Peter H. Christensen
Peter H. Christensen is associate professor of art history at the University of Rochester.
Christensen, Peter H.
Christensen, Peter H.
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Description: Germany and the Ottoman Railways: Art, Empire, and Infrastructure
Winner of the 2020 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award, sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians


With lines extending from Bosnia to Baghdad to Medina, the Ottoman Railway Network (1868–1919) was the pride of the empire and its ultimate emblem of modernization—yet it was largely designed and bankrolled by German corporations. This exemplifies a uniquely ambiguous colonial condition in which the interests of Germany and the Ottoman Empire were in constant flux. German capitalists and cultural figures sought influence in the Near East, including access to archaeological sites such as Tell Halaf and Mshatta. At the same time, Ottoman leaders and laborers urgently pursued imperial consolidation. Germany and the Ottoman Railways explores the impact of these political agendas as well as the railways’ impact on the built environment. Relying on a trove of previously unpublished archival materials, including maps, plans, watercolors, and photographs, author Peter H. Christensen also reveals the significance of this major infrastructure project for the budding disciplines of geography, topography, art history, and archaeology.
Print publication date October 2017 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300225648
EISBN 9780300259599
Illustrations 141
Print Status in print