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Art, Material Culture, and British-Russian Relations
Volume Editor: Louise Hardiman
“Courtly Gifts and Cultural Diplomacy” explores the history of British-Russian state relations from the perspective of art and material culture. This richly illustrated book presents manifold practices of courtly gift-giving and vivid case studies of British-Russian artistic diplomacy over the centuries. It traces a visual and material history of cross-cultural dialogue that starts with an early English map of Russia made in the 16th century and ends with gifts of Fabergé art objects and domestic photographs exchanged between the British royal family and the family of Tsar Nicholas II in late Imperial Russia. Twelve expert authors from academia, the arts, and the museum sectors in Britain, Russia, and the United States present new narratives and critical interpretations based on material from previously unexplored archives. Their diverse approaches reveal the importance of artistic diplomacy and the agency of gifts of art and material culture in courtly and state relations.
Stefan Thönissen geht den philosophisch-theologischen Wurzeln der westlichen Rechtstradition nach und legt dar, wie Theologie und Philosophie Grundlagen der rechtlichen Moderne gelegt haben.
In den vergangenen Jahrzehnten ist die philosophisch-theologische Beschäftigung mit dem Recht im Mittelalter und der Frühen Neuzeit immer mehr in den Fokus der Wissenschaft gelangt. Stefan Thönissen stellt diese Zusammenhänge in einem Überblick dar und fragt, wie das Zusammenwirken von Theologie, Philosophie und Rechtswissenschaft das Recht transformieren konnte. Hierfür werden zentrale philosophisch-theologische Debatten rekonstruiert und aufgezeigt, wie diese für rechtliche Diskussionen relevant wurden. Während zunächst die Theologie verrechtlicht wird, greift später eine Rezeption der theologischen Rechtslehre in den Bereich des Rechts Platz. Diese Entwicklungen machen begreiflich, wie sich der moderne, auf Person, Wille und Freiheit basierende Rechtsbegriff Bahn brechen konnte.
Der Kuban und der agromeliorative Komplex: Eine sowjetische Umwelt- und Technikgeschichte, 1929–1991
Das Spannungsverhältnis von allgegenwärtigem Mangel bei potentiellem Überfluss zählt zu den zentralen Widersprüchen der sowjetischen Geschichte. Mit Blick auf den „Brotkorb Russlands“ stellt sich die Frage, wie eines der fruchtbarsten Agrargebiete der Welt so heruntergewirtschaftet wurde, dass die Sowjetunion sogar Getreide importieren musste, um Hungersnöte zu vermeiden. In diesem Kontext untersucht Timm Schönfelder den Aufstieg und Fall der künstlichen Bewässerung entlang des südrussischen Flusses Kuban von den Jahren nach der Oktoberrevolution bis zum Zerfall des Imperiums. Als Studie zur menschlichen Hybris im Zeitalter ingenieurtechnischer Utopien liefert sie einen empirisch fundierten Beitrag zu einem tieferen Verständnis des sowjetischen Agrarsystems. Darüber hinaus beleuchtet sie die zentralen Idiosynkrasien sowjetischer Herrschaftskultur und hilft, die jüngeren Entwicklungen eines offenen, aber noch immer stark korruptionsbehafteten Marktes in Russland besser zu verstehen.
Author: Pia Wiegmink
Abolitionist Cosmopolitanism redefines the potential of American antislavery literature as a cultural and political imaginary by situating antislavery literature in specific transnational contexts and highlighting the role of women as producers, subjects, and audiences of antislavery literature. Pia Wiegmink draws attention to locales, authors, and webs of entanglement between texts, ideas, and people. Perceived through the lens of gender and transnationalism, American antislavery literature emerges as a body of writing that presents profoundly reconfigured literary imaginations of freedom and equality in the United States prior to the Civil War.
Already in 1854, Henry David Thoreau had declared in Walden that “Most men appear never to have considered what a house is” (225). Like Thoreau, many other renowned American writers have considered what houses are and, particularly, what houses do, and they have created fictional dwellings that function not only as settings, but as actual central characters in their works. The volume is specifically concerned with the structure, the organization, and the objects inside houses, and argues that the space defined by rooms and their contents influences the consciousness, the imaginations, and the experiences of the humans who inhabit them.

Contributors are: Cristina Alsina Rísquez, Rodrigo Andrés, Vicent Cucarella-Ramon, Arturo Corujo, Mar Gallego, Ian Green, Michael Jonik, Wyn Kelley, Cynthia Lytle, Carme Manuel, Paula Martín-Salván, Elena Ortells, Eva Puyuelo-Ureña, Dolores Resano, and Cynthia Stretch.
Les princesses ottomanes à l’aune du pouvoir (XVe-XVIIIe s.)
Author: Juliette Dumas
Les femmes ottomanes n’auraient pas leur place en politique ; recluses dans leur harem, elles passeraient leur temps en distractions superficielles ou en intrigues pernicieuses : tel est l’héritage de l’orientalisme et de l’historiographie traditionnelle. Loin de ces poncifs, cet ouvrage propose une plongée dans les cadres institutionnels et sociaux ottomans, qui commandent le spectre des interactions sociales et politiques des femmes de la cour ottomane, en prenant pour champ d’étude une figure largement ignorée de l’historiographie : les filles de sang des souverains ottomans – les sultanes.

Ottoman women would have no place in politics; recluse in their harem, they would pass their time in superficial distractions or in pernicious intrigues: such is the heritage of Orientalism and traditional historiography. Far from these clichés, this work offers a dive into the Ottoman institutional and social frameworks, which govern the spectrum of social and political interactions of the women of the Ottoman court, taking as a field of study a figure largely ignored by historiography: the blood daughters of the Ottoman rulers – the sultanas.
Transylvania has some of the most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in Europe. The oldest church was built in the 10th century, but most others came into being only after 1200. Later changes have considerably modified the appearance of still-standing buildings. Written sources are lacking for answers to questions about the identity of the builders and patrons. Countering the idea that only standing structures can reflect the history of medieval churches in Transylvania, this book uses archaeological sources in order to answer some of those questions and to bring to light the hidden past of many monuments.
Volume Editors: Stephan Dusil and Andreas Thier
The Decretum Gratiani is the cornerstone of medieval canon law, and the manuscript St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, 673 an essential witness to its evolution. The studies in this volume focus on that manuscript, providing critical insights into its genesis, linguistic features, and use of Roman Law, while evaluating its attraction to medieval readers and modern scholars.
Together, these studies offer a fascinating view on the evolution of the Decretum Gratiani, as well as granting new insights on the complex dynamics and processes by which legal knowledge was first created and then transferred in medieval jurisprudence.
Contributors are Enrique de León, Stephan Dusil, Melodie H. Eichbauer, Atria A. Larson, Titus Lenherr, Philipp Lenz, Kenneth Pennington, Andreas Thier, José Miguel Viejo-Ximénez, John C. Wei, and Anders Winroth.
Short Stories of Crisis and Response on Albania (1392-1402)
Debate within the Venetian Senate at turn of the fifteenth century has long been opaque, as only an elite few were allowed access to Senate proceedings, their participation bound to secrecy. This volume offers a new interpretation of scribal intent, enabling hidden aspects of those discussions to come to light.
By using documentation related to Venice’s involvement in Albanian territories as a case study, this study unfolds the systematic yet secretive method by which scribes classified Senate discussions. The registers emerge as triumphs of precise and pragmatic codification within a milieu of information overflow.