Homepage » Programme Syllabus » Nationalism in Southeastern Europe



INSTRUCTOR: Pantelis Lekkas, Professor, University of Athens

The course aims at providing students with an historical and theoretical understanding of nationalism as a phenomenon of modernity, and at exploring its various manifestations inSoutheastern Europe.

The first six weeks are devoted to a series of lectures providing the theoretical framework for the study of nationalism, and examining some of the main theories of the phenomenon. Aspects discussed include, inter alia, the historicity of nationalism; nationalism and modernisation (qua detraditionalisation, secularisation, or industrialisation), the ideal of national self-determination, cultural differentiae and political mobilisation; macro-nationalisms; ethnogenesis and ethnic awakening; national myths and national histories; high and low culture; state nationalism; typologies (civic/ethnic, integrative, irredentist, secessionist etc.); the ‘horizontal comradeship’ of the nation; admixtures with other ideologies. At the conclusion of the first six weeks, students are expected to have studied the basic bibliography (books by Kedourie, Hobsbawm,Anderson, and Gellner plus selected articles and chapters), and be familiar with the broad problems of theorising nationalism. A mid-term test is taken at this point, so as to locate remaining problems in understanding.

The following six weeks are spent on case studies. Students are divided into six small work groups combining different ethnicities and disciplines. Each year, six specific case studies are studied and presented by the corresponding study group, and discussed in class. Selections include Greek, Turkish, Albanian, Bulgarian, and Romanian nationalisms; nationalisms in formerYugoslavia; and the Macedonian Question. The main points of each presentation-cum-discussion are recorded by the study group, and then assimilated into a co-authored paper composed of the distinct contributions of each of its members. Thus, while each paper is a joint effort, the written workload for each student amounts to an individual term paper. All papers are reviewed and annotated by the instructor, and then distributed to the whole class, as part of the reading material for the final exams.