Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century

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Sandy Isenstadt, Kishwar Rizvi
University of Washington Press, 2008 - Architecture - 303 pages

This provocative collection of essays is the first book-length treatment of the development of modern architecture in the Middle East. Ranging from Jerusalem at the turn of the twentieth century to Libya under Italian colonial rule, postwar Turkey, and on to present-day Iraq, the essays cohere around the historical encounter between the politics of nation-building and architectural modernism's new materials, methods, and motives.

Architecture, as physical infrastructure and as symbolic expression, provides an exceptional window onto the powerful forces that shaped the modern Middle East and that continue to dominate it today. Experts in this volume demonstrate the political dimensions of both creating the built environment and, subsequently, inhabiting it. In revealing the tensions between achieving both international relevance and regional meaning, Modernism in the Middle East affords a dynamic view of the ongoing confrontations of deep traditions with rapid modernization. Political and cultural historians, as well as architects and urban planners, will find fresh material here on a range of diverse practices.


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Excellent essay on Jerusalem by Annabel Wharton


Jerusalem Remade
Modern Architecture Preservation and the Discourse on Local Culture in Italian Colonial Libya
Visions of Iraq Modernizing the Past in 1950s Baghdad
Baghdads Urban Restructuring 1958 Aesthetics and Politics of Nation Building
Democracy Development and the Americanization of Turkish Architectural Culture in the 1950s
Temporal States of Architecture Mass Immigration and Provisional Housing in Israel
Modernisms in Conflict Architecture and Cultural Politics in Post1967 Jerusalem
Palestinian Remembrance Days and Plans Kafr Qasim Fact and Echo
Global Ambition and Local Knowledge
From Modernism to Globalization The Middle East in Context

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About the author (2008)

Sandy Isenstadt is assistant professor of modern architecture in the Department of the History of Art, Yale University. Kishwar Rizvi is assistant professor of Islamic art and architecture, also at Yale University. Other contributors are Nezar AlSayyad, Magnus Bernhardsson, Sibel Bozdogan, Waleed Khleif, Roy Kozlovsky, Brian McLaren, Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, Panayiota Pyla, Susan Slyomovics, Annabel Wharton, and Gwendolyn Wright.

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