Prompt 4, Reading Response

Renaissance and Baroque Europe:

This week will explore issues and content relating to the History of Architecture and Urbanism in Renaissance and Baroque Europe.

We explored architecture and urbanism of the colonial world.  Specifically, we are going to turn our attention to how history has been crafted and talked about the city of Quito. The city serves as one of many examples where the influence of BIPOC individuals has long been glossed over. In this post, you will consider the issues of how race has influenced our discussion of Spanish colonial architecture through one (or both) of the readings by Art Historian Susan Verdi Webster (listed under additional readings). [250 max]

Required for Forum Posts:

  1. Webster, Susan Verdi. “The Secret Lives of Buildings in Colonial Quito.” Construction History28, no. 3 (2013): 21-46
  2. Webster, Susan Verdi.  “Masters of Trade: Native Artisans, Guilds, and the Construction of Colonial Quito.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 68, no. 1 (2009): 10-29

Useful content for readings:

  1. Dr. Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank, “El Escorial, Spain,” in Smarthistory, October 22, 2017, accessed February 7, 2022,
  2. Dr. Jimena Berzal de Dios, “Palladio, La Rotonda,” in Smarthistory, August 9, 2015, accessed February 7, 2022,
  3. Dr. Paul A. Ranogajec, “Claude Perrault, East façade of the Louvre,” in Smarthistory, March 8, 2016, accessed February 7, 2022,
  4. Rachel Ropeik, “Louis le Vau, André le Nôtre, and Charles le Brun, Château de Versailles,” in Smarthistory, August 8, 2015, accessed February 7, 2022,
  5. Michael John Partington, “The Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace,” in Smarthistory, August 17, 2017, accessed February 7, 2022,
  6. Marlise Brown, “Architecture in 18th-century Germany,” in Smarthistory, October 14, 2020, accessed February 7, 2022,





Catalogue Description: 

This course considers the forms, functions, structure, and historical and cultural contexts of architecture and urbanism through either a chronological survey from the ancient world to the contemporary era or through thematic topics. Please consult Department for more information regarding current offerings.

Overview:This course will introduce students to the history of architecture and urbanism through a global perspective that’s follows a linear timeline and a geographical approach.  Our goal is to understand the interconnections between the built environment (i.e. architectural forms and urban spaces) from the past as they relate to our new globally connected world. Contemporary architecture and art are can no longer be understood through one particularly historical lens of binaries, in that of “Western” or “non Western.” Our interconnected world allows us to travel across the globe and experience a cornucopia of lived and built spaces virtually or physically. We will begin our journey and progress rapidly through ancient times before slowing our pace at the beginning of the global, colonial world of the sixteenth century. The course culminates through analyses of contemporary building styles and practices that strive for carbon neutral built environments. Along the way we will explore historical and contemporary cultures from the Ancient Near East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify an array of architectural terms, styles, building materials, and concepts.

Learning Outcomes:

This course is designed to assist you in:

  • gaining knowledge about artistic and visual cultural production within a series of diverse historical contexts.
  • Understanding the issues and debates pertaining to the study of art and visual culture
  • gaining familiarity with terminology, stylistic classifications, methods, and theories employed in the study of art and visual culture.
  • developing the ability to communicate orally and in writing the knowledge you have acquired about art and visual culture.



Each of you will be required to respond to six online participation assignments that can be accessed under the weekly participation tabs on Owl. You will be asked to address either a packet of readings, podcasts, videos, images, and/or specific questions relating to architecture and urbanism. 

These assignments will be completed throughout the semester. You are expected to the complete the assignment by class time. For example, Lesson 2’s content (Jan 20) will be released after Lesson 1’s lecture. Lesson 2’s content is due that week.,.

  • You post your response to the thread for that Lesson or that Week.  You will post to the appropriate cohort that you are assigned. Please proofread and edit each entry carefully before posting it to the class website.  
  • As this assignment is completed online, it affords you some flexibility to work at your own speed; however, all deadlines are strict.  If you’ve finished your assignment early, by all means post it early. 
  • Please note professionalism and courtesy to your fellow students, to the Teaching Assistants, and to the professor is highly recommended and appreciated. This not only pertains to appropriate tone and syntax, but also expediency and timeliness; in other words, do not wait to the last minute to responded to posts and responses.
  • Please have all online assignments completed by class time. This is important as some assignments specifically relate to the lecture and discussion.
  • All responses will be assessed and marked electronically.  See assessment criteria below. 

A digital copy of the Diary of Tasks must be submitted at the end of the semester, or you will receive half points for participation.

More information about Forum Posts: 

  • Additionally, avoid “stream-of-consciousness” writing.”  Also, despite being completed electronically, these assignments are not to be composed in a “chat room-like” formatting; maintain a professional tone throughout your responses.
  • Unless otherwise noted, you should rely upon your textbook and assigned articles to support your arguments and outcomes. Use first person (“I think,” “I feel,” “I believe,” etc.) carefully.  Credibility is often achieved through succinct, clear writing, with answers supported by authoritative sources.  For example, “I think grey is a depressing color” is a weaker statement than “Scientists argue that grey elicits a sad response from individuals because . . .”
  • Unless otherwise noted, all posts should be a maximum of 250 words.

Entry Descriptions and Due Dates

You will need to complete one entry by each of the following days:

  1.  (Week 2): Prompt 1, Egypt
  2.  (Week 3): Prompt 2, Hinduism 
  3.  (Week 6): Prompt 3, Pre-Columbian
  4. (Week 8): Prompt 4, Renaissance and Baroque Europe
  5. (Week 11): Prompt 5, Europe and the Americas
  6. (Week 12): Prompt 6, Regionalism and Sustainability

Other Information

Citation: if you require citations, you should rely upon the Chicago Manual of Style. See Western Libraries for more information:

Forum Assessments: Rubric for Marking: 

Responses are assessed according to the following criteria: how much you engage with the topic of the forum; presentation of content and legibility. 

Grade Scale:0 (0-50) Unacceptable1.5-1.75 (50-59) Marginal1.8-2.15 (60-69) Competent2.1-2.35 (70-79) Good2.4-2.65 (80-89) Very Good2.7-3 (90-100) Outstanding
Engagement with Topic: No clear understanding of the topic. Writing has many errors and is difficult to understand.Topic is relatively clear. Show limited awareness of topic and writing has numerous errors. Your writing is clear but shows the basics of understanding of the content. You can summarize materials without advancing the topic. Your writing is clear and are capable of understanding materials. Some formatting and grammar errors.Your write clear and thoughtful responses that shows a developing understanding of content.  Minimal formatting or syntax errors.You’re concise, clear, and articulate responses. Responses illustrate a strong understanding of content; you can apply the various theories and methodologies concerning topic to your own research and/or responses.  

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