Scholarship on ethnicity in modern Latin America has traditionally understood the region’s various societies as fusions of people of European, indigenous, and/or African descent. These are often deployed as stable categories, with European or “white” as a monolith against which studies of indigeneity or blackness are set. The role of post-independence immigration from eastern and western Europe—as well as from Asia, Africa, and other Latin-American countries—in constructing the national ethnic landscape remains understudied. The contributors of this volume focus their attention on Jewish, Arab, non-Latin European, Asian, and Latin American immigrants and their experiences in their “new” homes. Rejecting exceptionalist and homogenizing tendencies within immigration history, contributors advocate instead an approach that emphasizes the locally- and nationally-embedded nature of ethnic identification.
Since the second half of the eighteenth century, generations of scientists persisted in studying the relationships between the volume, weight or shape of the human brain and the degree of ‘intelligence’. In Pogliano’s book, the thread of time drives the narrative up to the mid-twentieth century. It investigates the duration and changes of a game that was intrinsically political, although having to do with bones and nervous matter. Races made its main object, during a long period when Western culture believed the human species to be naturally partitioned into a number of discrete types, with their innate and hereditary traits. Never leading to irrefutable achievements, the polycentric (as well as visual) enterprise herein described is full of growing tensions, doubts, and disillusionment.
This book analyzes Jewish society in Roman Palestine in the time of the Mishnah (70–250 CE) in a systematic way, carefully delineating the various economic groups living therein, from the destitute, to the poor, to the middling, to the rich, and to the superrich. It gleans the various socioeconomic strata from the terminology employed by contemporary literary sources via contextual, philological, and historical-critical analysis. It also takes a multidisciplinary approach to analyze and interpret relevant archeological and inscriptional evidence as well as numerous legal sources.
The research presented herein shows that various expressions in the sources have latent meanings that indicate socioeconomic status. “Rich,” for example, does not necessarily refer to the elite, and “poor” does not necessarily refer to the destitute. Jewish society consisted of groups on a continuum from extremely poor to extremely rich, and the various middling groups played a more important role in the economy than has hitherto been thought.
‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.