Michael Tinkler, assistant professor of art, was quoted in the story “NITLE Launches Web Site on Arab Culture, Collaborative Curricular Initiative on the Islamic World” in the NITLE News, Vol. 1 No. 2, Summer 2002. NITLE and its sponsor, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, have brought together a group of scholars with interests in Arab culture and civilization to develop a complex Web site that will offer a large variety of high quality, multimedia resources to academics, students, and the public. The Arab Culture and Civilization site is a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort that draws on worldwide scholarship for its core of materials.
Tinkler plans to use some of the teaching modules developed during the project in his course on art and architecture. As a specialist in the Western Middle Ages, he says, “it is not at all uncommon for art historians at liberal arts colleges who teach medieval [studies] to teach a course on Islamic art and architecture (as I do) as our 'outside' field. This is a lot less artificial than some folks' choice of an outside field, because the medieval west and [parts of] the Islamic world are both heirs to the arts and architecture (as well as the philosophy, etc.) of Greco-Roman Mediterranean civilization.” He is developing two modules for others to use in an introduction to Islam course, one on the architecture of the mosque, and another on images of drunkenness and spirituality.