Multiculturalism and port cities in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean

This course examines Thessaloniki within the framework of the major port cities of the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea.  The subject is approached in an interdisciplinary way, following topics such as geography, transport, economics, politics, sociology, religion, anthropology, city-planning, and architecture.

Identification of entrepreneurial linkages between the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean will also focus on the largest eastern Mediterranean port-city, Istanbul, which was actually the main economic and maritime intelligence center of all Black Sea ports.

The course will also study the process of modernization that concern the town planning and the architecture of these cities during the last period of the Ottoman rule, as well as the growth and the role of that particularly transforming class that were the “levantines”. Another aim of the course is to analyze and understand how much this model of port-cities was the result of the interaction of the traditional Islamic states of the region with the recently imposed semi-colonial model and the imported, western cosmopolitanism.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course the students will have gained:

  • critical awareness of the political conditions that lead to the development of great port cities throughout the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean
  • overview of the regional and political geography of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean during the modern and contemporary periodsthe ability to understand the procedures of transformation and adaptation of the Macedonian economic, social and political institutions to the specific local conditions and to the new world which emerged during the Hellenistic period -from the Black Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean basin
  • awareness of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean’s importance and integration in world economy and trade, and understand the contemporary geopolitical and economic features of the area
  • ability to identify, analyse and discuss the economic and social development of the major port-cities of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean that formed an integrated market that became the largest grain-exporting area in the world in the second half of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century
  • understanding of methodological, analytical tools regarding political and economic history.