Domestic Architecture in Islam and the Poetics of Space

Carel Bertram
carel@mail.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin

Fall 1999

Remarks on teaching this class

Dr. Carel Bertram (carel@mail.utexas.edu)
Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The University of Texas at Austin

This course investigates the domestic sphere in an Islamic context. Students will become familiar with the history, structure, and social use of residential forms in areas that are now a part of Arabia, North Africa and Egypt, Greater Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and the Ottoman Balkans.  They also will be introduced to the ways these spaces have
been imaged and imagined in art, literature, films, and scholarly texts.  By viewing residences both as built forms and as they are textually and artistically depicted, students will learn how the boundaries, the meaning-loads, and the stability of what is public and what is private reveal important cultural information. The domestic spaces that will be addressed include the Bedouin Tent, the North African multi-house compound, the Arab courtyard house, the Yemeni tower house, the Irani Wind-tower house, the Ottoman Konak, and the grand palaces of Sultans and Shahs.

With the exception of novels or complete books, the assigned Readings are provided in your purchasable "class reader."

=========================================
WEEK 1  INTRODUCTION

Wed.            Jan. 19 Intro. to Domestic Architecture and Domestic Space

Friday          Jan. 21 The Floor Plan, the Felt Plan
                        [drawing and reading floor plans]

READING
 (Weber 1991)  "The Myth of Meaningful Forms"
 (Heschong 1979.)  "Delight"
 (Marcus 1995)   p 37-43 includes assignment

FURTHER READING
 (Giuliani, Bonner et al. 1988)  Home and the theory of place
 (Szondi 1986)   On Textual Understanding
 (Seamon and Mugerauer 1985)  Dwelling, place and environment, towards a phenomenology of person and world
  (Geertz 1979)
 (Tergeman 1994)  Chapter 1 in week 3, below can be compared to  (Marcus
1995)   p 37-43, above

ASSIGNMENT: Your remembered House

In class you were asked to picture yourself in your childhood house and to write where that memory took place.

1.  Please describe what you remember: fill in the pictured memory with what was going on, or the associations you have with this picture.  This portion of the assignment is to be e-mailed to me by Thursday night, Jan 20th.

2.  Picture the picture.  Draw [Although publishable artwork ---in the vein of Matisse or Rembrandt--- is welcome, this is not an art project; a diagram of any nature will do.]

3. Draw a floor plan of your house, as you remember it, noting how each room was used.

4. Make a drawing of the facade.

5. Give these drawings emotional or narrative content.

=========================================

WEEK 2          WAYS of SEEING:
                        DEPICTING, DESCRIBING and ENFRAMING

Mon.            Jan. 24 The House in the Islamic Miniature Tradition
Wed.            Jan. 26 The Orientalist House of Cairo.
Friday          Jan. 28 Cairo

READING
 (Alexander, Ishikawa et al. 1977)   "Courtyards Which Live," p 560-564
 (Said 1978) pp 81-87 and 157-164
 (Lane 1966 (1842))    Table of contents and pp 1-25 of the Introduction
 (Fathy 1972)  The Qa'a of the Cairene Arab House
 (Canter, Krampen et al. 1988)  "Action and Place"
 

FURTHER READING
 (Ettinghausen 1962)  Byzantine Art in Islamic Garb pp  67-124
 (Lane 1966 (1842))  Chapters V, VI and VII on Domestic Life
 (Lane-Poole 1973 (1898))
 (Olufsen 1903)  another early ethnographer of the domestic sphere
 (Noor 1984)   Function and Form of the Courtyard House.
 (Abdulac 1982) on courtyards and parts of the house.
 (Campo 1991)
 (Mahfouz 1956)  A Novel in a Grand House in Cairo
 (Rifaat 1983)  Distant View of a Minaret
 (Raymond 1979)   on the Cairene apartment

=========================================
WEEK 3 "The Arab House"

Mon.            Jan. 31    Baghdad and the sociology of space
Wed.            Feb.  2    Damascus and Aleppo and the Iwan Courtyard
Friday          Feb.  4    BOOK CLUB [group discussions of "Sabriya or Daughter of Damascus"]

READING
 (Fethi and Roaf 1984)   The traditional house in Baghdad  pp 41-52
 (Al-Azzawi 1984)  The Courtyards of Oriental Houses in Baghdad pp 53-59
 (Tergeman 1994)  p 200-201  Street sellers calls from Damascus,
 (Idilbi 1997 (1980))   Sabriya, Damascus Bitter Sweet or
 (Tergeman 1994)  Daughter of Damascus (Ya Mal al-Sham) [Out of Print]

        BOTH  ON RESERVE IN MES or purchase  Sabriya from
        Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.
        46 Crosby Street
        Northampton, MA 01060
        (413) 582-7054

FURTHER READING
 (Tabaa 1986)   The "Salsabil" and 'Shadirwan' in Medieval Islamic Courtyards
=========================================

WEEK 4    GREATER SYRIA; LEBANON, PALESTINE AND JORDAN
                and the "LESSER TRADITIONS" of VILLAGE HOUSES

Mon.            Feb. 7   Lebanon and Jordan
Wed.            Feb. 9   Palestine
Friday          Feb. 11  Villages and the Vernacular issue

READING
 (Ragette 1974)  The Lebanese House, pp 13-14, 67-70, 181-183
 (Amiry and Tamari 1989)  the house: p 17-32  ]
 (Khammash 1995)   Sumia  49-53  and map p 1

ADDITIONAL READING
 (Fuchs 1998)
=========================================
 

WEEK 5   Iran and the Gulf
Mon.            Feb. 14 Iran, Wind Towers
Wed.            Feb. 16 Poetics
Friday          Feb. 18 BOOK CLUB The Blindfold Horse

READING
 (Guppy 1988)  The Blindfold Horse ON RESERVE in MES
 (Bachelard 1994 (1958))   Chapter 2 "House and Universe" pp 38-72
 (Roaf 1982)   Wind-Catchers pp 57-73

ADDITIONAL READING
 (Bachelard 1994 (1958))   all of it
 (Carswell 1968)   pp65-68  Tabriz and Shiraz
=========================================

WEEK 6 The North African Courtyard House  Morocco

Mon.            Feb. 21 North Africa and Spain,
Wed.            Feb. 23 Some women of Marrakech
Friday          Feb. 25 BOOK CLUB Dreams of Trespass

READING
 (Mernissi 1994)   Dreams of Trespass: tales of a harem girlhood ON
                   RESERVE in MES and available at Amazon etc
 (Alexander, Ishikawa et al. 1977)   "Household Mix" p 188-191

FURTHER READING
 (Pandolfo 1997)   Impasse of the Angels
 (Geertz 1979)     The View from Within [another way of finding meaning]
 (Munson 1984)     The House of Si Abd Allah : The Oral History of a Moroccan Family

=========================================

WEEK 7  The North African Courtyard House Algeria and Tunisia

Mon.            Feb. 28 The Orientalist Gaze, the idea of public and private
Wed.            Mar 1   The Silences Of The Palace  Part I
Friday          Mar 3   The Silences Of The Palace  Part II

READING  .
 (Celik 1997)  "The Indigenous House"
 (Bahloul 1996 [1992])  The Architecture of Memory, A Jewish Muslim Household in colonial Algeria
                        ON RESERVE IN MES or available from Amazon
=========================================
WEEK 8

Mon.            Mar 6   BOOK CLUB The Architecture of Memory
Wed.            Mar 8   Palaces and Harems.  and female space
Friday          Mar 10  The Royal Tent and male spaces

READING
 (Peirce 1992)   Beyond Harem Walls 87-149
 (Mansel )  Traveling Palaces, pp 30-35

=========================================
WEEK 9
Monday          March 13        Spring Break
Wednesday       March 15        Spring Break
Friday          March 17        Spring Break

=========================================
WEEK 10         The Turkish House

Mon.            March 20 The Wooden Turkish House, the Yali and  the Konak   NEW PLAN: Ottoman House
Wed.            Mar 22   Bosnia
Friday          Mar 24   Amasya

READING
 (Kucukerman 1978)   Room Entrances and Doors  pp 129-138
 (Alexander, Ishikawa et al. 1977)  "Window Place," p833-837 and "Low Sill", 1050-1052
  (Cerasi 1998)  The Formation of Ottoman House Types, pp116-156
 (Edib 1926)   Memoirs  I am trying to locate this
 (Edib 1935)   The Clown and His Daughter I am trying to locate this

ADDITIONAL READING
 (Grabrijan 1951)
 (Kuban 1995)
 (Garnett 1905)
 (Bringa )

=========================================

WEEK 11 ARABIA and SAUDI ARABIA.

Mon.            Mar 27          Saudia Arabian Climates and Dwellings
Wed.            Mar 29          The Door
Friday          Mar  31         BOOK CLUB Sheltered quarter

READING
 (Talib ) Shelter in Saudi Arabia  "Hot Dry Region' and "Hot Humid Zone" 50-86?
 (Bogary 1991)   Sheltered Quarter ON RESERVE IN MES or purchasable from UT Press
  (Alexander, Ishikawa et al. 1977)   Main Entrance pp  540-544
 (Lang 1985)  The Dwelling Door: Towards a Phenomenology of Transition

ADDITIONAL READING
 (Waly 1992)  Private Skies: The courtyard Pattern in the Architecture of Bahrain
  (Alexander, Ishikawa et al. 1977)  The Family  376-380

=========================================

WEEK 12         YEMEN

Mon.            April 3 Sana and Shibam  [video Islamic cities... it was awful]
Wed.            April 5 Yemeni Houses [Mud]
Friday          April 7 Jewish Houses in Yemen

READING
 (Lewcock 1989)   The Walled City of Shibam pp 71-100
 (Alexander, Ishikawa et al. 1977)  South Facing Doors 513-515

ADDITIONAL READING
        Travelers
         (Mackintosh-Smith 1997)
         (Rathjens 1957)

=========================================
WEEK 13 "Muslim" Domestic Space
Mon.            Apr 10  The house in The Qur'an and Hadith,  and the Prophet's House
Wed.            Apr 12  The house as holy, the house as identity...[hajj's houses]
Friday          Apr 14  The house as experience and dreams,
                        Weddings, Ceremonies, Circumcision , Mevlut

READING
 (Campo 1991)   Ch 1 Images of Domestic Space in the Quran  pp 7-27 and Ch 6 Domestic Space in the Pilgrimage Murals of Egypt pp 139-165  (Tapper 1983)   and  (Tapper 1990)   Gender and Religion in a Turkish
Town, pp 71-88 (Seyfeddin 1996(1923))   "Butt" a short story about the Turkish Mevlut

ADDITIONAL READING
 (Parker and Neal 1995)
 (Rosen-Ayalon )

=========================================

WEEK 14   TENTS

Mon.   April 17 Beduins and Tents

Wed.   April 19  Nomads on the savanna. / University Park, PA /
1994(1991)
                 VIDCASS 7856 UGL Audio Visual Collection USE IN LIBRARY
ONLY

Friday April 21 Discussion:  The Poetics of Space

READING
 (Talib )  "The Bedouin"
 (Al-Shahi 1984)  "Welcome, My House is Your House" pp 26-32
 (Bachelard 1994 (1958))   Chapter 2 "House and Universe" pp 38-72

SUGGESTED READING
         (Abu-Lughod 1986)

=========================================

WEEK 15 Leaving Home, rebuilding Home

Mon.  April 24        Identity  [Boujad]   [[[new House as an Image of self, loss and Leave Samia A. Halaby ]]

Wed. April 26

Wedding song: Henna art among Pakistani women in New York City.
VIDCASS 4722 GUIDE UGL In English or in Urdu with English subtitles.: Shenaz Hooda illustrates the traditional art of mehendi, the henna decoration of women's hands and feet for weddings and other festive occasions. The film includes the ceremonies as well as the Urdu songs (with English sub-titles) that are part of a traditional Ismailite
wedding. (41 min.)

Friday  April 28   BOOK CLUB To be Assigned: either Sunlight on A Broken Column or Meatless Days
READING
 (Hosain 1988 (1961))   Sunlight on A Broken Column
                ON RESERVE IN MES or purchase from Amazon or
 (Suleri 1989)  Meatless Days
                ON RESERVE IN MES or purchase from Amazon

  samia@interport.net Samia A. Halaby was born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1936. In 1948, Israeli aggression forced their emigration to Beirut and from there her family emigrated to the US

 (Khan 1998)  The Home and the World: the Architecture of Autobiography, pp 87-90 discusses Meatless Days and Sunlight on A Broken Column and for SUGGESTED VIEWING  see next page Voices of the morning / 1993,c1992  VIDCASS 3983 Fine Arts Library ASK AT CIRCULATION DESK   1 videocassette (13 min., 46 min.) : A meditation on women's roles as defined by orthodox Islamic laws. Layered images and  text are utilized to examine familial and societal restrictions placed on South Asian women. OCLC NUMBER: 30302783

=========================================
WEEK 16 "Muslim Style"

Mon.            May 1           FINAL PROJECTS  SPACES of MEANING
Wed.            May  3          FINAL PROJECTS  SPACES of MEANING
Friday          May 5           The Islamic House

SUGGESTED READING
On "Bahrain Style"  see the work of Tarek Waly   (Waly 1992) on Reserve in MES
    Or see Turkish Style (Yerasimos 1992)  Turkish Style
    on Yerasimos see  (Knecht 1993)  "Representations of Turkey"

=========================================
 

READING IS FROM THE FOLLOWING SOURCES

Abdulac, S. (1982). Traditional Housing Design in Arab Countries. Designing in Islamic Cultures 2: Urban Housing. Cambridge, MA, The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture: 2-9.

Abu-Lughod, L. (1986). Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Al-Azzawi, D. S. (1984). The Courtyards of Oriental Houses in Baghdad. The Arab House, Proceedings of the Colloquium held in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. A. D. C. Hyland and A. Al-Shahi, CARDO, Center for Architectural Research and Development Overseas: 53-59.

Al-Shahi, A. (1984). "Welcome, My House is Yours" : values related to the arab house. The Arab House, Proceedings of the Colloquium held in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. A. D. C. Hyland and A. Al-Shahi, CARDO, Center for Architectural Research and Development Overseas: 26-32.

Alexander, C., S. Ishikawa, et al. (1977). A Pattern Language: Towns Buildings, Construction. New York, Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-50191 9-9.

Amiry, S. and V. Tamari (1989). The Palestinian Village House. London, Trustees of the British Museum, British Museum Association.

Bachelard, G. (1994 (1958)). The Poetics of Space. Boston, Beacon.

Bahloul, J. (1996 [1992]). The Architecture of Memory, A Jewish Muslim Household in colonial Algeria. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Bogary, H. (1991). The Sheltered Quarter, A Tale of a Boyhood in Mecca.  Austin, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Univeristy of Texas at Austin.

Bringa, T. Being Muslim the Bosnian Way, Princeton University Press.

Campo, J. E. (1991). "Orientalist Representations of Muslim Domestic Space in Egypt."  Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 111(1): 29-42.

Campo, J. E. (1991). The Other Sides of Paradise: Eplorations into the Religious Meanings of Domestic Space in Islam. Columbia, South Carolina Press  ISBN 0-87249-738-0.

Canter, D., M. Krampen, et al. (1988). Environmental Perspectives; Ethnoscapes: Current Challenges in the Environmental Sciences. Hong Kong, Avebury.

Carswell, J. (1968).  New Julfa: the Armenian churches and other buildings.  Oxford.

Celik, Z. (1997). Urban Forms and Colonial Confrontations. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Cerasi, M. (1998). "The Formation of Ottoman House Types: A comparative study in interaction with neighboring cultures." Muqarnas 15.

Edib, H. A. v. (1926). Memoirs of Halide Edip. New York, The Century Company.

Edib, H. A. v. (1935). The Clown and His Daughter. London, George Allen and Unwin.

Ettinghausen, R. (1962). Arab Painting. (Geneva?) Skira; (distributed by
World Pub. Co., Cleveland, 1962).

Fathy, H. (1972). The Qa'a of the Cairene Arab House, its development and some mew usages for its design concepts. Colloque International sur l"histoire du Caire, 1969, General Egyptian Book Org: 135-146 [but
should go to 152].

Fethi, I. and S. Roaf (1984). The Traditional House in Baghdad.. some socio-climatic considerations. The Arab House, Proceedings of the Colloquium held in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. A. D. C. Hyland and A. Al-Shahi, CARDO, Center for Architectural Research and Development Overseas: 41-52.

Fuchs, R. (1998). "The Palestinian Arab House and the Islamic 'Primitive Hut'." Muqarnas 15.

Garnett, L. M. J. (1905). Turkish Life in Town and Country. New York, G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Geertz, H. (1979). The View from Within, Proceedings of Seminar Four in the series "Architectural Transformations in the Islamic World".

Giuliani, V., M. Bonner, et al. (1988). Home and the theory of place. Ethnoscapes: volume 1, Environmental Perspectives. D. Canter, M. Krampen and D. Stea. Aldershot (England), Avebury, Gower Publishing: 39-53.

Grabrijan, D. a. (1951). The Bosnian Oriental Architecture in Sarajevo, with special Reference to the Contemporary One, Dopisna Delavska Univerza Univerzum.

Guppy, S. (1988). The Blindfold Horse, Memories of a Persian Childhood.  London, Heinemann.

Heschong (1979.). Thermal delight in architecture. Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press ISBN: 0262081016.

Hosain, A. (1988 (1961)). Sunlight on A Broken Column. New York, Viking Penguin.

Idilbi, U. (1997 (1980)). Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet (Dimashq Ya Basmat a-Huzn). Brooklyn, Interlink Books.

Khammash, A. (1995). Notes on Village Architecture in Jordan. Amman, Arabesque ISBN 0936819014.

Khan, S. (1998). The Home and the World: the Architecture of Autobiography. Memory and Architecture, ACSA West Central Regional Conference, St. Louis MO, Washington University in St. Louis School of Architecture.

Knecht, B. (1993). "Representations of Turkey." Design Book Review 29/30(Summer/Fall): 36-43.

Kuban, D. a. (1995). The Turkish Hayat House. Istanbul, Eren Yayincilik ve Kitapcilik Ltd.

Kucukerman, O. (1978). Turkish House in Search of Spatial Identity. Istanbul, Tu rkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu.

Lane, E. W. (1966 (1842)). Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. London, J. M. Dent & Sons.

Lane-Poole, S. (1973 (1898)). Cairo: sketches of Its History, Monuments, and Social Life, 3d ed. London: J.S. Virtue, 1898; and New York: 1973, Arno Press.

Lang, R. (1985). The Dwelling Door: Towards a Phenomenology of Transition.  Dwelling, place and environment, towards a phenomenology of person and world. D. Seamon and R. Mugerauer. Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster, Martinus Nijoff ISBN 90-247-3192-5: 201-213.

Lewcock, R. (1989). Wadi Hadramawt and the walled city of Shibam, Unesco ISBN 92-3-102338-1.

Mackintosh-Smith, T. (1997). Yemen, Travels in Dictionary Land. Picador, Picador.

Mahfouz, N. (1956). Palace Walk. New York, Anchor Books.

Mansel, P. "Travelling Palaces." Hali 39: 30-35.

Marcus, C. C. (1995). House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home. Berkeley, Conari.

Mernissi, F. (1994). Dreams of Trespass: tales of a harem girlhood. Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley.

Mitchell (1991 (1988)). Colonising Egypt. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Munson, H. (1984). The House of Si Abd Allah: The Oral History of a Moroccan Family. New Haven, Yale University Press.

Noor, M. (1984). The Function and Form of the Courtyard House. The Arab House, Proceedings of the Colloquium held in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. A. D. C. Hyland and A. Al-Shahi, CARDO, Center
for Architectural Research and Development Overseas: 61-72.

Olufsen, O. (1903). Through the unknown Pamirs, the second Danish Pamir Exhibition, 1898-99. New York, Greenwood Press, Publishers.

Pandolfo, S. (1997). Impasse of the Angels. Chicago, University of Chicago Press ISBN 0226645312 (cloth : alk. paper) 0226645320 (pbk. : alk. paper) .  Parker, A. and A. Neal (1995). Hajj Paintings, Folk Art of the Great Pilgrimage. Washington DC, Smithsonian Institution Press.

Peirce, L. (1992). Beyond Harem Walls: Ottoman Royal Women. Gendered Domains: Rethinking Public and Private in Women's History. D. O. Helly. Ithaca, Cornell University Press: 27-39.

Ragette, F. (1974). Architecture in Lebanon, the Lebanese House during the 18th and 19th centuries. Beirut, American University of Beirut.

Rathjens, C. (1957). Jewish Domestic Architecture in Sana, Yemen. Jerusalem, The Israel Oriental Society.

Raymond, A. (1979). The Rab': A Type of Collective Housing in Cairo During the Ottoman Period, Proceedings of Seminar Four in the series" Architectura l Transformations in the Islamic World".

Rifaat, A. (1983). Distant View of a Minaret. London ; New York : Quartet Books, Quartet Books ISBN: 0704324016.

Roaf, S. (1982). Wind-Catchers. Living with the Desert. E. Beazley and M.  Harverson. Warminster, Wilts, England, Aris & Phillips, Ltd: 57-72.

Rosen-Ayalon, M. "Murals in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem."

Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. New York, Pantheon Books.

Seamon, D. and R. Mugerauer (1985). Dwelling, place and environment, towards a phenomenology of person and world. Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster, Martinus Nijoff ISBN 90-247-3192-5.

Seyfeddin, O. (1996(1923)). Butt. An Anthology of Turkish Literature. K.  Silay. Bloomington, Indiana University: 275-279.

Suleri, S. (1989). Meatless Days. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.  Szondi, P. (1986). Walter Benjamin's "City Portraits". On Textual Understanding. P. Szondi. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. 15: 133-159.

Tabaa, Y. (1986). The "Salsabil" and 'Shadirwan in Medieval Islamic Courtyards. The Garden as a City, the City as a Garden, Carucci Editore.  Environmental Design, Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Center: 34-37.

Talib, K. Shelter in Saudi Arabia. New York, St. Martin's Press.

Tapper, N. (1983). Gender and Religion in a Turkish Town: A comparison of two types of formal women's gatherings. Women's Religious Experience, Cross Cultural Perspective. P. Holden. London, Croom Helm.

Tapper, N. (1990). Ziyaret: gender, movement, and exchange in a Turkish community. Muslim Travellers: Pilgrimage, Migration, and the Religious Imagination. D. Eickelman and J. Piscatori. Berkeley: 236-255. 

Tergeman, S. (1994). Daughter of Damascus (Ya Mal al-Sham). Austin, Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Waly, T. (1992). Private Skies: The courtyard Pattern in the Architecture of Bahrain. Bahrain, al-Handasah Center Publications.

Weber, R. (1991). "The Myth of Meaningful Forms: Comparing the Forms of Indigeous and Classical Architecture." Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 11(11  Spring): 65-75.

Yerasimos, S. (1992). Turkish Style, Vendome Press//Rizzoli.



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Syllabus copyright 1999 Carel Bertram. All rights reserved.
Permission to copy and use under "fair use" in education is granted,
provided proper credit is given.

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