the meanings and functions of selected of selected texts and images from these manuscripts
  • Identify and analyse the wider social and cultural contexts for manuscript production in the medieval Islamic world
  • Defend an argument in response to a specific question in written and oral presentations using correct terminology and specific examples of relevant manuscripts
  • Critically assess the key primary and secondary literature on medieval Islamic arts of the book