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.
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.