Office of Undergraduate Research

Building and Rebuilding the Palimpsest of Urban Memories: Urban Spaces in Medieval Silk Road Cities

The genesis of urban spaces has been an area of growing interest to architectural historians. However, within the non-western cultural sphere, not only has the concept of urban public space been thoroughly contested, but seldom researched to elaborate on its evolution across time and space. Funded by earlier grants, this ongoing book project based on the faculty's current research argues that Islamic urban space may be effectively examined through the careful sifting of multiple 9th and 10th century textual sources, in combination with innovative fieldwork. By examining a vast set of previously unknown resources, it proposes a radical, innovative understanding of urban space-making and its multiplicity of actors, specifically examining the processes of building and re-building of urban elements within two early-medieval urban spaces - the Registans in Samarqand & Bukhara. Work on this project has already been initiated in earlier years, so this would be a most fitting extension.

Tasks and responsibilities:

- First, the student assistant shall detail and draw a series of drawings in consultation with the faculty member. These drawings accompany the text and shall be instrumental in preparing the final book draft. Some of the drawings shall be done mechanically by hand, others using CAD software. - Several of the above drawings shall also need additional library research into sources available in the libraries of the UWM system and beyond (through the faculty's earlier research and via inter-library borrowing). The student assistant shall accompany the faculty applicant in coordinating this research, in particular looking at sources in the other languages, which have been extensively used through the course of the research. - Thirdly, the student assistant shall help the faculty with page layouts that combine text and images