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‘The city in our hands’: urban management and contested modernity in nineteenth-century Belgrade

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 December 2012

MILOŠ JOVANOVIĆ
Affiliation:
Department of History, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 309 Gregory Hall, M/C 466, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Abstract:

This article examines the image of the city and notions of urban management in the discourse of elite groups in Belgrade between 1830 and the late 1860s. It focuses on the negotiation of modernity in heterogeneous cultural spaces, particularly looking at the textual interplay of power, orientalized exoticism and notions of backwardness. These discourses were integral to the processes of managing urban populations and homogenizing the cityscape. The city's specific political situation as a site of dual authority, however, left room for minor acts of contestation which questioned the primacy of exclusion and dispossession as bases for modern urban transformation. This dynamic interplay framed the city as a site of conflict between mutually defining forces of ‘Europeanization’ and ‘backwardness’.

Type
Eastern European Cities
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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References

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13 Besides Belgrade, these cities included Smederevo (Semenderi), Šabac, Kladovo (Feth ul-Islam), Užice and Soko.

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36 Ibid., 255–6, 267.

Ibid.

37 IAB, UGB, 22 May 1840, K 7, F 177.

38 AS, KK VIII, 16 Apr. 1838, no. 699 (1).

39 AS, KK VIII, 21 Apr. 1838, no. 699 (2). The Batal Mosque was near the apex of the Belgrade crag, the furthest spot from both the Sava and the Danube rivers.

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Ibid.

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Ibid.

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Ibid.

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65 Ibid., 174–5. For Spencer, this improvement stems from the ‘air of nobility about this tribe [Servian] of the great Slavonian race’.

Ibid.

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90 IAB, UGB, 12 Jun. 1862, K 625, F XXIX 164.

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98 IAB, UGB, 18 Dec. 1843, no. 2068.

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101 Ibid., 13.

Ibid.

102 Ibid., 10, 28.

Ibid.

103 Ibid., 13, 23, 31, 36–7.

Ibid.

104 Ibid., 41.

Ibid.

105 Ibid., 45.

Ibid.

106 AS, DS, 13 Feb. 1869, no. 2.

107 AS, DS, 13 Feb. 1869, no. 2 (fol. 2).

108 In his letter, Deli-Marković also exclaimed: ‘shall not our pride be insulted if our capital should maintain the shape given to her by barbarity? A shape typified by alien custom, alien faith and prejudice, a type of fear and darkness, a type of constrictedness and petty spirit?’

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