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Title:Bourgeois Balkans: world-building in Belgrade and Sofia 1830-1912
Author(s):Jovanovic, Milos
Director of Research:Todorova, Maria N
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Todorova, Maria N
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Steinberg, Mark D; Harris, Dianne; Keith Hitchins
Department / Program:History
Discipline:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):urban
Balkans
capitalism
cities
gender
architecture
carceral
prisons
space
sex work
dispossession
Abstract:This dissertation examines the transformation of urban life in the Balkan capitals of Belgrade and Sofia between 1830 and 1912. In the nineteenth century, mayors, planners, doctors and intellectuals envisioned a new, urban society in which progressive social transformation could emerge through a combination of political and economic institutions based on expertise. I explore the ambitions and limits of this “bourgeois world-building” through three constitutive processes: the production of space, the gendered transformation of intimate labor, and the re-calibration of state violence. With the advent of autonomous rule, the Balkan capitals were reconstructed as “European” cities through dispossession, real-estate speculation and municipal corruption. For architects, merchant capitalists, and municipal officials, the post-Ottoman city appeared as a landscape of accumulation, a vision often frustrated by its failure to materialize in full. Medical professionals and police officials envisioned the city as a space of managed, commodified intimacy, yet found limits in expanding institutional control over sex workers, domestic servants, and other working women. Activists and state actors were likewise frustrated in their attempts to create productive urban subjects through scientific policing and prison labor. Ultimately, the application of bourgeois visions was both intensive and costly, limited by the scope of elite ambitions and the struggle of those who were excluded from them.
Issue Date:2016-12-02
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/95608
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Milos Jovanovic
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12


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