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Geography Colloquium and CAC Workshop Keynote Lecture: Bülent Batuman

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Bülent Batuman on “New Islamist Architecture and Urbanism: Negotiating Nation and Islam through Built Environment in Turkey.”

Bülent Batuman, Department of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, Bilkent University 

DE/CONSTRUCTING THE MIDDLE EASTERN CITY: Places, publics, & geographies of global connection

 “New Islamist Architecture and Urbanism: Negotiating Nation and Islam through Built Environment in Turkey”

This talk will provide an overview of Dr. Batuman’s new book, New Islamist Architecture and Urbanism, which claims that, in today’s world, a research agenda concerning the relation between Islam and space has to consider the role of Islamism rather than Islam in shaping –and in return being shaped by –the built environment. Defining Turkey’s transformation in the past two decades as a process of “new Islamist” nation-(re)building, the book investigates the role of built environment in the making of an Islamist milieu. Drawing on political economy and cultural studies, this talk explores the prevailing primacy of nation and nationalism for new Islamism and the spatial negotiations between nation and Islam. It discusses the role of architecture in the deployment of history in the rewriting of nationhood and that of space in the expansion of Islamist social networks and cultural practices. Looking at examples of housing compounds, mosques, public spaces and the new presidential residence, the talk scrutinizes the spatial making of new Islamism in Turkey through comparisons with relevant cases across the globe: urban renewal projects in Beirut and Amman, nativization of Soviet modernism in Baku and Astana, the presidential palaces of Ashgabat and Putrajaya and the neo-Ottoman mosques built in diverse locations as Tokyo and Washington DC.

For additional information, contact Matthew Huber at

For information on accessibility, or to request accommodation, please contact Marc Albert 315-443-9248

Co-sponsored with the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, the Middle Eastern Studies Program and the SU Humanities Center

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