CEU Faculty Books Roundup

This fall new books by CEU faculty were published on topics ranging from food and democratic transitions to the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires. Check out some of the new titles here:

Entangled Confessionalizations? Dialogic Perspectives on the Politics of Piety and Community Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th–18th Centuries

As a historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire, CEU Associate Professor Tijana Krstic served as Principal Investigator on OTTOCONFESSION, a Horizon 2020 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant. Her volume resulting from that research, co-authored by Derin Terzioglu, Bogazici University, has been published by Gorgias Press.

The present volume explores these questions and early modern Muslim, Jewish and Christian discourses on communal belonging, ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy’ through the framework of a shared ‘confessional age’, thus obviating the top-down model of inter-confessional relations in which Christians and Jews are always seen solely as Ottoman subjects. It offers a unique perspective on Ottoman society and early modern politics of piety by approaching empire’s religious groups not as homogenous blocks of ‘Muslims’, ‘Jews’ and ‘Christians’ but rather highlighting intra-communal diversity. By adopting a wider Eurasian perspective, contributors explore the repercussions of the developments within various Ottoman communities as far afield as the Safavid Empire, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, and Europe, and vice versa. The papers focus on specific people who disseminated ideas about ritual and creedal normativity and social clusters through which such ideas spread. At the same time, they also explore the limits of such normative discourses and their agents, as well as the role of alternative ideas about confessional and communal belonging informed by various forms of ambiguity.

'Going Native?' Settler Colonialism and Food

CEU Department of Sociology and Anthropology Professor Daniel Monterescu co-authored a volume which offers a comparative survey of diverse settler colonial experiences in relation to food, food culture and foodways. With Monterescu, the book, published by Palgrave Macmillan, was co-edited Ronald Ranta and Alejandro Colas.

What do settler colonial foodways and food cultures look like? Are they based on an imagined colonial heritage, do they embrace indigenous repertoires or invent new hybridized foodscapes? What are the socio-economic and political dynamics of these cultural transformations? In particular, this volume focuses on three key issues: the evolution of settler colonial identities and states; their relations vis-à-vis indigenous populations; and settlers’ self-indigenization – the process through which settlers transform themselves into the native population, at least in their own eyes. These three key issues are crucial in understanding settler-indigenous relations and the rise of settler colonial identities and states.

Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals

CEU Professor Andras Bozoki in the Department of Political Science and Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations will launch his recently published book, Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals, during an event on January 26 at the IWM.

Utilizing a new and original framework for examining the role of intellectuals in countries transitioning to democracy, the book, published by CEU Press, analyzes the rise and fall of dissident intellectuals in Hungary in the late 20th century. Bozoki shows how that framework is applicable to other countries too as he forensically examines their activities. He argues that the Hungarian intellectuals did not become a ‘New Class’. By rolling transition, he means an incremental, non-violent, elite driven political transformation which is based on the rotation of agency, and it results in a new regime. This is led mainly by different groups of intellectuals who do not construct a vanguard movement but create an open network which might transform itself into different political parties. Their roles changed from dissidents to reformers, to movement organizers and negotiators through the periods of dissidence, open network building, roundtable negotiations, parliamentary activities, and new movement politics. This book will be of interest to students, researchers, and public intellectuals around the world aiming to promote human rights and democracy.

Byzantine Commentaries on Ancient Greek Texts, 12th–15th Centuries

CEU Associate Professor Baukje van den Berg co-edited the volume Byzantine Commentaries on Ancient Greek Texts, 12th–15th Centuries with Divna Manolova (University of York) and Przemysław Marciniak (University of Silesia) published Cambridge University Press. 

This is the first volume to explore the commentaries on ancient texts produced and circulating in Byzantium. It adopts a broad chronological perspective (from the twelfth to the fifteenth century) and examines different types of commentaries on ancient poetry and prose within the context of the study and teaching of grammar, rhetoric, philosophy and science. By discussing the exegetical literature of the Byzantines as embedded in the socio-cultural context of the Komnenian and Palaiologan periods, the book analyses the frameworks and networks of knowledge transfer, patronage and identity building that motivated the Byzantine engagement with the ancient intellectual and literary tradition.