Syllabi for History of Architecture Series

ARC 231, ARC 232, and ARC 331


Dr. Jhennifer A. Amundson, Professor of Architecture

Contact: (usually answering within 24 hours, Mon.-Fri.); 408 Harm A. Weber Academic Center

Office Hours for Spring, 2019: Tuesday afternoons & Wednesday mornings (appointments highly recommended)

Graduate Assistant for 2018-19: Rachel Peterson


Architecture history courses are intended to fulfill main objectives from three constituents that overlap in their intent:

For the discipline of architectural history, it comprehensively studies history revealed through the built world.

Architectural historians study people through the evidence of architecture; these lessons are steered to serve students who intend to practice architecture in the twenty-first century.  In addition to covering specific cultures and monuments, this course serves as an introduction to the methodology of architectural history.  Your ability to understand basics of historiography is a goal of the course, as is the development of your own skills of looking at and thinking about architecture and its related arts.

For the department of architecture, it is designed to compliment the professional program.

As Judson’s curriculum in architecture aspires to convey ways in which architecture can influence and reflect society (see Department Mission Statement), we dwell upon those historical examples that can prove this idea both positively and negatively.  Architectural history courses offer regular opportunities to consider the cultural and physical context of buildings.  While concern for community, justice, ethical behavior and sustainable practices are not unique to Judson’s program, our reasons for promoting them –biblical mandates and the example of Christ—are.

Also pursuant to the interests of an accredited program, these courses fulfill NAAB Student Performance Criteria:

ARC 231: A.7/History and Global Cultures (understanding); A.8/Cultural Diversity & Social Equity (understanding)

ARC 232: A.6/Use of Precedents (ability); A.7/History and Global Cultures (understanding)

ARC 331: A.1. Communication Skills: Ability

For the university, it is conceived in Judson’s liberal arts tradition, intended to acquaint you with cultural values of the world as evidenced in created objects, and this objective flows from Judson’s Mission Statement:

Judson . . . represents the Church at work in higher education, equipping students to be fully developed, responsible persons who glorify God by the quality of their personal relationships, their work, and their citizenship within the community, the nation, and the world.

Like other subjects in this institution which serve the professions and the liberal arts, architectural history allows regular integration of faith and learning, and opportunities to cultivate your awareness of the importance of faith to value judgments made in all arenas of life.  It is intended to integrate with other courses you take this and other semesters: history, sociology, biblical studies, structures, drawing and design, among others.  Lastly, because architecture has been long considered a mode of communication, and because communication is essential to the success of any significant endeavor (certainly architecture—just look at Babel), this course and its professor place a great emphasis on writing and speaking skills.  Everything you learn in English classes should be brought to bear on your work for architectural history.  In other words, writing skills count.

Course Descriptions

ARC 231: The establishment of building traditions throughout the globe, emphasizing the means by which attitudes about environment, ecology, religion, government and leisure contribute to decisions about place, context, materials and methods of structural and ornamental design. Focus on the canon and customs from the ancient Mediterranean to medieval Europe, with additional studies on the Fertile Crescent, India, Japan and China, and Muslim empires.

Because religious movements prompted the construction of most permanent architecture in the period under consideration, the arc of the class follows the contours of religious history from ancient pagan cults to roots of faiths that survive through the present through their respective architectural heritage.  Thus, much of the focus of the course falls beyond the monuments themselves to a study of the cultural and faith-based values that informed their making.  This orientation will encourage a study of architectural principles and theory as a means by which to encourage students to study their own architectural values.

ARC 232: Developments within, and in response to, building traditions that emphasize changes in intellectual culture, religious belief and practice, technology and social structures beginning in the fifteenth century.  Focus on the transformation of architectural literacy and professionalism among practitioners in Europe, its colonies, and the United States.

Learners will study main monuments of architecture built by cultures that thrived after the fourteenth century, focusing on the Western tradition in what has become the industrialized world (but not exclusively so).  They will learn about the aesthetic and technological design of buildings within contexts of cultural values, patronage, professional practice and theory.  In addition to examining specific cultures and monuments, learners will grow in their understanding of architectural history’s methodology and the usefulness of history to practicing architects, encouraging a study of consideration of personal architectural values to inform their own architectural work.

ARC 331: Topics in the history of architecture spanning two periods of significant technological change, investigating the variety of responses by architects to the potentials of industrialization and digitization, including aesthetics, construction, communication, and professionalization, in the midst of social, religious, economic and political change.

Learners will develop descriptive skills, including the:

  • recognition of canonical buildings and related data,
  • ability to make reasoned speculation concerning date and location of “unknown” buildings,
  • awareness of the main contours of development in European and American architectural practice and theory, and
  • fluency in the language of architecture, including terms specific to technique, style and structure.

Learners will also develop analytical skills, including the:

  • awareness of architecture’s historical development in the United States and Europe especially in terms of technological change and the centrality of people as agents of change,
  • understanding of the relationships of historical events to people and objects,
  • ability to think critically about and express architectural values, and
  • familiarity with the cultural values revealed in architecture.

Learning Objectives

ARC 231 & ARC 232:

At the end of each of these courses, you should be able to:

  • Identify key archetypes, buildings, architects, building materials, and theories either from Antiquity through the Middle Ages or from the Renaissance through the twentieth century
  • Define and correctly use professional terminology and be able to explain the importance of the new ideas revealed through the introduction of new terminology
  • Interpret the cultural factors that affect change in architectural design in different eras and places
  • Classify design principles that distinguish one era, region, or style from another
  • Understand the main ideas in select architectural theories and explain how those ideas are manifest in architectural design

ARC 331:

In addition to the objectives above, at the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe technological integration in architecture and throughout movements
  • Visually analyze buildings constructed after 1750 to accurately suggest probable dates, locations, and designers, and identify styles/movements
  • Recognize change in architectural style by comparing formal and technical characteristics
  • Critique the agency of people and technology within the process of design
  • Evaluate different theoretical and design approaches and defend personal alignment with one or more




Course Structure

ARC 231: This 3-hour (credit) class meets twice weekly, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:30-10:45

ARC 232: This 3-hour (credit) class meets once weekly on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:45; as a blended class, extended content is offered online

ARC 331: This 3-hour (credit) class meets once weekly on Thursdays from 9:30-10:45; as a blended class, extended content is offered online


ARC 231: Students should have completed or currently be enrolled in HIS 161 or its equivalent

ARC 232: Students should have completed or currently be enrolled in HIS 162 or its equivalent and must have completed ARC 231 with a grade of C- or higher

ARC 331: Students must have completed ARC 232 with a grade of C- or higher

Resource Materials

All courses:

This website

A significant portion of the course is delivered via this website, the specific course page, and links provided within it.  Bookmark it!


Dr. Amundson oftentimes sends important information electronically using the University’s email system.  You are responsible for checking your Judson email account daily.  Use email when waiting until the next class meeting is impossible, or when you wish to schedule an appointment to see me, in which case the subject line should read “Emergency” or “Meeting request.”  Ideally, conversations take place in person to address concerns most efficiently. 

Specific to ARC 231 & ARC 232:
Fazio, et. al.  Buildings Across Time; McGraw Hill (4th ed., 2014). 978-0073379296
Curl.  Dictionary of Architecture; Oxford University Press.  ISBN 0-19-860678-8


Cloud application with exercises. Register in the appropriate class group following the link sent in an email from Dr. Amundson at the start of the semester. Link to assignments from schedule page only. Once you are registered in the group, you will be able to access the assigned VoiceThreads. To receive full credit for these assignments you will need to complete your registration by (1) using a display name that is recognizable (both first and last names), and (2) adding a photo of yourself that is, really, yourself.

Specific to ARC 331:

Barry Bergdoll, European Architecture 1750-1890 (Oxford: 2000) 9780192842220

Alan Colquhoun, Modern Architecture (Oxford, 2002) 9780192842268

Mark Gelernter, A History of American Architecture (University Press of New England: 2001) 978-1584651369

Curricular Requirements

Attendance and participation (passive and active) is expected in every class.  You must sign in before the start of each class.  Much of the verbal and pictorial information presented in lecture is not repeated in your textbook.  Be there, take notes, participate.

Readings are assigned from the textbook and other sources, many of them online.  It is essential for you to stay current with the readings and complete them thoroughly.  The lectures do not exist to repeat all that you should have read in the book; we meet to add to the knowledge base that you will gain from the weekly readings.  In addition to the textbook, which is a secondary source (written by historians who have a distance from their material), you will read primary literature (historic materials) distributed in-class or electronically. Treat online resources (e.g., SmartHistory and YouTube videos) like texts.

VoiceThread exercises will help you prepare for class.

Quizzes test recognition of landmarks and ability to associate certain information with them. Quizzes tend to be section-specific.

Tests assess the variety of information and ideas through a variety of question types, including essay, and cover only the material presented since the time of the last test. Tests tend to be cumulative.

Projects are completed individually or based on group work, conducted in class with external preparation, with individual reflections to follow. Students who are absent on project days will be given an alternate, written assignment.

Workflow for Hybrid Courses

ARC 232 and ARC 331 are offered as hybrid courses, meaning that they blend aspects of online and face-to-face (F2F) interaction.

The workweek for blended courses begins the day following a F2F meeting and concludes with the next in-class meeting). As with any 3-credit class, you should plan to spend 9 hours (on average) per week on this course: roughly 1.5 hours in F2F meetings and 7.5 hours completing online work and other independent study outside of class time. For each module (week of work) listed on the course calendar, expect the following general activities:

  • Take online comprehension quizzes before, during, and/or after the other independent (out-of-class) study. Print or take notes on your results for future reference.
  • Read the textbook(s) (preview chapter sections, make note of subject headings and illustrations that will begin to form a mental outline; return for careful reading and note-taking).
  • Engage online work: watch videos, VoiceThreads, visit websites (etc.) as directed in each module, in the order in which they are listed. Give them your full attention; avoid multi-tasking.
  • Post on the discussion forums according to prompts. Treat these with the care and formality that you would dedicate to a traditional paper turned in for a grade. When you leave comments on colleagues' work, give the kind of critique that you would like to receive: fair, in-depth, encouraging, and constructive. Return to the discussion to review comments made by colleagues & Dr. Amundson.
  • Note: Take care when posting words and images that are not your own. For text, provide credit lines according to the CMS (see format guide elsewhere in this syllabus). To make sure your use of images is legal, when you search, use filtering criteria (in Google Images, navigate through Tools > Usage Rights > Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification).
  • Consistently review and study to reinforce your learning.
  • Note: Having tech problems? For JU service issues, contact the IT Helpdesk; for specific applications, troubleshoot VoiceThread directly; for missing/broken links on this website, email Dr. Amundson).

Honors Sections

ARC 231 (2018)


The following guidelines will explain criteria used for assigning grades: 

A: Student performance demonstrates excellent familiarity with and understanding of architectural-historical facts, concepts and theoretical issues, and produces creative, stimulating, well-organized, thoughtful, and historically accurate work, assignments are completed with care, accuracy and creativity; students offer intelligent discussion on a regular basis.  “A” indicates excellence.

B: Student performance reveals above-average familiarity with, and understanding of, architectural history’s concepts, facts, and theoretical issues; assignments are historically accurate and well as well-written; graphic work is above-average; students take part in discussion.  “B” indicates good, above-average success in all aspects of an assignment.

C: Student performance exhibits a general understanding of basic concepts and facts; assignments are complete and historically accurate; graphic work is competent; students may occasionally take part in discussion.  “C” indicates average work and completion of minimum requirements.

D/F: Student performance exhibits little or no understanding of basic concepts and facts of architectural history; assignments are incomplete and/or historically inaccurate; graphic work is poor; students do not add to discussion.  “D” indicates poor work and a failure to complete minimum requirements.

Majors for whom this is a required course must receive a grade of “C-” or higher to proceed in the architectural history sequence.  A grade book spreadsheet will be posted regularly on the course website so that you can keep track of your performance with a great degree of precision.  Participation in this posting is optional; participants will each choose a pin to maintain their anonymity. 

Classroom Policies

Late Work

If your absence during an exam is unavoidable due to a situation beyond your control, you must contact Dr. Amundson as soon as possible.  If you know in advance that an event will call you away from campus, usually you can arrange to take the test prior to your departure, except for final exams.  If a school-related activity will take you away from campus when an exam is scheduled, the University requires you complete the assignment prior to departure.  The grades of late and incomplete projects will be reduced every day they fail to appear in complete form and cannot be resubmitted (an option sometimes available for some assignments). Quizzes cannot be repeated. An optional cumulative quiz at the end of the semester can substitute low or missing quiz grades.

Extra Credit

There is no extra credit. Concentrate on the regular credit.

Style Guide for Written Work

All written work (as well as visual work that requires documentation) will abide by the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and use the “Notes and Bibliography” format.


Neither audio nor photographic records may be made during class.

Personal Presentation

Shoes are required.  Hats are discouraged.

Electronic Devices

Phones, laptops, or other devices may be used from time to time for special activities but should not be used for habitual note-taking. (Laptops provide distractions to the user and people around her as well as the professor.  It is human nature to give in to distractions, and distraction inhibit your ability to participate in class and learn.  Furthermore, studies show that note taking by hand increases comprehension because the note taker must be selective and actually think while he is writing.  Research also suggests a strong correlation between comprehension of paper material vs. digital versions.)

Some exercises make use of on-line reading material; you may comprehend more by using a paper copy.

Cell phones should be silenced during class.  Students whose cell phones ring during class will receive a bonus opportunity to address the class in the following week with a five-minute speech on a topic of Dr. Amundson’s choosing.

Images and Use Thereof

Images used in these classes may be under copyright protection.  When you make a digital copy of them, it is like making a photocopy from a print source and subject to certain regulations.  You are welcome to use these images for your own academic purposes.  Those on the course website have been screened for proper usage rights, but you are responsible for your use of them; you are also responsible to ensure that images you find and use in your own work (e.g., papers and projects for class) are eligible for this use. To make sure your images are not prohibited, select the proper filters during your search (look for "usage rights" as an option in your search menu).  As soon as you place a copyrighted image in a context in which it could be viewed by anyone from outside of the course community you are breaking the law.  People who are part of a faith-based community and interested in living biblically will want to think very clearly, and be very careful, about image use as a matter of integrity.


Dr. Amundson:  For all concerns about the course or curriculum.

Graduate Assistant: The course G.A. is a good resource who may be more easily available than the professor at some times; GAs have the advantage of being a veterans of this history sequence.

Student Success Center: students who need extra assistance with their writing or study skills are encouraged to visit the Student Success Center early and often in the semester.

Students with disabilities: Judson University is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential. If you have a disability which may impact your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and are requesting accommodations, you must contact Gineen Vargas, ADAA Compliance Coordinator in the Student Success Center, located on the second floor of the Lindner Tower at 847-628-1556.  The ADAA Compliance Coordinator is responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities.  Accommodations will not be granted prior to receipt of a current licensed clinician report outlining the disability, possible limitations and reasonable accommodations in order to meet the needs of the post-secondary coursework. Accommodations are never provided retroactively – prior to finalization of the Letter of Accommodation. Ms. Vargas will be happy to meet with you to discuss your accommodations. All discussions will remain confidential. Further information is available by visiting the Student Success Center website.

Writing issues: The University organizes assistance for writing in the library. You can also find a wealth of information online, starting with Harvard's Writing Center, which provides good advice on how to write a thesis, for example.

University Policies

Academic Integrity

People of integrity will neither give nor accept assistance on those assignments meant to reflect an individual student’s work, nor tolerate the exchange of information among others.  Students must be diligent about the different kinds of plagiarism possible, and avoid them.  If you become aware of any form of cheating please see Dr. Amundson at once.  Your anonymity will be preserved.  Please review the University’s policy at this site or in the in the current Student Handbook.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Judson University is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential.  If you have a disability which may impact your performance, attendance, or grades in this class and are requesting accommodations, you must contact Gineen Vargas, ADA/504 Compliance Coordinator in the Student Success Center, located in the Lindner Tower – 2nd floor at 847-628-1556.

The ADA/504 Compliance Coordinator is responsible for coordinating accommodations and services for students with disabilities. Accommodations will not be granted prior to receipt of a current licensed clinician report outlining the disability, possible limitations and reasonable accommodations in order to meet the needs of the post-secondary coursework.  Accommodations are never provided retroactively – prior to finalization of the Letter of Accommodation.  Our ADA/504 Coordinator will be happy to meet with you to discuss your accommodations. All discussions will remain confidential.  Further information is available by visiting the Student Success Center website.

Final Note

This syllabus is not a legal contract, but serves as a general outline for the semester.  The professor reserves the right to make adjustments to the course as the need arises.