Baghdad: An Urban History through the Lens of Literature
In recent years, Baghdad has been viewed as a battleground for political conflicts; this interpretation has heavily influenced writings on the city. This book moves away from these perspectives to present an interdisciplinary exploration into the urban history of Baghdad through the lens of literature. It argues that urban literature is an effective complementary source to conventional historiography, using in-depth analysis of texts, poems and historical narratives of non-monumental urban spaces to reveal an underexamined facet of the city’s development.
The book focuses on three key themes, spatial, nostalgic and reflective, to offer a new approach to the study of Baghdad’s history, with a view to establishing and informing further strategies for future urban developments. Beginning with the first planned city in the eighth century, it looks at the urban transformations that influenced building trends and architectural styles until the nineteenth century.
It will appeal to academics and researchers in interdisciplinary fields such as architecture, urban history, Islamic studies and Arabic literature.
Table of Contents
Illustrations Preface Author’s Note Introduction 1. The Urban History of Baghdad 2. Textual Representation of Architecture 3. The Urban Literature of Baghdad before the 18th Century 4. Interpreting the Texts of the 18th and 19th Centuries Summary Endnotes
Iman Al-Attar is an Iraqi architect, historian and a doctor in philosophy and urban history. She was born in Baghdad, Iraq and received her BA in Architecture from the University of Baghdad. She completed her MA in Urban Design at the University of Auckland, before graduating with a PhD in Philosophy and Urban History from the University of Tasmania in 2014.
Al-Attar has participated in a number of conferences dealing with architectural history and heritage, and a number of her research papers have been published. She worked in urban planning for several years, and is currently doing research on topics including urban history, Islamic architecture, conservation and cultural issues.