[R4435] Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings

Created by Deen Sharp
Sunday, 11/20/16 12:00nn

SUMMARY:

This roundtable will engage the emerging body of scholarship that is tackling questions of urbanism in the context of the Arab uprisings. With the exception of a small body of research looking at the role of public squares, the early literature on the so-called "Arab Spring" largely neglected the urban dimensions of the uprisings; however, more recent work has indicated a burgeoning interest in this topic-and in the sociospatial dimensions of the political upheaval more broadly. This scholarship has begun to ask how the urban landscape in which the uprisings unfolded has both informed and been impacted by the events themselves. In other words, what role have urban conditions-physical and ideological-played in the development of the uprisings? And conversely, how have these conditions been impacted by the uprisings and the subsequent political turmoil? Participants in this roundtable will explore and reflect on these questions from a variety of perspectives, geographical contexts, and temporal moments. They will discuss current research in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey-i.e., in countries that have been at the heart of the Arab uprisings as well as those countries that have appeared peripheral to the regional upheavaln. They will also examine urban spatial dynamics prior to, during, and in the aftermath of the uprisings. Finally, they will consider a broad range of sociospatial phenomena-from neoliberal urban development and heritage management to urbicide and gendered spatial practices-and the ways in which they have intersected with the uprisings. The breadth of research to be discussed in this roundtable highlights the growing awareness of the centrality of spatial concerns-beyond the square-to the ongoing political transformations in the region. Yet it also indexes the potential of the Arab uprisings to re-shape contemporary understandings of and approaches to urbanism in the Arab world. In this way, we hope the roundtable will stimulate discussion and generate questions for a regional research agenda that has the potential to radically transform our understanding of the urban Middle East.

DISCIPLINES:

Archit & Urb Plng

DESCRIPTIONS OR SUMMARY:

MEMBERS:

Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;
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Claire Panetta

(Graduate Center, CUNY)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Ahmed Kanna

(University of the Pacific)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

Deen Sharp

(Graduate Center, CUNY)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;
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Azam Khatam

(City Institute York University)
Azam Khatam is Research Associate at the City Institute York University. Her research focuses on modernity, modernization and production of space, urban governance, land and social housing, and urbanism in Iran and the Middle East. She is the author of...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Duygu Parmaksizoglu

(Graduate Center, CUNY)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;