Understanding the significance of the position of women in society and the value of the ideal of femininity amongst Victorians, The British and Balkan Woman examines the perception of the Balkan woman as an element of geopolitics of culture from a historical perspective, as it was created and perpetuated by one of the most influential European public.
This thorough work provides a detailed analysis of the construction of the image of the Balkan woman amongst the British public throughout the long nineteenth century.Formed and disseminated through diverse channels, including travel literature and articles in periodicals, newspapers, and pamphlets, Rokai explains how and why this image of the femininity of Balkan women was created and contributed to the construction of the image of the region.
The British and Balkan Woman investigates the Victorian perception of different cultural influences discerned in the image of the Balkan woman, by exploring the plurality of British outlooks, their recurrence at moments of crisis in the region, and their transformation over the long nineteenth century. During times of great upheaval, encompassing the liberation and creation of independent national states out of the remnants of the European parts of the Ottoman Empire, the perception of women as a facet of the European socio-cultural milieu, or an archaic remnant of the Ottoman legacy, had a profound effect on relations towards the Balkan nations.
Melina Rokai PhD is a historian with current interests in the cultural, political and women’s history of Europe. Rokai defended her doctoral dissertation in Serbia at the University of Belgrade, and completed her B.A. at the University of Novi Sad. She also holds a degree of Master of Studies in Modern British and European History from the University of Oxford.