Conference Program

Identity, Sovereignty, and Global Politics in the Building of Baghdad

September 18–20, 2014

Thursday, September 18

Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA


Keynote Panel Discussion: War and Urbanism

  • "Crises of Territorial Integrity: Iraq and Nigeria"
    Stuart Elden, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.
  • "Destroyers & Builders”
    Todd Reisz, Yale School of Architecture.
  • Commentators: Diane Davis and Pierre Belanger, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • Moderator: Neil Brenner, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Friday, September 19

Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA


Welcome Remarks

  • Diane Davis, Professor of Urbanism and Development, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate.
  • Łukasz Stanek, Manchester Architecture Research Center.


Morning Plenary: Nationalism, Arabism, and Now What?

  • Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Sponsored by: Aga Khan Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design


Panel 1:  Baghdad in Regional, National, and Global Context

  • "Adventures in Baghdad—Constantinos A. Doxiadis, the Science of Ekistics and Cold War Politics"
    M. Christine Boyer, Princeton University School of Architecture.
  • "Beyond the Dam: The Emergence of the 'Serifa-Dweller' in 1950s Baghdad"
    Huma Gupta, MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
  • "Planning and Politics in Ba'thi Iraq"
    Kanan Makiya, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University.
  • "The Influence of Politics on Urban Development: The Past, Present, and Future of Baghdad"
    Alaa Al-Tamimi, former Mayor of Baghdad (2004–2005), President at Urban Reform Center Inc., Toronto.
  • Chair: Roger Owen, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University


Panel 2: Modernism in Baghdad: Applied, Adapted, Abandoned 

  • "A Belated Garden City in the Desert: Baghdad's Master Plan of the 1950s"
    Neil Levine, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
  • "Architects, Planners and Construction Companies from Socialist Countries in Iraq, 1958–1991: Modernism and the Labor of Adaptation"
    Łukasz Stanek, Manchester Architecture Research Center.
  • "Early 50s Baghdad: Contextualizing Some Architectural Ruptures and Gestures"
    Caecilia Pieri, Urban Observatory, Institute for the Near East, Beirut.
  • "Urban Redevelopment Policies as a Planning Solution for Urban Deterioration-Baghdad"
    Maha Malaika, Architecture and Spatial Planning Department, Duhok University, Northern Iraq.
  • Chair: Todd Reisz, Yale School of Architecture.


Panel 3: Sovereignty and the Urban Built Environment: Comparative Reflections

  • "Constitutional Modernism: The Idea of the City in Pre-Revolutionary Cuba"
    Timothy Hyde, MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
  • "Urbanization after the War: Beirut's Dahiyah as Case Study"
    Mona Fawaz, Radcliffe Institute and American University of Beirut.
  • "Modernism, Urban Planning and Nation-State Formation: The View from Turkey"
    Sibel Bozdogan, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • "The Spatialization of Sectarian Politics in Baghdad, 2006–2007"
    Mona Damluji, Art and Art History, Wheaton College.
  • Chair: Łukasz Stanek, Manchester Architecture Research Center


Afternoon Plenary: Reflections on Urban Counterinsurgency

  • David Kilcullen, Caerus Associates, Washington, DC


Panel 4: War and Urbanism Roundtable: Baghdad and Beyond

  • "Spaces of Security and Spatial Strategies of the Ba’th During Wartime"
    Dina Khoury, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.
  • "Communal Separation in Baghdad: A Comparative Analysis"
    Roger Petersen, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • "Divided Baghdad: Planning Beyond War"
    Amin Alsadan, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • "The Capital and the Symbol: Baghdad and the Sectarian Narratives"
    Harith Al-Qarawee, Radcliffe Institute.
  • "Post War Urban Recovery: Planning for the Future of Baghdad"
    Said Alsaady, Director General of Planning at Mayoralty of Baghdad.
  • Chair: John Tirman, MIT Center for International Studies

Saturday, September 20

Stubbins, Room 112, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Half-day Workshop: Baghdad: Where to Now? Planning the Next Steps


Roundtable 1: Governance Challenges


Roundtable 2: Urban Planning and Design Challenges


Closing remarks