This residentially based course is designed to provide basic knowledge
about the geography, history, ethnicity and cultural complexity of the
Balkan peninsula. Its objective is to enable students to better understand
the origins of Balkan post-communist nationalism and the nature
of the ongoing political crisis. The course combines three interrelated
approaches: a) a historical survey of the Balkan region explaining the
rise of all Balkan national states (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Greece, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Yugoslavia = Serbia and Montenegro)
and various ethnic nationalities, b) sociological and economical analysis
of the whole region stressing potential resources and weak points in respective
countries, and c) geo-strategic discussion of the present political situation
focusing on the causes and consequences of the disintegration of the former
Yugoslavia. The underlying idea of the course is to find out what are
the implications of Balkan inter-ethnic conflicts for the new world order
and international security.
Format: Introductory lectures, discussions and short presentations by students.
Requirements: active participation in sections, oral presentation based on the course reading, a paper (about fifteen pages long), and home essay on a chosen topic related to the Balkans.
Distribution II: May count as a distributional course in Political
Sciences and History.
F. W. Carter, H. T. Norris, eds. The Changing Shape of the Balkans,
Lecture Topics and Reading Assignments:
Week 1: Introduction: The Concept of the Balkans
Jan. 13: Geographical, Cultural and Political Meaning of the Balkans
Reading: D. Hall and D. Danta, "Perception and Realities"; "Contemporary Balkan Question: the Geographic and Historic Context" in: D. Hall, D. Danta, eds. Reconstructing the Balkans, Chichester 1996, chs. 1 and 2, pp. 3-34.
Additional Reading: M.
Todorova, Inventing the Balkans, Oxford 1997, pp. 3-138.
Week 2: Byzantinism and Its Heritage
Jan. 20: Byzantium and Its Balkan Commonwealth
Reading: D. Obolensky, The Byzantine Commonwealth,
Additional Reading: E. Benz, "Greatness and Weakness of Orthodoxy", in: The Eastern Orthodox Church, Chicago 1963, ch. 14, pp. 206-214; P. Kitromilides, "‘Imagined Communities’ and the Origins of the National Question in the Balkans"; in P. Kitromilides, Enlightenment, Nationalism, Orthodoxy: Studies in the Culture and Political Thought of South-Eastern Europe, Hampshire 1994, chs. 11, 12.
Week 3: The Turks on the Balkans
Jan. 27: Ottoman Rule over the Balkans
Reading: G. Joffe, "Muslims in the Balkans", in: F.W.
Carter, H.T. Norris, The Changing Shape of the Balkans, Boulder
1966, ch. 6, pp. 81-96.
Additional Reading: G.
Castellan, History of the Balkans from Muhammed the Conqueror to Stalin,
Boulder 1992, chs. 2-5, pp. 40-144.
Week 4: The Rise of Balkan Nationalism
Feb. 3: Creation of the Balkan National States
Reading: B. Jelavich, "The First National Revolutions",
in History of the Balkans, vol. I, Cambridge 1984, ch. 4, pp. 171-
G.Kastellan, History of the Balkans from Muhammed
the Conqueror to Stalin, Boulder 1992,
Week 5: Balkan Nomads and Settlers
Feb. 10: The Latin Remnants: Valachians and Aromuns
Reading: T. Winnitrieth, Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments,
London 1995, (Vlachs) chs. 2-5, pp. 27-81.
Additional reading: N.
Stavroulakis, The Jews of Greece. An Essay, Athens
Week 6: The Balkans between Tradition and Modernization
Feb. 17: Patriarchal Cultural Patterns and Tribal Mentality
Reading: T. Stojanovich, "Technology"; "Society";
"Economics", in Balkan Worlds, the First and Last Europe,
chs. 3-5, pp. 69-234.
Additional reading: R.
Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History, New York 1966,
ch. 1 "Croatia:‘just so they could go Heaven’"), ch. 2 ("Old
Serbia and Albania: ‘Balkan West Bank’"), pp. 3-49.
Week 7: Balkan Nationalism under Communism
Feb. 24: Bulgaria and Romania
Reading: D. M. Perry, "Bulgarian Nationalism: Permutations
on the Past", in P. Latowski, ed. Contemporary Nationalism in
East Central Europe, New York 1995, ch. 4, pp. 41-65.
R. Heyden, "Constitutional Nationalism in the Formerly Yugoslav
Republics", Slavic Review 51, 4/1992, pp. 654-673.
Week 8: Adversity within Western Alliance
Mar. 3: Modern Greece
Reading: G. Oszen, "Continuity and Change in Turkish Foreign
Policy in the Balkans", G.G. Ozdogan, K. Saybasili, Balkans, A
Mirror of the New International Order, Istambul 1995, ch. 19, pp.
Additional reading: N.
Gianaris, Geopolitical and Economic Changes in the Balkan Countries,
Westport 1996, chs. 3-4 (Hellas and Greece) pp. 35-83.
Mar. 10: Spring Break
Week 10: The Collapse of Communism and Reawakening of
Democracy with Ethno-Nationalism
Mar. 17: Bulgaria and Romania
M. Rady, "Nationalism and Nationality in Romania", in P. Latawski,
ed. Contemporary Nationalism in East Central Europe, New York 1995,
ch. 8, pp. 127-142.
Additional reading: L.
Sekelj, "Kosovo and the Crisis", in: Yugoslavia: The Process
of Dissintegration, Boulder 1993, ch. 4, pp. 189-205.
Week 11: The Break-up of Yugoslavia
Mar. 31: The Causes of the Third Balkan War and its Nature
S. Woodward, "The Dynamics of Disintegration and Nationalist War";
"Conclusion", Balkan Tragedy, Chaos and Dissolution After
the Cold War, Washington 1995, chs. 10-11, pp.
Additional reading: P.
Moyzes, "Civil War or War between Countries", in Yugoslavian
Inferno, New York 1994, ch. 6, pp. 87-124.
Week 12: Building States from Nations
Apr. 7: Independent Slovenia
P. Vodopivec, "Seven decades of unconfronted Incongruities: The
Slovenes and Yugoslavia", in J. Benederly, E. Kraft, eds. Independent
Slovenia, Origins, Movements, Prospects, London 1994, ch. 2, pp. 23-46.
Additional reading: S.
Woodward, "The Right to National Self-Determination", "War:
Building States from Nations", in The Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and
Dissolution after the Cold War, Washington 1995, chs. 7-8, pp. 199-272.
Week 13: Constructing Identity
Apr. 14: Bosniaks: Slavic Moslems from Bosnia
Reading: X. Bougarel, "Bosnia and Hercegovina - State and
Communitarianism", in D. A. Dyker, I. Vejvoda, eds. Yugoslavia
and After, Lonodn 1996, ch. 6, pp. 87-115.
Additional reading: F.
Friedman, The Bosnian Moslems: Denial of Nation, 1996.
Week 14: Reconstructing the Balkans
Apr. 21: New Boundaries and Minorities
Reading: H. Poulton, "Minorities and Boundaries in the Balkans",
in F.W. Carter, H.T. Norris, eds. The Changing Shape of the Balkans,
Boulder 1996, ch. 10, pp. 157-171.
Additional reading: S.
Woodward, "Rethinking Security in the Post-Yugoslav Era", in
G. Allison, K. Nicolaides, eds. The Greek Paradox, Promise vs.
Performance, Cambridge 1997, pp. 113-122.
BOB (Slobodan) ZUNJICH
Dr. Bob Zunjich was born in 1949 in Pristina (Kosovo). Before emigrating to the United States in 1997 he was an associate professor of philosophy at the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad. He was also editor-in-chief of Gledista, a leading Yugoslav journal in social sciences, and, prior to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, a co-director in the Inter-University Center in Dubrovnik. He has studied Balkan history under Fanula Papazoglu, an internationally renown scholar, and later worked as a research-fellow at the Institute for European Studies. He has taught courses in ancient philosophy, Byzantine civilization, contemporary European thought, "practical philosophy", Marxism and German philosophy. Before coming to URI he taught a course on the Balkans at the University of Pennsylvania ("The Balkans: Past and Present"). He is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, German, English, and French, with reading proficiency in Russian, Italian, modern Greek, classical Greek and Latin. His forthcoming book is Logic and Theology: The Dialectica of John Damascene in Byzantine and South Slav Philosophy. Earlier books include Aristotle and Henology, The Crisis and Perspectives of Philosophy and Martin Heidegger and National Socialism.
The Balkan Lesson
"I am gradually grasping who is the victim and who is the perpetrator!"
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