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Istanbul: Mapping the Past in the Present

Istanbul, Turkey: January 4-18, 2011


From its early centuries as a Greek colony and Roman center, to its unique role as the imperial capital of both the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires, to its latest distinction as a European Cultural Capital of 2010, Istanbul’s vaunted history spans over two and a half millennia. The city has been the site of dramatic shifts in global power, politics, and culture. Even now, its very form, which preserves, in its oldest parts, monuments from the ancient, Byzantine, and Ottoman pasts alongside one another, commemorates the varied traditions that have contributed to its rich history. In this course, the city itself will serve as the foundation for our investigation of the ways in which Istanbul’s pasts have been physically memorialized, narrated, and incorporated into the urban landscape. We will consider this landscape from a horizontal perspective by first mapping existing monuments in relationship to one another and considering the impact of the past on the current experiences of the city’s space. We will then map the city from a vertical perspective, addressing what is preserved, reused, or destroyed at pivotal historical moments, and exploring how the physical space at that moment reflects the changing identity of the city. The following monuments and sites in Istanbul’s “Old City” will serve as the center of our discussion: the Roman Hippodrome and Cisterns, the Hagia Sophia, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Sultan Ahment Mosque, Topkapi Palace. We will also visit the neighborhoods in the “New City” that provide a contrast to such sites. These may include: Beyoglu, Galata, Kuzguncuk, and Kadikoy.

Faculty: Hallie Franks, Assistant Professor, NYU Gallatin

Expenses: Tuition for 4 points: $4464

Deposit (applied to program costs, non-refundable): $400

Program Fee (includes some meals, entrance fees, and housing): $700

Incidental Costs: Estimated Round-trip Airfare (student purchases his/her own airfare): $850

Visa Fee: $20

Application Requirements

APPLICATION HAS CLOSED; we are no longer accepting applications

  • Application (Deadline: October 29, 2010)
  • One–page essay explaining your interest in the program and what you hope to gain from the study abroad experience
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic adviser
  • Transcript (non-Gallatin students only)
  • Interview with the Program director and administrator

Admission decisions are based on strength of academic performance, interview, personal statement, and space remaining in the program. Program is filled on a rolling basis and may fill without notice. After you have been notified of acceptance, an initial deposit of $400 is due in order to secure your place in the program.

All application materials should be submitted to Gallatin Office of Global Programs.

For more information regarding the application process, contact the Gallatin Office of Global Programs.

Course Notes: This course is open to undergraduate students of all NYU and non-NYU schools and fulfills 4 credits. Gallatin students please note this course fulfills 4 Interdisciplinary Seminar K-credits and 4 Humanities credits.