The oriental flâneur : Khalil Bey and cosmopolitan experience
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Nasser Rabbat and Erika Naginski.
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This thesis offers an account of the professional life and aesthetic pursuits of a remarkable figure of the nineteenth century: Khalil Bey, an Ottoman diplomat and art collector whose career took him from one cosmopolitan city to another. Although, his collection of French art has gotten considerable attention in Western scholarship, due primarily to his commission of Gustave Courbet's Origin of the World, an in-depth study of his life hasn't yet been produced. It is in this regard that this thesis frames Khalil's life chronologically and details his diplomatic career, his three-year sojourn as an art-collector and his evolving egalitarian and reformist ideals. The aim here is to offer a critical interpretation of the figure of Khalil Bey, and in so doing, complicate the terms in which nineteenth-century masculine identity is cast. The overall aim is not to define anew such Baudelairian categories as flaneur, dandy, artist, and bohemian, but rather allow the possibility of how a cosmopolitan Oriental like Khalil Bey, who seamlessly navigated between the capitals of the West and East, offers a compelling model of self-fashioning, and a means of understanding how masculinity, in the age of modernity, was deeply unfixed.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2007.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 90-94).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology