Syllabus

Spring 2009 and 2011

This course explores the relationship between modernity and the city in the context of the Middle East. Its goal is to provoke historically grounded, critical and comparative thinking about cities in the Middle East in the modern era. The concept of urban modernity is widely employed in the study of cities. It refers to the experience of modern city life and the associated cultural celebration of innovation. It is historically linked to the emergence of certain forms of subjectivity and the rise of important developments in arts and architecture in response to technological, economic and societal transformations in the context of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Euro-American industrial metropolises. Middle Eastern cities, in contrast, have generally been studied under the shade of Orientalism and privileging the role of the West in administrative reforms and city building efforts.

Organized in three parts, this course introduces theories of urban modernity, Orientalism and comparative urbanism, examines the genealogy of the study of Middle Eastern cities, and then, seeks to appropriate the lens of urban modernity to examine a number of cities from the region. Thus, parts II and III will use as case studies Algiers, Ankara, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Dubai, Islamabad, Istanbul and Jerusalem.

Film List

Cairo as told by Chahine, 1991, dir. Youssef Chahine, 24 min., docu-drama

Edward Said on Orientalism, 1998, 40 min., documentary

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, 1927, dir. F. W. Murnau, 94 min, silent feature film

Early Motion Pictures of World’s Fairs and Expositions, 1997, New Deal Films, documentary

The Islamic City, (1983) 2004,Films for the Humanities, 30 min., documentary

Battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri), 1966, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 121 min., feature film

Ankara – Heart of Turkey [Ankara -serdtse Turtsii, Türkiye’nin Kalbi Ankara], 1934,dir. Sergei Yutkevich, 56 min., documentary

Jerusalem: The East Side Story, 2007, dir. Mohammed Alatar, 57 min., documentary

Cairo Station [Bab al-Hadid], 1958, dir. Youssef Chahine, 95 min., feature film

Distant [Uzak],2003, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 110 min., feature film

Hamam: The Turkish Bath, 1997, Ferhan Özpetek, 94 min., feature film

Dark Side of Dubai, (11/17/06), ABC News 20/20, ~20 min, feature film


PART I. URBAN MODERNITY

01        The Modern Middle East

Jan 27 & Jan 29

Cairo as told by Chahine, 1991, dir. Youssef Chahine, 24 min., docu-drama

Hourani, Albert Habib. “Introduction.” In The Modern Middle East: A Reader, edited by Albert Habib Hourani, Philip S. Khoury and Mary C. Wilson, 1-20. London; New York: I.B. Tauris, 2004.

02        Orientalism & Comparative Urbanism

Feb 1 & Feb 3

Feb 5 – Discussion Section I

Edward Said on Orientalism, 1998, 40 min., documentary

Said, Edward. Orientalism, 1-49.  New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Weber, Max. The City, 80-89, 99-104. Glencoe, Ill.,: Free Press, 1958.

Huyssen, Andreas. Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban Imaginaries in a Globalizing Age, 1-15. Duke University Press, 2008.

03        Urban Modernity: Paris

Feb 8; Feb 10 (visit to Athenaeum to see Description de l’Égypte, meet in class);

no class on Feb 12

Feb 15  – Discussion Section II

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, 1927, dir. F. W. Murnau, 94 min, silent feature film

Baudelaire, Charles. “The Eyes of the Poor,” In The Parisian Prowler: Le Spleen De Paris, Petits Poèmes En Prose, 60-61. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989.

Benjamin, Walter. “Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century.” In The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media, edited by Michael W. Jennings, Brigid Doherty and Thomas Y. Levin, 96-109. Cambridge, Mass; London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008.

Berman, Marshall. “Preface” and excerpts from “Baudelaire: Modernism in the Streets” and “Petersburg: The Modernism of Underdevelopment” in All that is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, 5-12, 148-155, 173-176, 219-232. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982.

Robinson, Jennifer. “In the Tracks of Comparative Urbanism: Difference, Urban Modernity and the Primitive.” Urban Geography 25, no. 8 (2004): 709-723.

04        Cultures of Display & Cultures on Display: Cairo in Paris

Feb 17 & Feb 19; no class on Feb 22 (holiday)

Feb 26 – Discussion Section III

Early Motion Pictures of World’s Fairs and Expositions, 1997, New Deal Films, several archival “paper-print” films from the Library of Congress. Chapters include the Exposition Universelle at Paris, 1890, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo NY, the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, and Amusement Parks (Luna Park and Brighton Beach).

Harvey, David. Paris, Capital of Modernity, 93-140, 209-224. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Mitchell, Timothy. “The World as Exhibition.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 31, no. 2 (1989): 217-236.

MIDTERM I | March 1 Monday

PART II. MIDDLE EASTERN CITIES

05        The Islamic City

March 3

March 5 – Discussion Section IV

The Islamic City, (1983) 2004,Films for the Humanities, 30 min., documentary

Abu-Lughod, Janet L. “The Islamic City—Historic Myth, Islamic Essence, and Contemporary Relevance.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 19, no. 2 (1987): 155-176.

Bianca, Stefano. “Basic Principles of Islam and their Social, Spatial and Artistic Implications.” In Urban Form in the Arab World: Past and Present, 22-47. London; New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000.

06        Colonial Urbanism: Algiers

March 8 & March 10

March 12 – Discussion Section V

Battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri), 1966, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 121 min., feature film

Çelik, Zeynep. “Le Corbusier, Orientalism, Colonialism.” Assemblage, no. 17 (1992): 58-77.

Bhabha, Homi K. “Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence and Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817.” In The Location of Culture, 102-113 (an excerpt from the chapter). London; New York: Routledge, 1994.

Roy, Ananya. “Traditions of the Modern: A Corrupt View.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 12, no. 2 (2001): 7-19.

07        Nation Building & the Planning of Capital Cities: Ankara and Islamabad

March 15 & March 17

March 19 – Discussion Section VI

Ankara – Heart of Turkey [Ankara -serdtse Turtsii, Türkiye’nin Kalbi Ankara], 1934,dir. Sergei Yutkevich, 56 min., documentary

Vale, Lawrence J. “Capital and Capitol: An Introduction.” In Architecture, Power, and National Identity, 3-16 (an excerpt from the introduction chapter). New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

Anderson, Benedict. “Introduction” and “Cultural Roots” in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, 11-40. London: Verso, 1991 edition.

Bozdoğan, Sibel. “Inkilap Mimarisi: Architecture of Revolution.” In Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic, 56-105. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001.

Mahsud, Ahmed Zaib K. “Representing the State: Symbolism and Ideology in Doxiadis´ Plan for Islamabad.” In The Politics of Making: Theory, Practice, Product, edited by Mark Swenarton, 61-75. London and New York: Routledge, 2007.

08        Divided Cities & Reconstruction: Nicosia/ Lefkosia, Jerusalem and Beirut

March 22       Discussion on Lefkosia between Brown faculty Engin Akarlı & Marinos Pourgouris

March 24       no class

March 26       Discussion Section VIIa on ‘divided cities’

Jerusalem: The East Side Story, 2007, dir. Mohammed Alatar, 57 min., documentary

“Jerusalem, between Urban Area and Apparition. From a Multiethnic City to Nationalism? Jerusalem in the Early Twentieth Century. A Conversation with Meron Benvenisti and Salim Tamari moderated by Michael Fisher and Philipp Misselwitz.” In City of Collision: Jerusalem and the Principles of Conflict Urbanism, edited by Philipp Misselwitz, 34-48. Basel; Boston: Birkhäuser, 2006.

Shwayri, Sofia T. “From Regional Node to Backwater and Back to Uncertainty: Beirut, 1943-2006.” In The Evolving Arab City: Tradition, Modernity and Urban Development edited by Yasser Elsheshtawy, 69-98. London: Routledge, 2008.

Sarkis, Hashim. “A Vital Void: Reconstructions of Downtown Beirut.” In Two Squares: Martyrs Square Downtown Beirut and Sirkeci Square, Istanbul, editor with Mark Dwyer and Pars Kibarer, 10-23. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Design School and Aga Khan Program, 2006.

SPRING BREAK March 27-April 4

April 5             Guest lecture by Hashim Sarkis on Beirut’s reconstruction

April 7             Discussion Section VIIb on ‘reconstruction’

MIDTERM II | April 9 Friday

PART III. URBAN MODERNITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

09        Public Spaces & Public Spheres: Cairo

April 12

April 14 – Discussion Section VIII

Cairo Station [Bab al-Hadid], 1958, dir. Youssef Chahine, 95 min., feature film

Habermas, Jürgen. “Introduction: Preliminary Demarcation of a Type of Bourgeois Public Sphere.” In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, 1-26. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991.

Armburst, Walter. “Colonizing Popular Culture or Creating Modernity? Architectural Metaphors and Egyptian Media.” In Middle Eastern Cities, 20-43.

Khatib, Lina. “Cairo Station,” in The Cinema of North Africa and the Middle East, edited by  Gönül Dönmez-Colin, 23-30. London; New York: Wallflower Press, 2007.


10        Rural-to- Urban Migration & the Framing of Everyday Life: Istanbul

April 16

April 19 – Discussion Section IX

Distant [Uzak],2003, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 110 min., feature film

Türeli, Ipek. “Istanbul through Migrants’ Eyes.” Orienting Istanbul: Cultural Capital of Europe? New York, London: Routledge, 2010. Forthcoming.

Türeli, Ipek. “Ara Güler’s Photography of ‘Old Istanbul’ and Cosmopolitan Nostalgia.” 2010. Forthcoming in History of Photography.

11        Cosmopolitan Nostalgia: Damascus and Istanbul

April 21 & April 23

April 28Discussion Section X

Hamam: The Turkish Bath, 1997, Ferhan Özpetek, 94 min., feature film

Boym, Svetlana. “The Angel of History: Nostalgia and Modernity.” and “Archeology of Metropolis.” The Future of Nostalgia, 19-32,75-82. New York: Basic, 2001.

Salamandra, Christa. “Old Damascus Commodified.” and “Conservation, Preservation, and Celebration.” A New Old Damascus Authenticity and Distinction in Urban Syria, Indiana Series in Middle East Studies, 71-89, 125-147. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.

Türeli, Ipek. “Modeling Citizenship in Turkey’s Miniature Park.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 17, no. 11 (2006): 55-69.

12        Conceptualizing “late” Cities: Dubai

April 30          Guest lecture by Nasser Rabbat on urbanization in the Gulf

May 3             Final Lecture

Dark Side of Dubai, (11/17/06), ABC News 20/20, ~20 min, feature film

Davis, Mike. “Sand, Fear, and Money in Dubai.” In Evil Paradises: Dream Worlds of Neoliberalism, edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, 48-68. New York: New Press: Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., 2007.

Alsayyad, Nezar. “From Modernism to Globalization: The Middle East in Context.” In Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century, edited by Sandy Isenstadt and Kishwar Rizvi, 255-266. Seattle: University, 2008.

FINAL EXAM | take home to be submitted on May 15