February 22nd, 2018: 2-4pm @ Thompson Library 150 A&B

Heritage preservation is conventionally understood as motivated by identity-based projects of collective memory or tourism. In this paper I argue that heritage preservation is increasingly being adopted as a pro-poor practice that works to re-regulate real estate markets and safeguard affordable housing in neoliberalizing cities. To make this argument I analyze a case study of a heritage preservation project implemented in Istanbul in the wake of the Habitat II conference. The paper then unpacks the contradictions and limitations inherent to adopting heritage preservation as a pro-poor practice and the ways in which that development reorders power dynamics within neighborhoods undergoing preservation as market re-regulation.

Sarah El-Kazaz is Assistant Professor of Politics at Oberlin College. Her current book project mobilizes a multi-sited ethnography in Cairo and Istanbul to examine the political economy of urban transformation in Middle Eastern cities. She is the author of “Building ‘Community’ and Markets in Contemporary Cairo” forthcoming with Comparative Studies in Society and History and co-guest editor of the special section, “The Un-Exceptional Middle Eastern City” in City and Society. El-Kazaz received a BA from the American University in Cairo, an MA from New York University and her PhD from Princeton University.