Jennifer Titanski-Hooper


My dissertation, " 'The Belly of Zagreb': Identity, Development in Europeanization in Croatia's Open-Air Markets," explores how Croatia’s urban communities engage with the multiscalar process of regional integration as the country joins the EU and incorporates regional regulations into locally regulated urban food markets. Specifically, my dissertation examines how daily market practices, vendor livelihoods, and expressions of ethnic and national identity in Zagreb’s urban food markets are shifting in relation to new laws and standards brought on by the country’s 2013 entrance to the EU. In support of this project, I received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct fieldwork in Zagreb in 2012-2013. My methods included participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and informal conversations to understand how market usage is changing in relation to EU integration.


My analysis of these issues demonstrates how the process of EU expansion in Croatia is (re)creating spaces of social inclusion and exclusion that are reshaping identity and livelihood practices. I examine the daily practices and traditions associated with shopping in Zagreb’s markets, and analyze how the tension between an authentic and less desirable market experience has led to the uneven implementation of tax legislation designed to eliminate the informal economy, where some vendors and practices are protected, while others are excluded, disciplined, and seen as undesirable to state development and “European” belonging. I also consider the increasing popularity and availability of large corporate grocery store chains. They pose a threat to Zagreb’s urban markets, because of their ability to easily adapt to new tax legislation, and their increasing popularity. These findings reveal the everyday mechanisms for negotiating the cultural and political meanings of being Croatian as part of, and in contrast to, being “European”, an identity that can mean development and modernization, or political and economic hegemony.

Research Interests

  • cultural geography
  • development
  • political geography
  • the intersections between identity and economic practices

Research Focus

My current dissertation research explores how daily economic and cultural practices are being (re)shaped by the expansion of the European Union into Croatia.


  • M.A., Geography, West Virginia University
  • B.S., Secondary Education-Social Studies, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Courses Taught

  • GEOG428Y: Political Geography (Fall 2015)
  • GEOG120: Urban Geography (Spring 2015/Fall 2015)
  • GEOG430(web): Human Use of the Environment-Online (Summer 2015)
  • GEOG124: Elements of Cultural Geography (Fall 2014)
  • GEOG430: Human Use of the Environment (Fall 2013)


Book Chapters

Titanski-Hooper, J. 2015. “(B)ordering in the EU: Croatia’s Path toward becoming European,” pp. 41-55 in An Agenda for the Western Balkans: From Elite Politics to Social Sustainability, Edited by Nikolaos Papakostas and Nikolaos Passamitros, Hanover, Germany: Ibidem-Verlag.


Conference Proceedings 

Titanski-Hooper, J. 2014. “Uncertain Citizens: The Meanings of EU Citizenship for Young Adults in Croatia,” pp. 799-807, in Kultura/Identitet/Društvo: Europski Realiteti, Zbornik Radova I. Međunarodnog Interdisciplinarnog Znanstvenog Skupa, Osijek, Croatia, March 20-21, 2013.


Book Reviews

Titanski-Hooper, J. In progress. Review of “The Euro and its Rivals: Currency and the Construction of a Transnational City by Gustav Peebles,” Material Culture.


Titanski-Hooper, J. 2012. Review of “Ethnicity, Migration, and Enterprise by Prodromos Panayiotopoulos” Contemporary Sociology, pp. 382-395, 41(3).


Titanski-Hooper, J. 2011. Review of “Violence and Gender in the Globalized World: The Intimate and The Extimate, edited by Sanja Bahun-Radunovic and V.G. Julie Rajan," Contemporary Sociology, pp. 634-645, 40(5).


Titanski-Hooper, J. 2011. Review of "Roots, Rites, and Sites of Resistance: The Banality of Good, edited by Leonidas K. Cheliotis," Contemporary Sociology, pp. 634-645, 40(5).


Awards and Honors

2014    The E. Willard Miller Doctorate Paper in Geography Award

2012    The Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Centennial Travel Award

2011    The Penn State SWIG Nancy Brown Geography Community Service Award


Grants and Fellowships

2013    AAG Cultural Geography Specialty Group Student Research Grant

2012    Fulbright Research Fellowship; Croatia

2012    Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Grant; Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

2011    Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Grant; Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian


Association of American Geographers (AAG)

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG)

Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU)