These are the stories of the capital of both the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires, stories covering the last eighteen hundred years. We will watch, read about, and discuss aspects of the citydwellers' lives, the urban institutions,the art and architecture, the food, the music, the clothing, the geographical setting, the revolutionary developments of recent years, and the riot of colors and of human beings. One of the class objectives is to understand the kalaidoscopic nature of the growth and organization of a great, cosmopolitan, populous urban society.
We will read contemporary documents, listen to music, look at the passing scene, study the work of scholars and travelers who have attempted to understand the city, and discuss in class what we find. All the readings will be available on CTools.
Students will be evaluated on their class participation and their final reports.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Each student will have the opportunity to prepare and present a report on a topic that interests him or her. Each class meeting will include discussion of the assignments and a media presentation of one sort or another.