Balkan Heritages: Negotiating History and Culture, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Balkan Heritages

Negotiating History and Culture, 1st Edition

Edited by Maria Couroucli, Tchavdar Marinov


270 pages

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Hardback: 9781472467249
pub: 2015-12-07
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This volume deals with the relation between heritage, history and politics in the Balkans. Contributions examine diverse ways in which material and immaterial heritage has been articulated, negotiated and manipulated since the nineteenth century. The major question addressed here is how modern Balkan nations have voiced claims about their past by establishing ’proof’ of a long historical presence on their territories in order to legitimise national political narratives. Focusing on claims constructed in relation to tangible evidence of past presence, especially architecture and townscape, the contributors reveal the rich relations between material and immaterial conceptions of heritage. This comparative take on Balkan public uses of the past also reveals many common trends in social and political practices, ideas and fixations embedded in public and collective memories. Balkan Heritages revisits some general truths about the Balkans as a region and a category, in scholarship and in politics. Contributions to the volume adopt a transnational and trans-disciplinary perspective of Balkan identities and heritage(s), viewed here as symbolic resources deployed by diverse local actors with special emphasis on scholars and political leaders.

Table of Contents

Preface / Introduction, Couroucli and Marinov / Part I Modern Nationalism and Its Rooting in Urban Space: Ethnonyms in the pre-national era: what’s in a name?, Detrez / Urban space and Bulgarian-Greek antagonism in Thrace, 1870-1912, Aarbakke / Part II The Invention of National Architecture and Urban Heritage: The pavilions of Greece, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Hajdu / Constructing Bulgarian heritage: the nationalisation of the Byzantine and Ottoman architectures of Melnik, Marinov / ‘Skopje 2014’: erasing memories, building history, Janev / Part III Destruction of Heritage and the Memories of War: Of bridges and borders: post-war urban geographies in Mostar, Mazzucchelli / Memory of war in Croatia: between tourism and nationalism, Arnaud / Part IV Ottoman Legacy and the Re-Articulation of Islam in the Balkans: Balkan discourses of the European ‘other’: Turkey’s foreign policy in south-eastern Europe under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Herzog / Beyond the politics of religion: rationalising popular Islam among the Slav-speaking Muslims in Greece, Tsibiridou / Conclusion: Escape from the future: anthropological practice and everyday life, Bošković / Index.

About the Editors

Maria Couroucli is an anthropologist, Senior Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France) and Director of Modern Studies at the Ecole française d'Athènes, Greece; Tchavdar Marinov is a historian dealing with Modern and Contemporary Balkan history and a former fellow of the French School at Athens (Ecole française d’Athènes), Greece.

About the Series

British School at Athens - Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies

British School at Athens - Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies

The study of modern Greek and Byzantine history, language and culture has formed an integral part of the work of the British School at Athens since its foundation. This series continues that pioneering tradition. It aims to explore a wide range of topics within a rich field of enquiry which continues to attract readers, writers, and researchers, whether their interest is primarily in contemporary Europe or in one or other of the many dimensions of the long Greek post-classical past.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Museum Studies
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century