The Ottoman "Wild West": The Balkan Frontier in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Nikolay AntovIn the late fifteenth century, the north-eastern Balkans were under-populated and under-institutionalized. Yet, by the end of the following century, the regions of Deliorman and Gerlovo were home to one of the largest Muslim populations in southeast Europe. Nikolay Antov sheds fresh light on the mechanics of Islamization along the Ottoman frontier, and presents an instructive case study of the 'indigenization' of Islam – the process through which Islam, in its diverse doctrinal and socio-cultural manifestations, became part of a distinct regional landscape. Simultaneously, Antov uses a wide array of administrative, narrative-literary, and legal sources, exploring the perspectives of both the imperial center and regional actors in urban, rural, and nomadic settings, to trace the transformation of the Ottoman polity from a frontier principality into a centralized empire. Contributing to the further understanding of Balkan Islam, state formation and empire building, this unique text will appeal to those studying Ottoman, Balkan, and Islamic world history.
What the Doctor Overheard: Dr. Leopold Müller's Account of Music in Early Meiji Japan
Elizabeth Markham and Rembrandt WolpertDespite their significance, the writings on Japanese music by Prussian medical scientist and physician Leopold Müller, published in Yokohama in a series from 1874 to1876, have been nearly forgotten and marginalized even in historical research on the courtly gagaku traditions they focus upon. This study with full translation into both English and Japanese illuminates and reassesses Müller’s pioneering contribution. It situates the essay-series historically in the light of an important line of thought about the evolution of ancient gagaku that arose only in the mid-twentieth century, as well as more widely for nearer their actual publication in relation to the emerging scientifically based 19th-century European scholarly discourse of “other” musics. It reveals the author, founder of the Medical Academy in Tokyo and personal physician to the Meiji Emperor, as an important man of his day both in Japan and back at home. And it proposes that, with the recent rise of interest in the medical humanities and a musicological call for embracing the cognitive-scientific along with the historical and ethnographical, Müller’s firsthand observations of a foreign music made from the practical body-orientated approach and ethnographic pen of a medical scientist ought also find new resonance nowadays.
Following the Ball: The Migration of African Soccer Players across the Portuguese Colonial Empire, 1949-1975
Todd ClevelandWith Following the Ball, Todd Cleveland incorporates labor, sport, diasporic, and imperial history to examine the extraordinary experiences of African football players from Portugal’s African colonies as they relocated to the metropole from 1949 until the conclusion of the colonial era in 1975. The backdrop was Portugal’s increasingly embattled Estado Novo regime, and its attendant use of the players as propaganda to communicate the supposed unity of the metropole and the colonies.
Cleveland zeroes in on the ways that players, such as the great Eusébio, creatively exploited opportunities generated by shifts in the political and occupational landscapes in the waning decades of Portugal’s empire. Drawing on interviews with the players themselves, he shows how they often assumed roles as social and cultural intermediaries and counters reductive histories that have depicted footballers as mere colonial pawns.
To reconstruct these players’ transnational histories, the narrative traces their lives from the informal soccer spaces in colonial Africa to the manicured pitches of Europe, while simultaneously focusing on their off-the-field challenges and successes. By examining this multi-continental space in a single analytical field, the book unearths structural and experiential consistencies and contrasts, and illuminates the components and processes of empire.
Death in the City: Suicide and the Social Imaginary in Modern Mexico
At the turn of the twentieth century, many observers considered suicide to be a worldwide social problem that had reached epidemic proportions. In Mexico City, violent deaths in public spaces were commonplace in a city undergoing rapid modernization. Crime rates mounted, corpses piled up in the morgue, and the media reported on sensational cases of murder and suicide. More troublesome still, a compelling death wish appeared to grip women and youth. Drawing on a range of sources from judicial records to the popular press, Death in the City investigates the cultural meanings of self-destruction in modern Mexico. Sloan examines responses to suicide and death and disproves the long-held belief that Mexicans possess a cavalier attitude toward suffering.
Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic
In Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic, Charles E. Muntz offers a fresh look at one of the most neglected historians of the ancient world, and recovers Diodorus’s originality and importance as a witness to a profoundly tumultuous period in antiquity. Muntz analyzes the first three books of Diodorus’s Bibliotheke, some of the most varied and eclectic material in his work, in which Diodorus reveals through the history, myths, and customs of the “barbarians” the secrets of successful states and rulers, and contributes to the debates surrounding the transition from Republic to Empire. Muntz establishes just how linked the “barbarians” of the Bibliotheke are to the actors of the crumbling Republic, and demonstrates that through the medium of the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Indians, and others Diodorus engages with the major issues and intellectual disputes of his time, including the origins of civilization, the propriety of ruler-cult, the benefits of monarchy, and the relationship between myth and history. Diodorus has many similarities with other authors writing on these topics, including Cicero, Lucretius, Varro, Sallust, and Livy but, as Muntz argues, engaging with such controversial issues, even indirectly, could be especially dangerous for a Greek provincial such as Diodorus. Indeed, for these reasons he may never have completed or fully published the Bibliotheke in his lifetime. Through his careful and precise investigations, Muntz demonstrates Diodorus’s historical context at its full size and scope.