Settling Space and Recreating Place in Modern Iraq

AHA Session 185
Saturday, January 7, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Centennial Ballroom H (Hyatt Regency Denver, Third Floor)
Joseph Sassoon, Georgetown University
Mélisande Genat, Stanford University
Alissa Walter, Georgetown University
Michael Degerald, University of Washington
Andrew Alger, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Joseph Sassoon, Georgetown University

Session Abstract

Space was critical to the exercise and distribution of political power in twentieth-century Iraq. The papers in this panel seek to advance the discussion of space-making by considering how local and small-scale developments to the urban and rural fabric variously contribute to and complicate the exercise of power on a larger scale. We are interested in what such actions as the representation of social classes and landscapes of poverty in the 1930’s; the planning of new neighborhoods in 1950’s Baghdad; the relocation of Kurdish villages in the 1970’s and ‘80’s; and Ba’athist aid distribution after the Gulf War can reveal about how different types of space came to be perceived, represented, and lived by Iraqis. We are also intrigued by the roles played by marginalized conceptions of space, such as the printed page, in larger state-led projects of cultural propaganda and the writing of national history. With the further theorization of space and space-making in twentieth-century Iraq, the presenters hope to shed new light on the long-term implications of developmentalist projects and the implementation of new cultural forms for the present problem space.
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