Graduate Courses

*Current semester courses are highlighted*

M.A. Program Must Courses

AH 501 Studying Architectural History: Approaches, Methods, Ethics (3-0)3

The objective is to provide an overview and understanding of the nature and its limitations of research in architectural history, to familiarize students with research approaches, methods and ethics, and to teach them how to select appropriate techniques for a given set of data. 

AH 504 Prothesis Seminar in Architectural History (0-2)NC

Independent work on a selected research topic. Final paper is written and presented in departmental seminars at the end of the semester. 

AH 599 M.A. Thesis in History of Architecture NC

The thesis in History of Architecture aims to lead the student toward professional research with original results. The student is expected to demonstrate skills of critical appraisal and research techniques. Topics may be chosen from a wide chronological spectrum and may involve historical or theoretical issues pertaining to architecture in Turkey and the world at large.

AH 8XX Special Studies (4-2)NC

Students choose and study a topic under the guidance of a faculty member, normally his/her advisor. 


PhD Program Must Courses

AH 601 Critical Review in Architectural History: Approaches, Methods, Ethics (3-0)3

This seminar is designed for PhD students specializing in architectural history. It aims at providing them with the knowledge of the general patterns in architectural historiography. In addition to more conventional approaches, recent theoretical debates and current issues in architectural historiography are surveyed in order to equip students with the requisite knowledge and research tools in an advanced level that help them develop their own research and interpretation strategies. 

AH 602 Surveying Architectural History (3-0)3

Re-designed as a credited compulsory course, this seminar is complimentary to “AH 601: Critical Review in Architectural History” and preparatory for the Ph. D. qualification exam. Accordingly, it is directed towards reviewing architectural history and historiography by focusing on the topic of “survey” as a critical enterprise. It aims to equip students with the tools of studying the topic comprehensively to develop their own research techniques and interpretations. 

AH 604 Seminar in Architectural History (0-2)NC

In this graduate seminar, students will work intensively on paper proposals to be presented to the public at the end of the semester, and also to be submitted to an academic journal related with the discipline. The class discussion will focus on how to gain familiarity with current writing approaches to the discipline; how to conduct archival research; how to approach the fieldwork; what are the essential elements of a journal paper; how to clarify and abbreviate one's argument; how to produce and visual materials, etc. 

AH 699 Ph. D. Dissertation in History of Architecture NC

The dissertation in History of Architecture aims to lead the student toward professional research with original results. The student is expected to demonstrate skills of critical appraisal and research techniques. Topics may be chosen from a wide chronological spectrum and may involve historical or theoretical issues pertaining to architecture in Turkey and the world at large. 

AH 9XX Special Studies (4-2) NC

Students choose and study a topic under the guidance of a faculty member, normally his/her advisor.


Graduate Elective Courses

AH 513 Aesthetics and Criticism I (3-0)3

Aesthetics and Criticism is a course which takes classical and contemporary aesthetic discourse as its base, changing subject matter each semester according to actual interests and foci in aesthetics. Generally the autumn semester is devoted to readings and discussions of classical texts on the philosophy of art and beauty, and the spring semester usually deals more with contemporary issues in aesthetics. Over the years, themes such as art, representation, architecture and the city have been chosen as subjects of study through texts dealing with aesthetic analysis. Students are often asked to present papers, art works and their interpretations in various media.

AH 516 Architectural History Digital Humanities Lab (3-0) 3

The objective is to introduce students the current topics and critical issues that underlie digital humanities scholarship - in particular, as they relate to Architectural History. The course will be organized around three modules, each extending over a period of roughly three weeks. The first set will explore the tools and techniques related to geospatial studies, namely mapping and spatial visualizations; the second will concern techniques for network visualizations and textual analysis; and the third will address the creation of digital exhibitions and archives. For each module, students will read published works focusing on new digital approaches, explore relevant projects and tools, and participate in class discussions. Students will develop first phases of a working model that can be a digital reconstruction, a thick map, a website, or a network.

AH 521 Themes on Ancient Domestic Architecture (3-0) 3

This seminar course covers the domestic architecture in the ancient Greek, Roman and the Byzantine periods in an interdisciplinary and critical framework through thematic readings that focus on home, privacy, gender, leisure, luxury, spatial iconography and time.

 AH 526 History and Theory of Architectural Styles (3-0)3

Through comparative and analytical study of styles and form/content relations, approaches within greater cultural frames are investigated. The course aims to familiarize advanced students of architecture with properties and dynamics of styles and to help them develop a methodology of formal analysis.

AH 533 Ottoman Architecture in the Nineteenth Century (3-0)3

A survey on 19th Century Western and Ottoman Architecture within a cross-cultural framework. Western architectural discourses, the state of urbanism, architecture and of engineering, i.e. historicism vs. progress, the notions of “Orientalism” on the one hand and “Westernization” on the other, and the great organizational, typological, stylistic and technological transformations in Ottoman architecture of the last century, form the main topic of the course.

AH 535 Approaches in Greek Architecture (3-0)3

Key concepts and developments in Greek architecture are treated with a critical and analytical outlook. Rather than concentrating on accumulating a comprehensive knowledge of Greek architecture, the seminar pursues an evaluative and critical approach to examine past and present scholarship on selected issues and encourages discussions on different stands on the same problem. Since the course concentrates on honing reading skills, students are required to participate in all class discussions and assigned readings.

AH 536 Approaches in Roman Architecture (3-0)3

Key concepts and developments in Roman architecture are treated with a critical and analytical outlook. Rather than concentrating on the accumulation of a comprehensive knowledge of Roman architecture, the seminar pursues an evaluative approach to examine past and present scholarship on selected issues and encourages discussions of different stands on the same problem. Since the course concentrates on honing reading skills, studens are expected to participate in all class discussions of assigned readings.

AH 539 Cosmological Thought and Architecture in the Middle East (3-0)3

Buildings were designed after concepts stirred up by our natural and cultural environment. As Erwin Panofsky puts it, "... meaning can only be apprehended by re-producing, and thereby 'realizing’ the conceptions that manifest themselves (in forms)”. This course unearths conceptions that inspired medieval buildings in the Middle East. In the beginning of the course, ’symbol’ as signifier is discussed in navigating Semotics in order to provide a methodological bridge to comprehend relationship between concept and architectural symbol. Following this, lectures concentrate on the way cosmological concepts were related to the architectural forms. The course equips students with knowledge on human-environment relationship and its architectural end-products. Readings through cosmology, philosophy, symbolism and mysticism render students familiar with the conceptual sources that nourished architectural design. Hence, the course introduces its addressees to the field of symbolism and meaning in architecture. For this reason, symbols in the format of decorative motifs are dealt with along with a detailed survey of concepts and forms. The course includes a series of lectures by the instructor and student presentations. It is designed for architectural history graduate students. Graduate students from other departments might be accepted on condition that they either study similar topics in their graduate program or completed any art/architectural history survey course.

AH 540 Art/Architecture/Cinema: Modern and Contemporary Intersections (3-0)3

Focusing on the time period since the late nineteenth century, this course aims to familiarize students with the dialogues, interchanges, as well as dissents between the disciplines of art, architecture, and cinema. With an interdisciplinary emphasis, we will explore various intersections between art, architecture, and cinema by studying several topics around which the conversations among the theories and practices of these disciplines especially intensified. We will consider how these key terms, themes, concepts, and preoccupations that gave way to spirited dialogues among disciplines – including modernities and modernisms, attractions, slapstick, design pedagogy, window, montage, apparatus theory, site-specificity, archiveology and the city, modernity’s ruins, institutional critique, and tensions between the white cube and the black box – have been inflected by historical, social, and cultural distinctions as well as expansions. At the same time, we will grapple with some of the motivations, resistances, and questions that scholars encounter as they attempt to shift and broaden modern disciplinary boundaries.

AH 541 Ottoman Architecture in the Eighteenth Century (3-0)3

This course focuses on how the Ottomans received and incorporated concepts, forms and motifs borrowed from Western Europe in the eighteenth century. The course also contains an in depth survey of political, social, economic and cultural aspects of the century, which provides a kaleidoscopic vision of the Ottoman way of life in this initial era of Westernisation. The Occidentalising tendencies, a distinguishing characteristic of the century in the Ottoman world, are studied in reference to European Orientalism.

AH 543 Anatolian Seljuk Architecture (11-14th Centuries) (3-0) 3

This course investigates Seljuk architecture in Anatolia (11-14th c.) in terms of its stylistic and semantic aspects. The course will be constructive in promoting graduate research on history of architecture in Anatolia and in creating an overall view on architectural culture in medieval Anatolia. Students will be acquainted with building types, regional architectural features, donors, symbolic meanings, towns and landscape in Seljuk period.

AH 544 Architectural History Research Studio: the Modern Capital City, Ankara (3-2)3

The course aims at providing and developing the necessary research skills to undertake studies in architectural history. The main concerns are theoretical and methodological issues of reading and research in documenting and writing the history of modern architecture. The main theme of the present semester is Ankara in the period of 1950-1980. Archival study on primary sources and bibliographical study on secondary sources will be undertaken to read and discuss theoretical frameworks of architectural modernism, and to search for and analyze documents in various archives and libraries, in order to accumulate architectural knowledge of Ankara and write a critical and interpretive account of the architectural history of the city. The course will be conducted as weekly discussion and presentation sessions. At the beginning of the semester, each student is expected to define a research topic - based on the main theme of the term - and to undertake bibliographical study on the selected topic to prepare a general and annotated list of readings, and archival study to search for primary sources about the topic. Each week, students will prepare the summaries of the assigned readings about the main theme, and discuss them in the class, while also presenting their research results on the architectural practice in the modern city of Ankara as the general study area. Students are required to prepare final papers on their research topics and present them at the end of the semester.

AH 546 Theories of History I: Althusser, Jameson and the Annales School (3-0)3

This course explores the implications of the writings of Louis Althusser for history writing. As Peter Schöttler has stated there are conspicuous parallels between the way Althusser conceptualizes the task of history and the way Annales School historians are engaged in their ‘craft’-both sides are committed to the concept of history of problems (histoire-problème) and think of history ‘in the form of a structural process of evolution of complex societies.’ After elucidating the basic terms of this potential dialogue we combine these with an analysis of spatial phenomena as it is undertaken in the writings of Fredric Jameson and Henri Lefebvre.

AH 547 Theories of History II: Visuality, Spatiality and Materiality (3-0)3

The last couple of decades witnessed a proliferation of methodologies for the analysis of visual and spatial phenomena. The common point of these new strategies-coming from fields as diverse as psychoanalysis, philosophy, literary criticism and feminism among others–is concentration on singular cases and denigration of any systematic approach aiming to develop general explicative frameworks. In this seminar we will try to develop ways of analyzing visual and spatial practices through close-readings of different texts, both canonical works of art and architectural history and recent products of interdisciplinary approaches.

AH 548 Aesthetics and the Psyche (3-0)3

Creativity, memory, and the aesthetic have long been discussed by different disciplines from sundry perspectives. In this seminar we will engage in the difficult task of probing these elusive terms that intermittently pervade architectural discourse. We will try to come to grips with them by locating aesthetic and architectural production at the interstices between the social and the psychic-the two realms between which, in Kaja Silverman’s words, “[there is a complex] interaction involving a series of ‘relays’.” What does ‘to create’ amount to? What are the ways in which ‘the aesthetic’ works? How are memory and the aesthetic intermingled? These are some of the questions we will tackle vis-à-vis different architectural and visual products.

AH 571 Directed Studies in Architectural History / Staff

This is an independent study course designed to provide the students with an opportunity to conduct in-depth study on a subject of his or her choice. Working closely with a faculty member who has the experience and knowledge relevant to the selected topic, students will work on issues of formulating research questions, preparing literature surveys, collecting, and analyzing data, and finally, reporting the results within the framework of scholarly work (paper, presentation, exhibition, etc.).

AH 585 Ottoman Turkish for Architectural History (3-0)3

Literacy in Ottoman Turkish; 19th and 20th century printed texts; acquaintance with late Ottoman and early Republican era printed primary sources and texts on architectural history.

AH 654 Framing the Past, Ruins and Architectural History (3-0)3

Treats different forms of verbal, visual and spatial evidence concerning ruins especially in Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Near East. Critically assesses the role of changing perceptions in bridging the past and the present through selected monuments and archaeological sites.

AH 655 Spaces and Practices of Displaying the Past (3-0)3

The course focuses on the emergence and establishment of travel, collecting and display as spatial practices from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. These practices were pivotal for the formation of spaces that frame and exhibit the past, effeective in the emergence of the modern museum. Studying the contextual and conceptual dimensions of the topic throughout the semester, students will prepare term projects on suggested cases that will discuss the multiple problematics of displaying the past, from museums to larger sites of travel and display to spaces of geographically and historically comperative and interconnected practices.



Middle East Technical University, Department of Architecture, Graduate Program in Architectural History, Universiteler Mahallesi, Dumlupinar Bulvari, No:1, 06800 Cankaya, Ankara | TURKEY
Phone:+90 312 210 22 03 E -Mail: Chairperson: Assist. Prof. Dr. Pelin Yoncacı Arslan