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Heghnar Watenpaugh

Associate Professor, Department of Art History

Office: 210C Art
Email: hwatenpaugh (at) ucdavis (dot) edu Heghnar Watenpaugh
Phone: 530-754-8683

Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis. Her research addresses issues of urban and architectural history in Islamic societies.  After studying at Beirut University College, she obtained a PhD in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the UC faculty she taught at Rice University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was the Aga Khan Career Development Professor in 2001-2005. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship for Syria and Turkey, the Social Science Research Council fellowship, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities summer grant, and the J. Paul Getty Post-doctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities. Her book, The Image of an Ottoman City: Imperial Architecture and Urban Experience in Aleppo in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries(Leiden: Brill, 2004) received the Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians in 2006. It explores the relation between imperial ideology, urban practice and architectural form. She recently published the essay “Deviant Dervishes: Space, Gender and the Construction of Antinomian Piety in Ottoman Aleppo,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37:4 (2005). She is currently working on the architecture of the coffeehouse as a site of sociability in early modern Mediterranean urbanism. Professor Watenpaugh is also interested in the critical theory of architectural preservation and the politics of heritage. She is currently writing a book, Ruins into Monuments, which concerns the cultural politics of the Middle East under French colonial rule in the 1920’s and 1930’s, in particular the process of "discovery," study, preservation and commodification of architectural forms from the past, and its relationship to modernity, colonialism, and nationalism.

Courses Taught

AHI 155 - Islamic Art
AHI 001E - Islamic Art: Gender, Space, and Architecture
 

Appointed 2005, Program in Art History

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. (summa cum laude), University of California, Los Angeles
A.A., Beirut University College

 

Research interests

Early modern and modern Islamic Art and Architectural History, urban history, theory of architectural preservation, and architecture and gender

Recent courses

Islamic Art

Gender, Space, Architecture

The Islamic City

Arts of the Islamic Book

Heritage, Patrimony and Monument: Representing and Displaying the Past (graduate seminar)

 

Books

The Image of an Ottoman City: Imperial Architecture and Urban Experience in Aleppo in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Leiden: Brill, 2004) Winner of the 2006 Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.

 

Articles and essays

“Syria’s Cultural Heritage: Another Casualty of War,” Society of Architectural Historians Blog, April 29, 2013

“The Harem as Biography: Domestic Architecture, Gender and Nostalgia in Modern Syria,” in Harem Histories: Lived Spaces and Envisioned Places, ed. Marilyn Booth, Duke University Press, 2010

"Find a Middle Ground: Armenian Church and the Getty Should work Together,” Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2010

“Art et architecture islamiques: des categories fluctuantes,” [Islamic Art and Architecture: Fluctuating Categories] Perspective: La revue de l’institut national d’histoire de l’art,, 2009-1: 91-98

“An Uneasy Historiography: The Legacy of Ottoman Architecture in the Former Arab Provinces,” Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World, vol. 24 (2007), special issue: Historiography and Ideology: Architectural Heritage of the “Lands of Rum,” edited by Gülru Necipoglu and Sibel Bozdogan

“Knowledge, Heritage, Representation: The Commercialization of the Courtyard House in Aleppo,” in États et sociétés de l’Orient Arabe en quête d’avenir, 1945-2005, ed. Gérard D. Khoury and Nadine Méouchy, vol. 2 (Paris: Geuthner, 2007). 209-218

“Deviant Dervishes: Space, Gender and the Construction of Antinomian Piety in Ottoman Aleppo.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37:4 (November 2005)

“A French Humanist in the Islamic City: The Chevalier d’Arvieux (1635-1702), Merchant and Consul in Aleppo,” Thresholds: The Critical Journal of Visual Culture 27 (2004): 18-22

Museums and the Construction of National History in Syria and Lebanon,” in Nadine Méouchy and Peter Sluglett, editors, The British and French Mandates in Comparative Perspective (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004): 185-202

“Sources and Methods for Studying Women and and Islamic Cultures in the Disciplinary Field of Art and Architecture,” The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Suad Joseph, general editor (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2003). Vol. 1. 315-320 and 4 Plates

“Writing the Imaginary Orient: Maurice Barrès’ Journey to the Levant,” History and Archaeology in Lebanon 12 (Autumn 2000): 94-95

“Configuring the Empire: Urbanism, Architecture and Mercantile Space in Ottoman Aleppo,” in Center 18: Research Report 1997-98 (Washington,
D.C.: Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, 1998): 183-186

“Urban Planning, Architecture and Social Reality in Seventeenth-Century New Julfa,”Asbarez Weekly, December 28, 1991. 10-11, 26.

 

Reviews

Cairo of the Mamluks: A History of the Architecture and Its Culture, by Doris Behrens-Abouseif; Mamluk History Through Architecture: Building, Culture, and Politics in Mamluk Egypt and Syria, by Nasser Rabbat,; and The Sultan Hasan Complex in Cairo, 1357-1364: A Case Study in the Formation of Mamluk Style, by Abdallah Kahil. Art Bulletin, Vol. XCIII, No. 3 (September 2011), pp. 374-379

 

Recent Fellowships

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowship,Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, 2008-2009.

President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of California, 2008-2009.

Best Article Prize from the Syrian Studies Association, 2007 (Awarded to“Deviant Dervishes”).

Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, awarded to The Image of an Ottoman City, 2006. 

Aga Khan Career Development Professorship, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001-2005.

J. Paul Getty Post-doctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities, 2004-2005.

National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Grant, 2004.

President's Faculty Research Award in the Humanities, Rice University, 2000-2001.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, 1996-98.

Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship for Syria and Turkey, U.S. Department of Education, 1996-97.

Social Science Research Council Dissertation Research Fellowship, Syria and Turkey, 1995-96.

 

 

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