Browse results

The Eurasian Heartland, the Silk Roads and Food
Crossroads of Cuisine provides a history of foods, and foodways in terms of exchanges taking place in Central Asia and in surrounding areas such as China, Korea or Iran during the last 5000 years, stressing the manner in which East and West, West and East grew together through food. It provides a discussion of geographical foundations, and an interlocking historical and cultural overview going down to the present day, with a comparative country by country survey of foods and recipes. An ethnographic photo essay embracing all parts of the book binds it all together, and helps make topics discussed vivid and approachable. The book is important for explaining key relationships that have not always been made clear in past scholarship.
In Muslim Tatar Minorities in the Baltic Sea Region, edited by Ingvar Svanberg and David Westerlund, the contributors introduce the history and contemporary situation of these little known groups of people that for centuries have been part of the religious and ethnic mosaic of this region. The book has a broad and multi-disciplinary scope and covers the early settlements in Lithuania and Poland, the later immigrations to Saint Petersburg, Finland, Estonia and Latvia, as well as the most recent establishments in Sweden and Germany. The authors, who hail from and are specialists on these areas, demonstrate that in several respects the Tatar Muslims have become well-integrated here.

Contributors are: Toomas Abiline, Tamara Bairasauskaite, Renat Bekkin, Sebastian Cwiklinski, Harry Halén, Tuomas Martikainen, Agata Nalborczyk, Egdunas Racius, Ringo Ringvee, Valters Scerbinskis, Sabira Ståhlberg, Ingvar Svanberg and David Westerlund.
Dissimulation and Identity Maintenance among Alevi Bulgarian Turks
In Managing Invisibility, Hande Sözer examines complicated invisibilities of Alevi Bulgarian Turks, a double-minority which faces structural discrimination in Bulgaria and Turkey. While the literature portrays minorities’ visibility as a requirement for their empowerment or a source of their surveillance, the book argues that for such minorities what matters is their control over their own visibility. To make this point, it focuses on the concept protective dissimulation, a strategy of self-imposed invisibility. It discusses cases indicating Alevi Bulgarian Turks’ strategies of dealing with historically changing majorities in their larger societies and argues that dissimulation actually reinforces the intergroup distinctions for the minority’s members. The data for the book was gathered during 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Bulgaria and Turkey.
Uyghur Identities and Uyghur-Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang
Against the background of the Ürümchi riots (July 2009), this book provides a longitudinal study of contemporary Uyghur identities and Uyghur-Han relations. Previous studies considered China’s Uyghurs from the perspective of the majority Han (state or people). Conversely, The Art of Symbolic Resistance considers Uyghur identities from a local perspective, based on interviews conducted with group members over nearly twenty years. Smith Finley rejects assertions that the Uyghur ethnic group is a ‘creation of the Chinese state’, suggesting that contemporary Uyghur identities involve a complex interplay between long-standing intra-group socio-cultural commonalities and a more recently evolved sense of common enmity towards the Han. This book advances the discipline in three senses: from a focus on sporadic violent opposition to one on everyday symbolic resistance; from state to ‘local’ representations; and from a conceptualisation of Uyghurs as ‘victim’ to one of ‘creative agent’.