The Balkans: Identity in Contact and Conflict

Humanities Seminars Course

The Balkans: Identity in Contact and Conflict

Professor Grace Fielder Department of Russian and Slavic Studies
WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. January 23 - April 3, 2019. No class on March 6.
Dorothy Rubel Room



The Balkans has typically been described stereotypically and which countries belong in the Balkans today remains contentious. In this course, we will examine the Balkans from a variety of perspectives: the cultural-historical background of the Balkans as a geopolitical construct, as well as the ethnic, national, and religious identities as interpreted by the people themselves, governing entities, and outside observers. Documentary and narrative films by Balkan filmmakers will enhance our exploration of the various social, historical, and cultural factors that influence a group's conception of themselves and others. Literature, music, cuisine, and language will also be examined as means of constructing and expressing identity in this highly diverse multi-cultural and multi-lingual region.

Required films will be accessible on YouTube and Kanopy, a free video streaming service available through the Pima County Public Library. 


Required Reading: 

Hupchick, Dennis and Harold Cox. The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Balkans. 1st edition. Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0312239701. ISBN-10: 031223970X.

Acceptable alternative to Hupchick & Cox 2001:

Hupchik & Cox 2016. The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe: Revised and Updated. 2nd edition. ISBN-13: 978-0312239855 ISBN-10: 0312239858. ISBN: 978-1137048172 (ebook) [This atlas may be less expensive and also available in Kindle format].

Wachtel, Andrew.  The Balkans in World History. 1st edition . Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0195338010. ISBN-10: 0195338014 (Kindle or Paperback).

Grace E. Fielder is a professor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in Slavic Linguistics and her current research and teaching interests deal with language, identity, culture, and ideology in the Balkans. She was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and has moonlighted as a lavender harvester on the island of Hvar in Croatia.

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