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ARTHIST 250: Cultural Heritage and Urban Space in Cairo and Istanbul (ARTHIST 455, ISLAMST 250C)

More than a decade ago, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, the city of Cairo became a theater of social and political upheaval. In Istanbul, the Gezi protests in spring and summer 2013 drew attention to public space and how it is affected by the construction of major government projects. This seminar introduces students to the architectural and urban history of Istanbul and Cairo, with the perspective of current urban transformations as a central point of reference. As one of the major political, cultural, and economic centers of the Islamic world, Cairo has long played a central role in the urban imaginary of the region. Istanbul, has become a global city that connects Europe and the Middle East. Readings will focus on the lack of integration of the historical center with the more recent development of suburban residences, the segregation of the urban landscapes, migration, climate change, and will examine the reactions of architects, writers, filmmakers and street artists.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5
Instructors: Blessing, P. (PI)

ARTHIST 250A: Printing Protest: The Artist as Social Critic (ARTHIST 450A)

This seminar explores the history of print and protest. From books to newspapers to posters, printed materials have generated and circulated political and social messages for centuries. The seminar takes a transhistorical and transnational approach to the history of print to consider its role in shaping public consciousness and producing social change from the fifteenth century to today. Attending to both medium and message, this course will address printing techniques and examine the graphic works of artists such as Francisco Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, Ester Hernandez, and Ebony Patterson in various collections on Stanford's campus. Seminar participants will also contribute to a course-related exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center where they will assist in various aspects of exhibition organization, such as selecting artworks and writing wall labels. This is a unique opportunity to combine the classroom study of art history with hands-on curatorial experience.
Last offered: Winter 2023
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