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Elisabeth Heijmans

In The Agency of Empire: Connections and Strategies in French Expansion (1686-1746) Elisabeth Heijmans places directors and their connections at the centre of the developments and operations of French overseas companies. The focus on directors’ decisions and networks challenges the conception of French overseas companies as highly centralized and controlled by the state.

Through the cases of companies operating in Pondicherry (Coromandel Coast) and Ouidah (Bight of Benin), Elisabeth Heijmans demonstrates the participation of actors not only in Paris but also in provinces, ports and trading posts in the French expansion. The analysis brings to the fore connections across imperial, cultural and religious boundaries in order to diverge from traditional national narratives of the French early modern empire.

Boaz Shoshan

In Damascus Life 1480-1500: A Report of a Local Notary Boaz Shoshan offers a microhistory of the largest Syrian city at the end of the Mamluk period and on the eve of the Ottoman conquest. Mainly based on a partly preserved diary, the earliest available of its kind and written by Ibn Ṭawq, a local notary, it portrays the life of a lower middle class who originated from the countryside and who, through marriage, was able to become a legal clerk and associate with scholars and bureaucrats. His diary does not only provide us with unique information on his family, social circle and the general situation in Damascus, but it also sheds light on subjects of which little is known, such as the functioning of the legal system, marriage and divorce, bourgeois property and the mores of the common people.

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Edited by Neil Brown, Silke Ackermann and Feza Günergun

Scientific Instruments between East and West is a collection of essays on aspects of the transmission of knowledge about scientific instruments and the trade in such instruments between the Eastern and Western worlds, particularly from Europe to the Ottoman Empire. The contributors, from a variety of countries, draw on original Arabic and Ottoman Turkish manuscripts and other archival sources and publications dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries not previously studied for their relevance to the history of scientific instruments. This little-studied topic in the history of science was the subject of the 35th Scientific Instrument Symposium held in Istanbul in September 2016, where the original versions of these essays were delivered.

Contributors are Mahdi Abdeljaouad, Pierre Ageron, Hamid Bohloul, Patrice Bret, Gaye Danışan, Feza Günergun, Meltem Kocaman, Richard L. Kremer, Janet Laidla, Panagiotis Lazos, David Pantalony, Atilla Polat, Bernd Scholze, Konstantinos Skordoulis, Seyyed Hadi Tabatabaei, Anthony Turner, Hasan Umut, and George Vlahakis.

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Doreen G. Fernandez

Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture by Doreen G. Fernandez is a groundbreaking work that introduces readers to the wondrous history of Filipino foodways. First published by Anvil in 1994, Tikim explores the local and global nuances of Philippine cuisine through its people, places, feasts, and flavors.

Doreen Gamboa Fernandez (1934–2002) was a cultural historian, professor, author, and columnist. Her food writing educated and inspired generations of chefs and food enthusiasts in the Philippines and throughout the world. This Brill volume honors and preserves Fernandez’s legacy with a reprinting of Tikim, a foreword by chef and educator Aileen Suzara, and an editor’s preface by historian Catherine Ceniza Choy.


First published in 1994 by Anvil Publishing, Pasig City, Philippines.

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Edited by Mirela Ivanova and Hugh Jeffery

Transmitting and Circulating the Late Antique and Byzantine Worlds seeks to be a crucial contribution to the history of medieval connectedness. Using one of the methodological tools associated with the global history movement, this volume aims to use connectedness to revitalise local and regional networks of exchange and movement. Its case studies collectively point caution toward assuming or asserting global-scale transmission of meaning or items unchanged, and show instead how meaning is locally produced and regionally formulated, and how this is no less dynamic than any global-level connectedness. These case studies by early career scholars range from the movement of cotton growing practices to the transmission of information within individual texts. Their wide scope, however, is nonetheless united by their preoccupation with transmission and circulation as categories of analysing or explaining movement and change in history. This volume hopes to be, therefore, a useful contribution to the growing field of a history of connectivity and connectedness.
Contributors are Jovana Andjelkovic, Petér Bara, Mathew Barber, Julia Burdajewicz, Adele Curness, Carl Dixon, Alex MacFarlane, Anna Kelley, Matteo G. Randazzo, Katinka Sewing, and Grace Stafford.

The Power of Cities

The Iberian Peninsula from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period

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Edited by Sabine Panzram

The Power of Cities focuses on Iberian cities during the lengthy transition from the late Roman to the early modern period, with a particular interest in the change from early Christianity, to the Islamic period, and on to the restoration of Christianity.
Drawing on case studies from cities such as Toledo, Cordoba, and Seville, it brings together for the first time recent research in urban studies that includes both archaeological and historical sources. Against the common portrayal of these cities characterised by discontinuities due to decadence, decline and invasions, it is instead a continuity, a so-called slow change, transformation, that can be regarded as the defining marker.
Sabine Panzram and the volume contributors provide available data sufficient to arrive at a new interpretation, understanding the history of cities as a continuum of structural changes, and suggesting to rewrite the history of the Iberian Peninsula from their perspective.
Contributors are Javier Arce, María Asenjo González, Antonio Irigoyen López, Alberto León Muñoz, Matthias Maser, Sabine Panzram, Gisela Ripoll, Torsten dos Santos Arnold, Isabel Toral-Niehoff, Fernando Valdés Fernández, and Klaus Weber.

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Edited by Karin Priem and Frederik Herman

Fabricating Modern Societies: Education, Bodies, and Minds in the Age of Steel, edited by Karin Priem and Frederik Herman, offers new interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives on the history of industrialization and societal transformation in early twentieth-century Luxembourg. The individual chapters focus on how industrialists addressed a large array of challenges related to industrialization, borrowing and mixing ideas originating in domains such as corporate identity formation, mediatization, scientification, technological innovation, mechanization, capitalism, mass production, medicalization, educationalization, artistic production, and social utopia, while competing with other interest groups who pursued their own goals. The book looks at different focus areas of modernity, and analyzes how humans created, mediated, and interacted with the technospheres of modern societies. Contributors: Klaus Dittrich, Irma Hadzalic, Frederik Herman, Enric Novella, Ira Plein, Françoise Poos, Karin Priem, and Angelo Van Gorp.

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Daniela Spenser

Founder of numerous labour unions in Mexico and Latin America between 1920s and 1960s, Vicente Lombardo Toledano was not only an organiser but also a broker between them, the government and business managers, able to disentangle difficult conflicts. An operator of the Mexican government and when he found it appropriate of the neighbouring nations and even on behalf of the Soviet Union, he was identified with communism without belonging to the party and with the party of the Mexican government without being its member.

Daniela Spenser´s is the first biography of Lombardo Toledano, based on primary sources from European, Mexican and American archives, and on personal interviews. Her even-keeled portrayal of the man counters previous hagiographies or vilifications.

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Karl Kautsky

Edited by Ben Lewis

Once deemed ‘the pope of Marxism’, Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were gradually consigned to near oblivion. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky’s ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. It demonstrates how Kautsky’s republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels – especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.

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Dan Swain

In None so Fit to Break the Chains Dan Swain offers an interpretation of Marx's ethics that foregrounds his commitment to working class self-emancipation and uses it as a guiding thread to interpret a number of different aspects of Marx’s ethical thought. This commitment is frequently overlooked in discussions of Marx's ethics, but it deeply influenced his criticism of capitalism, his approach towards an alternative, and his conception of his own role as activist and theorist.

Foregrounding self-emancipation offers new perspectives on various existing debates in the interpretation of Marx, such as the meanings of concepts like alienation, exploitation and utopianism, and can also offer insights into broader questions of the relationship between critical theory and practice.