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Dive into Istanbul's Rich Tapestry with UGS 303: Snapshots of a Contested City

Famous Mosque in Instanbul
Exterior of Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, by Scopio, from The Noun Project.

Have you ever dreamt of getting lost in the vibrant streets of Istanbul? Undergraduate College’s Signature Course, UGS 303: Snapshots of Contested Istanbul, lets you do just that, virtually! This unique course offers first-year students the chance to delve into the heart of this ancient city, exploring its historical landmarks, artistic traditions, and the issues shaping it today.

Student work from this UGS 303 course is now live on a brand new, website called Snapshots of Contested Istanbul. That means you can explore Istanbul through the eyes of your fellow students, uncovering hidden gems like:

  • The fascinating world of Turkish shadow puppetry with Karagöz and Hacivat
  • The lasting impact of the Gezi Park protests on environmentalism and democracy in Turkey
  • The fervent passion of Galatasaray football fans

These are just a few examples – the website features over 26 blog posts covering everything from ancient Ottoman fountains to the latest trends in Turkish TV series.

Here’s what makes this Signature Course special:

  • Go beyond the guidebook: Explore Istanbul’s hidden corners and diverse cultures
  • Develop research and writing skills: Craft compelling blog posts to share your discoveries
  • Contribute to open-source knowledge: Your work becomes a valuable resource for anyone interested in Istanbul

Snapshots of Contested Istanbul was developed by Dr. Jeannette Okur, with the assistance of Special Programs Associate Tyus Welter, and published by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ready to embark on your own Istanbul adventure? Visit the Snapshots of Contested Istanbul website and get inspired to take this UGS 303 course in a future semester!