GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2008 - SES-05327-00
05327: Balkanization: From Metaphor of War to Shaping of Cities (SES 0532700)
Urban Planning and Design
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Thursday 2:00 - 5:00 Gund Hall
Balkanization: from Metaphor of War to Shaping of Cities
Outside support: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia (in discussion), Austrian Cultural Centre, New York (in discussion)
Short description of the seminar: What are the roles and confluences of architecture, art and urbanism vis-a-vis emerging democratic processes. Participants in this seminar will be engaged in researching, reading through and collecting an array of contemporary sources related to expanded and contemporary meanings of Balkanization vis-a-vis emerging cities in post-conflict and post-socialist cultures. Initial focus of knowledge will be given to recent wars and territorial fragmentation in the Balkans, new maps of Europe and further attempts to transfer discerned strategies of progressive dividing of territory and identity into the realm of architecture. This focus will expand to any complimentary global strategies, like the military one by NATO or UN, and others brought by the participating students in the seminar.
Structure of the seminar: The seminar is divided in three parts:
1_The first part will be looking at the current discourse about the territorial effects of the wars in the Balkans and effects on philosophical and cultural reactions throughout the region. Historical analysis and mapping of the regions many processes of disintegration [Greek, Roman, Byzantium, Turkish, Austro-Hungarian and Yugoslav empires] that leave many issues of territorial fragmentation uncontested. During this time it will be an imperative to find direct relationships between mapping of separated entities to inner division of political entities unwilling to fragment. Also relationships between hostilities and land division will be looked at, as well as conditions of contemporary political or racial separatism. Important part of this phase will be to look at emerging positive aspects of Balkanization. Focus of study will aim at new and enriched meanings of fragmentation, ones that lead towards positive or sustained realities. Balkanization in the region of the Balkans will be looked at as a source for speedy evolution of the negative term towards positive positions of particular spatial sustenance.
2_The second part of the seminar will examine contemporary occurrences of Balkanization occurring outside of the territory of the Balkans. It will encompass new critical views of European Union and its processes of internal fragmentation while enlarging its outer scope. Special attention will be given to new studies of what constitutes a contemporary territorial border, and "how to draw a line" both from geo-political and psychoanalytical approach to a collective or national identity. Phenomena described as "invasion," "occupation," "secession," "irredentism" will be looked at critically on the sample of recent studies in Israel and Palestine, Eastern Europe, the Stans, Far East and Antarctica. Furthermore, we will look at new views about gated settlements as a planned example of Balkanization. Or for example, on the other hand, we will also investigate "Balkanization of the Internet" or "Balkanization of the International Law." This part will examine theory and strategies emerged as a response to processes of conflicting, territorial and spatial fragmentation. Writings of Pierre Burdiuex, Julia Kristeva, Slavoj Zizek, Rastko Mocnik, Maria Todorova and Elizabeth Grosz on the emerging realms of the distinct "outside," "strangers," "creative borders" will be related to more pragmatic approaches in avant-garde art and architecture. Historical concepts of Noble Savage [Le Corbusier], Barbarogenious [Zenith] will be critically analyzed in relation to more recent practices in art and architecture. The aim of this segment is learning from both theoretical and pragmatic sources, seemingly developed on two parallel tracks.
3_The third part of the seminar will review [and engage] with some of the contempora
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