ARCH 520
Cumhuriyet Dönemi Türkiye Mimarlığı / 3 Kredi
In recent decades, studies of modern architecture in peripheral geographies have emerged as a growing field of scholarship, which is informed largely by postcolonial theory and cultural studies, focusing primarily on issues of ideology, identity, power, politics, representation etc. While the critical insights of such scholarship have been invaluable, there has also been a conspicuous neglect of histories of construction, materiality and labor that were once central to Marxist “studies in material culture.” With the current global economic downturn, emerging theories of post-criticality and a general weariness with identity politics everywhere, this is a good time to redress the balance and focus as much on how buildings are made as on their cultural and political meanings.

With these premises, ARCH.520 will be conducted in two parallel components: history-theory lectures and a semester-long research project. The lectures will offer a critical historiography of modern Turkish architecture and urbanism, focusing on a number of key theoretical issues pertaining to modernization, nation building and trans-national exchanges from the late Ottoman period into the 1960s. The research project, which the students will conduct in small teams, will aim at mapping out a cultural history of construction in Turkey since 1908, not to make an encyclopedic survey, but rather to situate construction history in the broader cultural, economic and political context of Turkish modernization. The objective is to identify, across a time-line, major trends/shifts in building materials and construction industry, important brands and manufacturers, cutting-edge and mainstream construction practices, as well as paradigmatic architectural and aesthetic “fashions” informed by these developments.

Course Requirements:
The weekly lectures will be accompanied by class discussion of selected readings, most of them primary texts, and students will be expected to submit three short response essays (500-800 words) on any three of these readings in the earlier part of the semester [30% of course credit]

For the research project, each small team of students will be assigned one sector of the modern construction industry (cement/concrete; iron/steel; glass/glazing; exterior cladding and roofing; interior finishing; heating/cooling; electricity/lighting) and will research important events/turning points in the historical development of that sector in Turkey through the 20th century. Yapi Endustri Merkezi, Chamber of Architects and Engineers, advertisements in architectural publications, materials and manufacturers’ catalogs, archives of major companies in the building industry, archives of architectural magazines, as well as Arkitera and graduate theses on similar topics are all among the resources to be tapped into. Groups should schedule appointments to meet with the instructor during the first week of classes to discuss possible resources and research strategies. The course credit for the research project will be distributed as follows:

Mid-term reports 20%
Final class presentations 20%
Final papers/documentation 30%

2/19 Introduction: histories of material culture
[Research project: logistics, teams, office hours]

2/26 Westernization Paradigm/Proto-Nationalism
(Reading: S.Hamadeh, A.Ersoy)

3/5 Rethinking “First National Style”
(Reading: Mimar Kemalettin )

3/12 Modernism/“New Architecture”
(Reading: Ismail Hakki Baltacioglu, Samih Saim)

3/19 Nation-State/Anatolian Landscape
(Zeki Sayar, Aptullah Ziya)

3/26 Modern House/Gender/Domesticity
(Reading: Aptullah Ziya, Abidin Mortas, Behcet Unsal)

4/2 National/Vernacular Modernisms
(Reading: Ernst Egli, Bruno Taut, Sedad Eldem)

4/9 Nationalist History and Architecture
(Reading: Celal Esat Arseven, Sedad Cetintas)

4/16 Post-WWII Modernism/International Style
[Mid-term research reports due]


4/30 [No class: SB away for Conference]

5/7 [TBA: guest lecture by Ela Kacel]

5/14 Research presentations

5/21 Research presentations
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