Course unit title Main Characteristics and Regional Specifics of Urban Development in the Balkans, 15th – 19th Centuries
Name and e-mail of the lecturer

Assoc. Prof. Gergana Georgieva, PhD

Course code 20167629
Learning activities and teaching methods Lectures, discussions, individual and group assignments
Contact hours 15
Course content ( maximum 700 characters)

The course aims to build an overview of the main features and characteristics of the Balkan cities during 15th – 19th c. It traces the changes, which appeared as a result of the Ottoman conquest with special focus on the discussion about continuity and discontinuity in urban development of the Balkans. The ethno-demographic picture of the cities with its typical multi-ethnic pattern is presented and the places and roles of different ethnic and religious communities in the urban structure is discussed. Special attention is paid to the interaction and mutual influence, so-called “contact-conflict”, between the communities. The social structure of the city – its institutions, ethnic, religious and professional communities and social hierarchies, is elucidated. It is analyzed the image of the Balkan town as it appears in the travel accounts and the notion of the Other in Europe based on these descriptions. Some specific features of the Balkan architecture as Italian influence in the Adriatic region; the “houses-fortresses” in Albania, and etc. are discussed. There is also an emphasis on the process of modernization of Balkan cities in the nineteenth century (the reorganization of the urban structure, implementation of new regulations, de-Orientalization of the cities as part of the national emancipation of the Balkan peoples).

The course is set in a wide European context, as the first part focuses on the comparative approach to the various urban models. The curriculum stresses on major themes in the history of the city and urban development, for example: cities as areas of contact/conflict between different cultures; construction of the image of the Other; interaction between center and periphery; boundaries – spatial and others, in public life.

Assessment method Individual assignment