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Heghnar Watenpaugh, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA 02139-4307)
Ruins into Monuments: Preservation, Nationalism and the Construction of Heritage in the Modern Middle East

This study engages in the contentious debate about cultural heritage and nationalism in the modern Middle East by focusing on the politics of architectural preservation in Syria under French colonial rule, 1920-1946. In this period of a radical reorientation, modern modes of knowledge, representation and display, including history writing, museum-building, archaeology and urban planning were introduced into the colonial domain along with preservation, the modern practice of restoring buildings from the past for new uses and meanings in the present. The result was the construction of a new "useable" past for the new nation-state, as well as a new historical narrative for the colonial power.

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 7/31/2004