Thursday, December 30, 2004

Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkans History

Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkans History. This site has a large number of essays dealing with the most problematic region of Europe. These were all written by Steven Sowards of Michigan State University.

From the site:

One can't understand the Balkans without understanding its ethnic groups, and one can't understand the ethnic groups and their history without knowing the influence of the region's geography.

Even the geographic extent of the "Balkan" region is a matter of controversy. Many scholars, especially those writing in the Cold War era, have included only the Communist states and linked them with Czechoslovakia, Poland and East Germany, while omitting Greece and ignoring Turkey and the Ottoman era. Other historians exclude Hungary, Croatia and other Habsburg lands, because of their "central" European character, supposedly contrary to Balkan themes. But the presence of contradictory themes is itself characteristically Balkan.

For the purposes of this course of lectures, the Balkan area includes Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Albania and Hungary. Most of this area was once under Ottoman Turkish rule; the rest under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The lectures will not deal with all of the Ottoman Empire, which extended into Asia and Africa, or other former Habsburg lands such as Czechoslovakia and parts of Poland.

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