WAAAUB Holds First Ever International Convention: Commitment to AUB and Enhancing Ties among Alumni  
AUBMC Receives US Accreditation
Seven New Members to Join the AUB Board of Trustees
Establishment of the Michael Atiyah Chair in Mathematical Sciences at AUB
AUB Nutrition and Food Science Department Named as WHO Collaborating Center
Academic Excellence Rewarded: AUB's Merit Scholarships
AUB Announces New Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service
Shahe Kazarian's - Reflections of My I (Published by Cadmus Project: 2007)
Faculty Profile: Patrick Lewtas
Professor Mrad Lectures Abroad
Staff Profile: Ramzieh Saad
Essay Competition Honors Arab World's 'Prince of Poets'
Donald Mitchell Examines Control Over City Streets
The Political Consequences of American Romanticism
Juan Cole Points at Failures in United States
Scholar Studies Impact of Terrorism on American Imports
Ambassador Evaluates Role of United Kingdom in the Arab World
A View of Islam in the Eighth Century
The Need for Dialogue Between Religions
Istanbul's Pleasures Revealed
National Identity Without Citizenship?
On-line Workshops Help Train Journalists
Student Artwork Exhibited at Jafet Library
Amulets and Talismans at the AUB Museum
Living with Animals: To Prevent Torture and the Impact of War
Women's Auxiliary Holiday Luncheon
Home of Hope Orphans Tour AUB Medical Center
Italian Opera Recital at Assembly Hall
Strengthening Ukraine and Lebanese Relations with Music
AUB Music Club Concert
From Sufi Chant to Oriental Jazz
AUB Choir and Choral Society Celebrate Christmas
Benefit Christmas Concerts Help Ayadina Center
Red Cross Club Forms Human Ribbon
January 2008 Vol. 9 No. 4


Istanbul's Pleasures Revealed

Shirine Hamadeh

A delightful aspect of eighteenth-century Istanbul was vividly outlined in the lecture organized by the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) that was held at AUB's West Hall on December 17 by Assistant Professor Shirine Hamadeh of Rice University.

The talk, illustrated by informative slides, expounded on the historical notion of public space, with special reference to the streets of Istanbul in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In describing her book on Istanbul, The City's Pleasures: Istanbul in the 18th Century, Hamadeh elaborated on the larger context of urban life during that era, including the social order and its effect on the scope and nature of public life.

Departing from the "westernization" image as expressing the loss in Ottoman self-confidence following the empire's decline, Hamadeh argued that the eighteenth century architectural developments "were fueled, first and foremost, by internal circumstances, namely transformations in the social order." As discussed in her book, Hamadeh explained how urban form and architecture became involved in the construction and the representation of that change in social order, marking what is known as the early modern period.

Throughout the lecture, Hamadeh described how decorative forms and novel architectural patterns uncovered and enhanced the "internal dynamics between a society in great flux, an urban middle class growing in vigor, and a state anxious to reassert its visible presence and authority in the capital."

Hamadeh, who was an undergraduate student at AUB in architecture, completed her PHD at MIT in 1999. She has published in Muqarnas, the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and received several awards (including the 1999 Malcolm Kerr Best Dissertation Award), two fellowships, and a Getty Foundation postdoctoral research grant in 2005-06. She is currently working on a new book on the streets and urban life of early Istanbul.