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Milos Jovanovic

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Email    jovanovic [at] history [dot] ucla [dot] edu
Office  5286 Bunche Hall
Phone  +1 310 794 9646

I am a historian and urban studies scholar. My research interests include the Balkans, Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, capitalism, Marxist theory and history, and visual methods. I am interested in history as an emancipatory practice.

Book Project

My present book project, Cities of Dust and Mud, explores the post-Ottoman urban transformation of two Balkan capitals, Belgrade and Sofia. In many ways, this is monograph is about the social costs of urban change. To get a sense of the direction of my research, you might be interested in the papers I've published on the topic, which include "Taming the Tavern" (in Godišnjak za društvenu istoriju), "The City in Our Hands" (in Urban History), and "Bourgeois Worlds and Urban Nightmares" (in Urban Cultural Studies).

Future Research

The role of imperial histories in the making of capitalist urban space is an ongoing fascination of mine. My next research project, Empires on the Danube, will explore how historicity produces contemporary urban space in a number of cities formerly associated with the Habsburg Empire. Much of my work there was conducted under the auspices of the Empires of Memory Research Group at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen. It has resulted in several publications, including "Whitewashed Empire" (in History & Anthropology), "Imperial Discomfort in post-Habsburg Tianjin" (in Sharpening the Haze) and, most recently, "Laudon's Garden" (in History of the Present).

Collaboration and Empire Off-center

During my time at the MPI, the cultural sociologist Giulia Carabelli and I developed a strong working relationship, our shared research interests resulting in the concept of "empire off-center". In 2020, we co-edited a special section in History of the Present and a special issue of Cultural Studies which collect a number of articles around the thematic and conceptual framework of "off-center".

Visual Historical Methods

With a number of colleagues taking part in the Visual Methods reading group at the MPI, I've shared an interest in visual historical methods. The Open Access volume Sharpening the Haze: Visual Essays on Imperial History and Memory (co-edited with MPI colleagues Giulia Carabelli, Annika Kirbis and Jeremy F. Walton) is one attempt to bring this growing field in conversation with existing research on empire. The other attempt is the documentary feature film Waterfront: A post-Ottoman post-socialist story, written and co-directed with Miloš Miletić and Mirjana Radovanović (KURS).


At UCLA, I've taught survey courses in the history of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe and modern European history, as well as undergraduate seminars in modern urban history and the history of the East European city. I've also taught a graduate course on the global history of the Habsburg empire.

Note: If you do not have institutional access to any of my research output, please do not hesitate to reach out via e-mail.


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2016.

M.A. Central European University, 2008

Selected Publications

"What's off-centre of empire? Introduction to the special issue (co-authored with Giulia Carabelli)" Cultural Studies (2020), Vol. 34. Issue 5, pp. 675-687

"Laudon's Garden: Habsburg Legacy and the Warped Space of Empire" History of the Present (2020) Vol. 10, Issue 1, pp. 28-45

"Introduction to the Special Section Empire Off-Center (co-authored with Giulia Carabelli)" History of the Present (2020) Vol. 10, Issue 1, pp. 5-8

Sharpening the Haze: Visual Essays on Imperial History and Memory, co-edited with Giulia Carabelli, Annika Kirbis and Jeremy F. Walton. London: Ubiquity Press, 2020.

"Whitewashed Empire: Historical Narrative and Place Marketing in Vienna" History & Anthropology (2019) Vol. 30, No . 4, pp. 460-476

"Bourgeois Worlds and Urban Nightmares: The post-Ottoman Balkan City through the Lens of Milutin Uskoković's Newcomers" Urban Cultural Studies (2018) No. 5 Vol. 2, pp. 187-206

"The City in Our Hands: Urban Management and Contested Modernity in Nineteenth Century Belgrade" Urban History (2013) Vol. 40 No. 1 pp. 32-50

"Taming the Tavern: Social Space and Government Regulation in 19th Century Belgrade" Godišnjak za društvenu istoriju - Annual for Social History (2009) Year XVI Vol. 3 pp. 57-68