• Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Zahra Taheri
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course broadly examines the Persian arts, including architecture (Persian styles of architecture), calligraphy, miniature (small painting on paper), carpet and rug (patterns, motifs and designs), music (traditional and folkloric), Persian cinema, and the contemporary arts of Iran. In addition, the social processes which have contributed to the fame and popularity of these arts, and their impact on the formation of Iranian culture and civilization are examined. The course investigates these issues within a conceptual and thematic framework from ancient to modern Iran. Students are briefly introduced to Persian history, in order to enable them to contextualise the diverse arts examined in this course within their appropriate historical setting. The course seeks to analyse a range of topics, including the legacy of Pre-Islamic Iran (Persia), Islam in Iran, its implications on Iranian art, and the expansion of local crafts in middle, and contemporary Iran. Emphasis will be placed on representations of religious and literary traditions, on technological advances, together with trade and conquest, in the evolution of Persian art.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate orally and in writing a broad understanding of Persian art history.
  2. Outline the evolution of key facets of Persian art, including the Persian miniature, the Persian carpet, the Persian cinema and calligraphy.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between Persian nationality and Persian art.
  4. Demonstrate an awareness of how Islamic elements appear in Persian art, and their importance in it. 

Indicative Assessment

Major essay of some 2500-3000 words (50%) [Addresses Learning Outcome 1 and at least one of Learning Outcomes 2, 3 or 4 as well]

Tutorial participation (10%) [Addresses all Learning Outcomes]

Final 2 hour examination (40%) [Addresses all Learning Outcomes] 

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One two-hour lecture and one one-hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks, plus weekly reading and preparation time for assessments, making a total of about 120 hours of work in total over the semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of 1000 level courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

(only a selection of the following texts should be read):

Arberry, A. J. (ed.), The Legacy of Persia, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953.
Ettinghausen, R. (ed.), Highlights of Persian Arts, Colorado: Westview Press, 1979.
Ferrier, R. W. (ed.), The Arts of Persia, London: Yale University Press, 1989.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2678 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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