D. Fairchild Ruggles

Department of Landscape Architecture
Program in Art History,
School of Architecture,
Gender and Women's Studies
Medieval Studies Program
Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese

Research Interests

The art and built environment of the Islamic Mediterranean and South Asia, visual theory, history of water systems and land management, cultural heritage, and women as patrons of art and architecture in Islamic societies.


University of Pennsylvania, History of Art, M.A., PhD
Harvard University, Visual and Environmental Studies, A.B, cum laude

Professional Experience

2001-present Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1994-2001 Visiting assistant professor, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
1994 Visiting assistant professor, Binghamton University, New York.
1993 Visiting professor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Courses Taught at the University of Illinois

Water and Society (LA 212)
Islamic Gardens and Architecture (LA 222/Arch 222)
Methods in Architectural and Landscape History (LA 505)
Landscape and Vision Seminar (LA 506)
Special Topics Seminar: (LA 593)
     Palaces of South Asia
     Islamic, Jewish and Christian Spain
Cultural Heritage Seminar: (LA 594/ANTH 594)
     Cultural Heritage and Human Rights
     Intangible Heritage
Medieval Studies Seminar: Gender East and West (MDVL 522/ARTH 522)

Selected Publications

2011 Islamic Art and Visual Culture, Wiley-Blackwell.
2009 Intangible Heritage Embodied, co-edited with Helaine Silverman, Springer Press.
2008 Islamic Gardens and Landscapes, University of Pennsylvania Press.
2007 Cultural Heritage and Human Rights, co-edited with Helaine Silverman, Springer Press.
2007 Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision, co-edited with Dianne Harris, University of Pittsburgh Press.
2004 Gesta, special issue, "Encounters with Islam: The Medieval Mediterranean Experience," co-edited with Robert Ousterhout, vol. 43/2.
2000 Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, Pennsylvania State University Press.
2000 Women, Patronage, and Self-Representation in Islamic Societies, edited volume. SUNY Press.
1994 The Journal of Garden History, special issue, "Sight and Site in the Garden", co-edited with Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, vol. 14.


2013 Writer and presenter of seven short films on “Calligraphy,” “Mosques,” “Textiles,” “Trade and Travel,” “Gardens,” “Geometry,” and “Books and Miniature Painting,” for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf of the Bridging Cultures Project of the National Endowment for the Humanities in association with the American Library Association. Produced by Twin Cities Public Television. link
2011 Filmed interview and consultant for the two-hour documentary film, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, Unity Productions and Gardner Films, Premiered at Kennedy Center, Washington DC, December 1, 2011; broadcast on PBS on July 6, 2012
2010 Ancient Megastructures: The Alhambra, National Geographic television documentary.
2008 Perspectives on Faith, Ebru cable television (Turkey/US, 2008).
2007 Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, Gardner Films (2007), broadcast on PBS and in Europe.
2002 BBC “Four Corners” radio program (April 1, 2002).
1999 National Geographic, “Tale of Three Cities,” 196/2 (August 1999), internet interview.

Awards and Honors

2013-14 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
2011 Visiting Senior Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art
2010-2013 Senior Fellow of Dumbarton Oaks
2009 Allen G. Noble Book Award, for Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision, Pioneer America Society
2009 J. B. Jackson Book Prize for Islamic Gardens and Landscape, Foundation for Landscape Studies
2005 summer Scholar-in-Residence, Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation
2002 Eleanor Tufts Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies for Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain (2000)
1998 American Institute of Indian Studies, Senior Short-term Fellowship in India
1994-1995 J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship


2011-2012 Associate Head, Department of Landscape Architecture
2009-present Chair, Joint PhD Program, School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture
2008-2010 College Art Association, Millard Meiss Publication Jury
2005-2009 Co-director, Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices, University of Illinois
2004-2010 Society of Architectural Historians, Landscape History Chapter Advisory Board
2006-2007 College Art Association, Charles Rufus Morey Book Award Committee
2001-2004 College Art Association, Professional Practices Committee and Task Force on Part-time Employment

Licenses and Affiliations

American Association of University Professors
College Art Association
Historians of Islamic Art and Architecture
International Center for Medieval Art
Society for Architectural Historians