Areas Of Specialization
Modern architectural and urban history, cultural landscape study, comparative urbanism
Sibel Zandi-Sayek joined the department of Art and Art History at William and Mary in 2002. She obtained her professional degrees in architecture and city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and has experience in architectural and urban design practice in Turkey, Japan, and the US. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on the history of modern architecture and urbanism. Professor Sayek is interested in the material dimensions of cross-cultural exchange, specifically, exploring how the built environment mediates encounters resulting from trade, colonialism and transnational migration. She teaches courses on comparative histories of art, architecture and urbanism; theory and methods of art history; and specialized seminars on public space and the public sphere; monuments and memory; and Orientalism and visual culture. In 2010, she helped launch a new program in Asian and Middle East Studies, which she currently co-directs, and, as part of this project, she co-teaches an interdisciplinary course exploring the histories of globalization and the transmission of ideas and goods as they pertain to Asia and the Middle East. Professor Sayek is the past recipient of research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, and the Fulbright Institute for International Education. Her published work includes articles on the cosmopolitan geographies of the Eastern Mediterranean; the modernization of urban space in the Middle East and North Africa; and the politics of space and identity in the late Ottoman Empire as manifested through public rituals and the physical reorganization of cities. Her book, Ottoman Izmir: The Rise of a Cosmopolitan Port, 1840-1880, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2012, explores the dynamics of urban transformation in a city at the nexus of nineteenth-century global exchanges. Her current research seeks to reassess architectural modernization by re-examining the networks forged by nineteenth-century architects, engineers and investors.