The Budapest-Vienna Special Seminar: Part I - Imperial Metropoles - Habsburg and Ottoman Cities in the Long 19th Century

Course Status: 
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
16 Sep 2013 - 6 Dec 2013
Host Unit: 
Department of History
Nadia Al-Bagdadi
Markian Prokopovych - Institute for East European History, University of Vienna
Learning Outcomes: 
The course provides the students with a comprehensive and critical understanding of the recent scholarship on urban history in the Habsburg and Ottoman Empire in a larger European and Eastern Mediterranean context and a broader overview of diverse aspects of urban culture at the turn of the century; the course also develops skills and techniques of comparative analysis and their application to urban, cultural and political history in the region and therefore aims at developing a new research agenda for urban studies. A diverse array of approaches and methodologies offered within these fields as attempts to explore Habsburg and Ottoman cities and their counterparts to the East, South-East and West. There will be a possibility to choose alternative text material from the course’s optional readings for each class. Comparative approach is applied systematically.
Assessment : 
The attendance of all class sessions is mandatory. Missing two sessions without providing a legitimate proof of absence will result in failing the course. The final grade will be composed of active class participation (15%), leading a class discussion on a topic/reading (35%) and the final paper and presentation at the joint workshop of CEU and UV students in late January (provisional date January 18th, 2014)

Special course jointly offered by the Department of History, CEU and the Institute for East European History, University of Vienna
The history of Habsburg and Ottoman cities in the long nineteenth century offers significant insights into both the generalities of modernization processes in their global dimension and the historical and cultural specificities of these processes in the two important regions 'on the fringes' of Europe. Based on cultural transfers and human migration, capital cities facilitated greater social and cultural change and functioned, at the same time, as its laboratory and location. This seminar will compare the impact of the Empire in the city and look at and systematically study urbanization processes, urban governance, multi-confessional character of imperial cities, everyday practices and special events such as royal celebrations and urban revolts, communication and transfer, changing cultural norms of behavior and, lastly, diverse urban representations in architecture, music, theater and the arts.

This seminar is the result of the new cooperation between the Department of History at the Central European University in Budapest and the Institute for East European History at the University of Vienna. The course will be offered simultaneously at both universities with the frequent participation of the corresponding instructor. It will finish with a graduate joint student workshop in late January, 2014, in which student draft term papers to be presented and discussed.

Background reading and Handapparat:

 Guilia Annalinda Neglia, “Some Historiographical Notes on the Islamic City with particular Reference to the Visual Represtantion of the built City”, in The City in the Islamic World (Handbook of Oriental Studies section 1, the Near and Middle East), eds. by Salma K. Jayyusi (, Leiden: Brill, 2008, pp. 3-47.

Mikulás Teich and Roy Porter, eds., Fin de siécle and Its Legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Wolfgang Maderthaner and Lutz Musner, Unruly Masses: The Other Side of Fin-de-siècle Vienna. New York: Berghann Books, 2008.

Carl E. Schorske, Fin de siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York: Vintage Books, 1981.

Max Weber, The City. Transl. by Don Martindale and Gertrud Neuwirth. New York: Free Press, 1966.

Jürgen Habermas, The structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: an inquiry into a category of bourgeois society. Transl. Thomas Burger, Cambridge (Mass.): MIT Press, 1993.

Class Attendance

Regular attendance is mandatory in all classes. A student who misses more than two units (two 100 min sessions) in any 2 or 4 credit class without a verified reason beyond the student's control must submit an 8-10 page paper assigned by the Professor which as a rule should cover the material in the missed class. The paper is due no later than 3 weeks after the missed class.


For all readings please go to the course E-LEARNING SITE.



Part I. Comparative perspectives: Habsburg and Ottoman cities

Week 1:  20/9

(1) Habsburg and Ottoman Cities in the 19th century: An Introduction

  • General Introduction: discussion of class structure and aims
  • Approaches and limits of comparative urban studies
  • The imperial frame

 Mandatory Readings:

 Mikulás Teich and Roy Porter, eds., Fin de siécle and Its Legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 1-22.

 Edhem Eldem, Daniel Goffman and Bruce Alan Masters, “Introduction: Was There an Ottoman City?” and “Conclusion,” The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 1-16; 207-14.

 Optional Reading:

 Zeynep Celik, Empire, Architecture, and the City: French-Ottoman Encounters, 1830-1914. Seattle: University of Washington Press 2008, pp. 80-1.

 Carl E. Schorske, “Politics in a New Key: An Austrian Trio,” Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York: Vintage Books, 1981, pp. 116-80.

 Week 2: 27/9

(2)  Urbanization: The Tradition and Modernity Dichotomy

  •  Cities as sites of modernity
  • The morphology of traditional versus modern cities
  • Urbanization as a continental phenomenon: Regions, tempos, chronology

 Mandatory Reading:

 Edhem Eldem, Daniel Goffman and Bruce Alan Masters, The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 125-34; 196-206.

 Wolfgang Maderthaner and Lutz Musner, Unruly Masses: The Other Side of Fin-de-siècle Vienna. New York: Berghann Books, 2008, pp. 31-57.  

 Optional Reading:

 Donald Quataert, “The European Provinces, Istanbul, West and West-Central Anatolia,” Ottoman Manufacturing in the Age of the Industrial Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 49-61.

Week 3 (4/10)

(3)  The Empire in the City

  • Comparing imperial and urban structures
  • Urban governance versus the imperial centre
  • Empire as an engine of urban modernization

Mandatory Reading:

Jens Hansen, Thomas  Philip  (eds), The Empire in the City. Arab Provincial Capitals in the Late Ottoman Empire. Beirut, Wurzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2002, pp. 1-27.

Richard S. Geehr, Karl Lueger: Mayor of Fin De Siècle Vienna. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990, pp. 143-70.

Optional Readings:

Nezar AlSayyad, Cities and caliphs: on the Genesis of Arab Muslim Urbanism. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991, pp. 79-111.

Dobrinka Parusheva, “Running ‘Modern’ Cities in a Patriarchal Milieu: Perspectives from the Balkans,” in Ralf Roth and Robert Beachy, eds. Who Ran the Cities? City Elites and Urban Power Structures in Europe and North America, 1750-1940. Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2007, pp. 179-94. 

Part II: Imperial cities and society

Week 4

(4) Multiconfessional cities and modernity

  • The nature and transformation of urban groups in the nineteenth century
  • Ethnic / confessional enclaves in the city
  • Policies towards urban confessions and multiconfessionality

Mandatory Reading:

Andre Raymond, “Urban Networks and popular movement in Cairo and Aleppo (end of the 18th-Beginning of the 19th Century”, in A. Raymond, Arab Cities in the Ottoman Period, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002, pp. 57-81.

Cathleen M. Giustino, Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics Around 1900. Boulder: East European Monographs, 2003, pp. 17-38.

Optional Reading:

Andre Raymond, "Expanding Community: The Christians of Aleppo in the Ottoman Era", in A. Raymond, Arab Cities in the Ottoman Period, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002, pp. 82-100.

Gary Cohen, "Society and Culture in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in the late Nineteenth Century," East European Quarterly 20 (1986), pp. 467-84.

Bozidar Jezernik, “Western Perceptions of Turkish Towns in the Balkans,” Urban History 25 (1998) 2, pp. 211-30.

Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005, pp. 209-37.

Robert J. Donia, “The Making of Fin de siecle Sarajevo,” Sarajevo: A Biography. London: Hurst & Company, 2009, pp. 60-92. 

Week 5 (18/10)

(5) Human Migration and the Metropolis

  • Migration and urbanization
  • Migrating groups and routes
  • Urban policies towards urban migrants

Mandatory Readings:

Nora Lafi, “The Ottoman urban Governance of Migration and the Stakes of Modernity, in Ulrike Freitag et al (eds), The City in the Ottoman Empire. Migration and the Making of urban Modernity, London: SOAS/Routledge, 2011, pp. 8-25.

Josef Ehmer, “Family and business among master artisans and entrepreneurs: The case of 19th-century Vienna,” The History of the Family, 6 (2001) 2, pp. 187-202.

Optional Reading:

Robert Lee, “Demography, Urbanization and Migration”, in Stefan Berger, ed., A Companion to Nineteenth-century Europe, 1789-1914. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006, pp. 56-69.

Part III: Forms of Representation

Week 6 (25/10)

(6) Architecture and Representation

  • Urbanization, architecture, urban planning
  • Actors
  • Architectural representations

Mandatory Readings:

Carl E. Schorske, “Ringstrasse, Its Critics and the Birth of Urban Modernism,” Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York: Vintage Books, 1981, pp. 24-72.

Jean-Luc Arnaud, “Tradition and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Modernization of the Cities of the Ottoman Empire (1800-1900)”, in The City in the Islamic World (Handbook of Oriental Studies section 1, the Near and Middle East), eds. by Salma K. Jayyusi (, Leiden: Brill, 2008, pp. 953-76.


Markian Prokopovych, Habsburg Lemberg: Architecture, Public Space, and Politics in the Galician Capital, 1772-1914. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press 2009, pp. 1-18.

Nora Seni, "The Camondos and Their Imprint on 19th-Century Istanbul," International Journal of Middle East Studies 26 (Nov., 1994) 2, pp. 663-75.

(7)  The making of Public Space ( Note: November 1st, no class – make up time)

  • Definitions of public space
  • The Habermas paradigm
  • Monuments in public space

 Mandatory Reading:

Shirine Hamadeh, “Public spaces and the gardens of Istanbul in the 18th century,” in Early Modern Ottomans. Remapping the Empire, eds. by Virginia Aksan and Daniel Goffman, Cambridge: CUP, 2007.

Michael Laurence Miller, “A Monumental Debate in Budapest: The Hentzi Statue and the Limits of Austro-Hungarian Reconciliation, 1852–1918,” Austrian History Yearbook 40 (2009), pp. 215-37.

Klaus Kreiser, "Public Monuments in Turkey and Egypt, 1840-1916," Muqarnas 14 (1997), pp. 103-17.

Optional Reading:

Dunja Richtman-Augustin, “The Monument in the Main City Square,” in Maria Todorova, ed,

Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory. New York: New York University Press 2004, pp. 180-96.

Jeremy King, “The Nationalization of East Central Europe: Ethnicism, Ethnicity and Beyond,” in Maria Bucur and Nancy Wingfield, eds, Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the present. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2001, pp. 112-42.

Cynthia Paces, “The Battle for Public Space on Prague's Old Town Square,” in John J. Czaplicka, Blair A. Ruble, Lauren Crabtree, eds. Composing Urban History and the Constitution of Civic Identities. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, pp. 165-91.

Week 8: (18/11)

(8) Women, Gender and the City  

  • Gender and urban space
  • Sex and the city

Mandatory  Readings:

Susan Zimmermann, “’Making a Living from Disgrace’: The Politics of Prostitution, Female Poverty and Urban Gender Codes in Budapest and Vienna, 1860s - 1920s,” in Malcolm Gee, Tim Kirk and Jill Steward, eds., The City in Central Europe: Culture and Society in Central Europe since 1800. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1999, pp. 175-95.

 Gila Hadar, “Jewish tobacco owners in Salonika: Gender and Family in the Context of the Ethnic Strife” in Amila Buturovic, Irvin Cemil Schick eds., Women in the Ottoman Balkans: Gender, Culture and History. London: I.B. Tauris 2007, pp. 127-52.

Elyse Semerdjian, “Off the Straight Path”. Illicit Sex, Law and Community in Ottoman Aleppo. Syracuse: SUP, 2008, pp. 61-93.


Fanny Davis. The Ottoman Lady: A Social History from 1718 to 1918. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press 1986, pp. 131-70.

Sally Ledger, “The New Woman in the Modern City,” The New Woman: Fiction and Feminism at the Fin de siècle. Manchester: Manchester University Press 1997, pp. 150-76.

Alison Rose, Jewish Women in Fin-de-siécle Vienna. Austin: University of Texas Press 2008, pp. 1-7.

Week 9: (15/11)

(9 ) New Press and the New Metropolitan Identity : Communication and Modernization

  • Definitions of public space (continued)
  • Trajectories of print culture, literacy and the urban reading public
  • Empire, the city and the press

Mandatory Readings:

Markian Prokopovych, "Scandal at the Opera: Politics, the Press and the Public at the Inauguration of the Budapest Opera House in 1884," Austrian History Yearbook (2013), pp. 88-107.

Palmira Johnson Brummett, Image and Imperialism in the Ottoman Revolutionary Press, 1908-1911. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York, 2000, pp. 259-316.


Nathaniel D. Wood, “Urban Self-identification in East Central Europe before the Great War: The Case of Cracow,” ECE 33 (2006) 1-2, pp. 11-31.

Robin Okey, Taming Balkan Nationalism: The Habsburg ‘Civilizing Mission’ in Bosnia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 217-58.

Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims, and Jews, 1430-1950. Alfred A. Knopf 2005, pp. 230-4.

 Week 10 (22/11)

(10)   Policing the City

  •  Urbanization and marginalization
  • Urban crime, homelessness, vagabondage and social stratification
  • Surveillance and subversion

 Mandatory Reading:

 Khaled Fahmy, The Police and the People in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Die Welt des Islams 39 (1999) pp. 340-77.

 Susan Zimmermann, Divide, Provide, and Rule: An Integrative History of Poverty Policy, Social Policy, and Social Reform in Hungary under the Habsburg Monarchy. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2011, pp. 39-45.

 Optional Readings:

Merih Erol, “Surveillance, urban governance and legitimacy in late Ottoman Istanbul: spying on music and entertainment during the Hamidian regime (1876–1909),” Urban History (2013) first view article, pp. 1-20.

Christoph Herzog, “Migration and the State: On Ottoman regulations concerning migration since the age of Mahmud II”, in The City in the Ottoman Empire. Migratin and themaking of urban Modernity, eds. By Ulrike Freitag London: SOAS/Routledge Studies on the Middle East, 2011, pp. 117-34.

 Alice Freifeld, Nationalism and the Crowd in Liberal Hungary, 1848-1914. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, c2000, pp. 25-58.

 Week 11 (29/11)

(11) “High and low urban culture revisited”

  • Performative nature of urban culture
  • ‘Low’ culture as urban culture
  • Theatre as urban space

 Mandatory Reading:

 Mary Gluck, “The Budapest Flâneur: Urban Modernity, Popular Culture and the ‘Jewish Question’ in Fin-de-Siècle Hungary,” Jewish Social Studies 10 (2004) 3, pp. 1-22.

 Dror Ze’evi, “Boys in the Hood: Shadow Theatre as a Sexual Counter-Script,” Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourse in the Ottoman Middle East, 1500-1900. Berkeley: University of California Press 2006, pp. 125-48.


 Nadia Al-Bagdadi, “Eros und Etiquette – Reflexionen zum Bann eines zentralen Themas im arabischen 19. Jahrhundert”, in Bettina Dennerlein et al. (eds.), Verschleierter Orient – Entschleierter Okzident? (Un-)Sichtbarkeit in Politik, Kunst und Kultur seit dem 19. Jahrhundert. Munchen: Fink Verlag, 2012, pp. 117-38.

 Haris Exertzoglou, "The Cultural Uses of Consumption: Negotiating Class, Gender, and Nation in the Ottoman Urban Centers during the 19th Century," International Journal of Middle East Studies 35 (Feb., 2003) 1, pp. 77-101.

 Barbara Lesak, “Photography, Cinematography and the Theatre: A History of a Relationship,” in  Mikulás Teich and Roy Porter, eds., Fin de siécle and Its Legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 132-45.

 Introduction by Markian Prokopovych, articles by Joonas Korhonen and Adam Mestyan in the special thematic issue “Music and the City,” Urban History (2013).

 Week 12 (6/12)

Everyday Life  and Final discussion

 Mandatory Reading:

 William M. Johnston, The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972, pp. 128-40.

 Cem Behar, “’End of Empire’: Portrait of a Neighborhood Community in the Late Nineteenth Century,” A Neighborhood in Ottoman Istanbul: Fruit Vendors and Civil Servants in in the Kasap İlyas Mahalle. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003, pp. 131-72.

 Lucienne Thyus-Senocak, “The Gendered City”, in The City in the Islamic World (Handbook of Oriental Studies section 1, the Near and Middle East), eds. by Salma K. Jayyusi (, Leiden: Brill, 2008,  pp. 877-94.


 Gábor Gyáni, Identity and the Urban Experience: Fin-de-siécle Budapest. Boulder: Social Science Monographs 2004, pp. 4-23.

 Donald Quataert, “Ottoman Society and Popular Culture,” The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 154-62.

 Alan Duben and Cem Behar, Istanbul Households: Marriage, Family and Fertility, 1880-1940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002, pp. 1-47.