|Semester and Year||WI 2011|
From its early centuries as a Greek colony and Roman center, to its unique role as the imperial capital of both the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires, to its latest distinction as a European Cultural Capital of 2010, Istanbul’s vaunted history spans over two and a half millennia. The city has been the site of dramatic shifts in global power, politics, and culture. Even now, its very form – which preserves, in its oldest parts, monuments from the ancient, Byzantine, and Ottoman pasts alongside one another–commemorates the varied traditions that have contributed to its rich history. In this course, the city itself will serve as the foundation for our investigation of the ways in which Istanbul’s pasts have been physically memorialized, narrated, and incorporated into the urban landscape. We will consider this landscape from a horizontal perspective by first mapping existing monuments in relationship to one another and considering the impact of the past on the current experiences of the city’s space. We will then map the city from a vertical perspective, addressing what is preserved, reused, or destroyed at pivotal historical moments, and exploring how the physical space at that moment reflects the changing identity of the city. The following monuments and sites in Istanbul’s “Old City” will serve as the center of our discussion: the Roman Hippodrome and Cisterns, the Hagia Sophia, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Sultan Ahment Mosque, Topkapi Palace. We will also visit the neighborhoods in the “New City” that provide a contrast to such sites. These may include: Beyoglu, Galata, Kuzguncuk, and Kadikoy.
Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)