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Berghahn Journals is the journals division of Berghahn Books, an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences. A peer-review press, Berghahn is committed to the highest academic standards and seeks to enable innovative contributions to the scholarship in its fields of specialty.


  • EnviroSociety

    New Featured Article!: “Systematic Review of Recent Social Indicator Efforts in US Coastal and Ocean Ecosystems (2000–2016)”

    The latest Environment and Society featured article is now available! This month’s article—”Systematic Review of Recent Social Indicator Efforts in US Coastal and Ocean Ecosystems (2000–2016)”—comes from Volume 8 (2017). In their article, Victoria C. Ramenzoni and David Yoskowitz discuss the major rationale underpinning governmental efforts, after Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, to quantify social impacts, resilience, and community adaptation , as well as the limitations and conflicts encountered in transitioning research to policy and application

    Visit the featured article page to download your copy of the article today before it’s gone! A new article is featured every month.

    Massive waves from Hurricane Sandy, 29 October 2012 (photograph by Harrison Group via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0).

    Massive waves from Hurricane Sandy, 29 October 2012 (photograph by Harrison Group via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0).

    is an environmental anthropologist. She was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at the NOAA (2014), and a contractor in the Office of Program Planning Information, NOAA (2015). She also served as an executive secretary for the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science, Office of Science and Technology, National Ocean Council, White House (2014–2015).

    DAVID YOSKOWITZ’s research and policy work centers on environmental, ecological, and natural resource economics, as well as microeconomic development and border economics. He was NOAA’s chief economist from 2014 to 2015, where he worked in the consolidation of social sciences at the federal level.

  • FocaalBlog

    David Graeber: Manufactured ignorance: The strange case of Juan Cole and the Kurdish Freedom Movement, and the International Liberal Intelligentsia

    This is a story about how a well-meaning liberal American professor can end up becoming an active propagandist for right-wing forces attempting to destroy a feminist revolution.

    Juan Cole is a Professor of History at the University of Michigan, well-known for his blog Informed Comment, which has provided detailed background and analysis on Middle Eastern affairs to a largely university-based audience since 2002. Politically a Sanders Democrat, he appears to operate within that sector of the progressive elite that overlaps with the DC political establishment and therefore exists in at least the same intellectual, social, and professional circuits (i.e., attends the same cocktail parties as members of what is delicately referred to as “the intelligence community.”

    What follows might then be read as a study in the moral perils of what can happen when scholars come to operate too closely to circuits of power. It bears in it lessons of no small relevance to anthropologists.

    Cole approaches contemporary Middle Eastern politics from what is often described as an anti-imperialist perspective—though he has been known to depart from it in specific instances (he supported NATO intervention in Libya). Much of the power of his analysis lies in his willingness to carefully pick through Turkish-, Arabic-, and Persian-language opinion pieces and news sources, and to examine the social and class basis of Islamist social movements like Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Iraqi Sadrists. Still, an anti-imperialist optic seems, oddly, much closer to an imperialist one than that of someone who is doing something else entirely; like the legates of empire he criticizes, Cole seems to share an instinctual sympathy for “moderate Islamist” strongmen, and an equally instinctual antipathy to anyone in his chosen area of study who purports to share his own left-wing commitments.

    Nowhere is this more apparent than in his limitless animus against Turkey’s Kurdish Worker’s Party, or PKK, and any other element of the larger Kurdish Freedom Movement of which the PKK is a part. For almost 20 years, they have been trying to “change the game,” as it were, from a story about empire and resistance to empire, to one where the Middle East should be, rather than a plaything of strongmen and would-be strongmen, the birthplace of a new phase in the history of democracy and women’s rights.

    Some background: around 2000, the PKK, a Marxist rebel group that had been fighting a long guerrilla war for a separate Kurdish state, began to undergo a profound ideological transformation. Sparked in part by the evolution of the ideas of imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan—partly, too, by the efforts of women’s groups within the movement—the PKK abandoned Marxism-Leninism and turned to libertarian socialism with a focus on overthrowing patriarchy. It also abandoned any call for a separate Kurdish state for a call to develop a multiethnic, ecologically conscious society based on principles of confederal direct democracy inspired in part by the ideas of the American anarchist theorist Murray Bookchin. Inspired by the example of the Mexican Zapatistas, they pledged not just not to target civilians, but not to carry out offensive actions against Turkish security forces, asking for a ceasefire and peace negotiations aimed at a general decentralization and democratization of Turkish society as a whole. Principles of democratic confederalism and equal women’s representation in all political offices were adopted across the broader Kurdish movement, including HDP (the largely Kurdish-based left political party in Turkey), PYD in Syria, and allied groups in Iraq and Iran.

    The Turkish response was to lobby to have the PKK placed on the US, Australian, Canadian, and EU “terror” lists, which they had not been before, and—though Erdogan did make a brief strategic gesture at negotiations—to use the “terrorist” designation as a pretext for rounding up thousands of activists, journalists, and elected officials who tried to pursue the new strategy of trying to build alternative democratic structures, many of whom were systematically raped and tortured in detention.

    Some years later, in Syria in 2012, events took a very different course. In the largely Kurdish-speaking northern cantons of Cezire, Kobane, and Afrin (collectively referred to as Rojava), the movement managed to negotiate a general withdrawal of Syrian government forces (government officials, and oligarchs close to the regime, almost all took off as well). Kurdish revolutionaries suddenly had a space to be able to realize their dream of democratic confederalism. This happened, however, in a tense relation with other areas in rebellion. While in the early days of the Syrian revolution, Arab communities too created directly democratic councils, many on a model inspired by a Syrian anarchist named Omar Aziz, the militarization of the conflict had very different effects; where in the Kurdish areas, the revolutionaries created their own militias, the People’s Protection Forces (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Forces (YPJ), most of the secular, left revolutionary organizations in the rest of Syria made a conscious decision not to join the armed struggle, leaving that to military defectors who made up the Free Syrian Army, then, increasingly, to Islamist militias armed and supplied by outside powers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. There were tensions between the two forces, especially over the YPG/J’s decision not to conduct offensive operations against the Syrian government but simply to protect the social experiments in its own territories. This, already, took a great deal of effort, however, as Islamists allied—openly or tacitly—with Turkey soon began launching major unprovoked assaults on Rojava, culminating in the famous siege of Kobane. International pressure gradually forced the United States to aid the YPG/J, which ultimately agreed to take the battle home to root out ISIS from the entirety of Syria, in the process, spreading the confederalist model and feminist mobilization well beyond Kurdish-majority territories, through about two-fifths of Syrian territory, in what’s now called the Democratic Confederation of North Syria—somewhat bizarrely, working in coordination with some two thousand US troops.

    This is the kind of information one might have imagined would feature prominently in a blog ostensibly intended to disentangle events in the region for a left-of-center, largely university-based Western audience. But one can search in vain for virtually any of it in Juan Cole’s blog. After his initial accounts of the Arab Spring, the revolutionary infrastructure in Arab areas—and the intriguing fact that in many areas, it has managed to coexist with Islamist militias—disappears. The treatment of the Kurdish movement, on the other hand, crosses the line from mere neglect to active hostility. This is especially directed against the PKK. While Cole made a point of describing Sunni rebels opposing the US occupation in Iraq, even those who placed bombs in marketplaces frequented by rival ethnic groups, as “guerrillas” he never referred to the PKK, who are fighting a classic guerrilla insurgency and never make such attacks, as anything but “terrorists.” Frequently, these denunciations slip into what appear to be simple fabrications, exemplified in statements such as “The PKK waged a dirty war in the 1970s-1990s and was guilty of massive war crimes, and is still a ruthless and brutal purveyor of terror.”

    While the first statement is contestable, to say the least, the second is simply untrue, and in the particular blog post linked above, five different commenters demanded Professor Cole give at least one example of a recent PKK attack on a civilian target. He ignored all of them. (The very fact that they remained up was somewhat anomalous; Cole systematically censors comments that challenge his editorial decisions on such issues, and preemptively blocks anyone on twitter who seems too sympathetic to the Kurdish left.) Cole’s signature rhetorical move is false evenhandedness, such as, in the same piece:

    Although the PKK is guilty of horrific acts of terrorism, Erdogan’s military has sometimes besieged civilian Kurdish villages in the southeast (they are Turkish citizens). When dozens of Turkish academics signed a letter protesting these state tactics, they met with state harassment and some were even arrested (over what was essentially a petition).

    If one knows anything of the real history, one cannot see paragraphs like this, coming from a world-renowned academic expert with long-standing knowledge and research interests in the region, as anything but calculated deception. These are the actual events being referred to, all of which would have been familiar to anyone following political events in Turkey, many of them widely reported in the press:

    • In 2016, the HDP, the third largest party in Turkish Parliament, and legal political wing of the Kurdish Freedom Movement, swept local elections in much of the Turkish southeast. Many of its elected officials, including numerous mayors, and hundreds community organizers were subsequently arrested, beaten, tortured, or killed by Turkish security forces and allied fascist or Islamist death squads.
    • Local youth groups in roughly a dozen Kurdish cities (not villages, cities) responded by voting to declare their municipalities self-governing on principles of democratic confederalism, took up arms and dug trench systems to defend their cities.
    • Erdogan then ordered the army (and allied Islamist militias) to surround and besiege these cities, imposing 24-hour curfews that created mass starvation, and ultimately flattening city centers and many neighborhoods with artillery and helicopter gunships. Hundreds died.
    • Suppression of the autonomous municipalities involved the widespread deployment of rape against female activists.
    • The PKK’s role in the conflict was limited to: (1) having earlier provided supplies and training to the youth groups, (2) calling for peace talks to head off armed conflict before the Turkish attack, and (3) descending, once the attacks began, from the mountains to make a largely unsuccessful military attempt to break the sieges.
    • As these events unfolded, more than two thousand Turkish academics presented a petition demanding the government negotiate rather than attack its own population; hundreds of these signatories have since been purged from their jobs, most were threatened, attacked, or arrested, and at least 148 face trial for “terrorist propaganda.”

    If one rereads Cole’s above-quoted passage with all this in mind (and Cole was certainly in a position to known all of this), we can see what a calculated act of dissimulation it really was. He clearly wants to write in such a way as to provoke mild sympathy among his audience for his fellow academics but, at the same time, to make the Turkish government’s actual “horrific acts of terrorism” (to use his own words in an appropriate context) and the destruction of Kurdish cities as palatable as possible to an audience of liberal intellectuals—in this case, largely by obfuscating and in some cases completely reversing the actual events.

    Such interventions are political acts—just as is the piece you are reading now—and all the more so in a context rife with censorship. Turkey by now has more journalists in prison than any other country on Earth. Crucially, the fact that the PKK is listed as a “terror group” means that, whatever its behavior, false statements about it will always pass unchecked in the mainstream media, but even accurate statements that contradict the terror narrative are well-nigh impossible to publish.

    The fact that it was the PKK (and the YPG) who fought their way through ISIS lines to rescue the Yazidis of Mount Sinjar from genocide, when no one else was willing to intervene, is largely ignored by Western journalists. This suppression extends to the Kurdish movement more generally: I myself had visited some of the Turkish cities in question in 2015, just before the army attacks began, and while they were happening wrote a piece clarifying the background—yet found myself incapable of finding a single American or European newspaper willing to run with it. To this day, almost no one outside Turkey is aware any of these events even took place.

    Clearly, the brave Turkish academics who signed the petition did so hoping that people like Cole would report why they did it, and that outrage among precisely the very sort of people who read Cole’s blog (call them, if you like, the international liberal intelligentsia…) would then lead to pressure on Erdogan’s government to return to peace talks. By strategically—and consistently—misrepresenting the situation to that very audience, Professor Cole appears to be intentionally trying to ensure the efforts of those Turkish academics were in vain. Again, it seems extremely unlikely that Cole was somehow unaware that, as he wrote, a dozen Turkish cities lay in ruins. What were his motives in representing things as other than they were?

    The exact same game is now being played for the horrific events and mass murder now taking place in northern Syria, where the Turkish army has launched a full-scale invasion of the previously peaceful canton of Afrin, on the grounds that its defenders are “terrorists”—for no other reason than that they are part of the larger Kurdish movement that includes the PKK. Unprovoked military aggression, is of course, a war crime—“the supreme war crime,” according to the Nuremberg tribunal, as Cole himself so pointedly noted in his critique of the Rumsfeld memo that prepared the US for the invasion of Iraq—and the Turkish army is conducting the invasion using not just Turkish troops but former ISIS and Al-Qaeda militiamen (along with FSA foot soldiers basically dragooned into the campaign against their will).

    Again, this might seem to be just the sort of case where international outrage might be expected, and might actually have a positive effect. To draw international attention to the situation, the North Syria Confederation organized a solidarity march of Kurds, Arabs, and Yezidis, as well as Syriac, Armenian, and Assyrian Christians, from across the region. Here is how Cole chose report on this event. If nothing else it might serve as a handy guide for any reader who might at any point in the future be interested in justifying atrocities:


    Image 1: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    The first clever move here is not to report an event, but to report a report of an event. The source is clearly unfriendly. But this allows Cole to leave the reader with the false impression that this is a purely Kurdish nationalist event, when the organizers intended the opposite. The final line that “it is alleged” that some protesters were Kurdish militia is also rather odd. In fact, both YPG/J volunteers from other parts of Syria, and Syriac Christian militia, have arrived in Afrin in recent days, but since the Syrian government is allowing safe passage there would be no reason for them to hide within a civilian march. Rather, the suggestion they might have been hiding reflects a recent Turkish propaganda line. Since Turkish army shelling and airstrikes against Afrin’s cities, towns, and villages have created hundreds of civilian casualties in Afrin, and photos of victims have begun to spark some international concern, the new line is that Kurdish militia are intentionally dressing in civilian clothes to fake such claims. The image of marchers with guns—invoked by this passage—is often used to reinforce this.


    Image 2: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Again, this passage is hard to understand except in the context of an ongoing info-war in which Cole, while apparently writing in a coolly evenhanded way, is, in fact, echoing another Turkish propaganda line. The Turkish public was prepared to believe the invasion would be a cakewalk, over in a matter of days. Eighteen days later, despite overwhelming advantage in numbers and technology (the Turkish army is in fact larger than the entire population of Afrin, and their troops can deploy hundreds of high-end German-manufactured tanks, fighter jets, and helicopter gunships), they have nowhere managed to advance more than roughly five or six kilometers into Democratic Federation of Syria territory, stopped in their tracks by determined male and female partisans armed with AK-47s and anti-tank missiles. Their response has been to insist the anti-tank missiles are supplied by the United States (in fact they appear to be Russian-made and bought or captured from other rebels). Even if these claims were true, however, they would be bizarre: US assurances that troops it armed would not be “deployed against” Turkey obviously referred to offensive actions, not that they would not be used to shoot back if Turkey launched an unprovoked attack against them. The article proceeds:

    Image 3: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Image 3: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Such criticism of Turkey is intended to create an impression of evenhanded neutrality, but in fact, considering the overwhelming evidence that Turkey was actively trading with Daesh, and cooperating politically and militarily, it is at best extremely understated. This sort of gentle touch is, however, certainly not what Cole deploys when speaking of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria:

    Image 4: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Image 4: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    This passage is crucial largely for what it does not say. In fact, Afrin’s total population had increased by 400,000 since the start of the war because it was an island of peace and stability, and most of those who fled there from other parts of Syria were not Kurdish. Cole seems to have felt the reader should not know this as it might undercut the tacit message that this is all about Kurdish nationalism.

    Cole also wants to ensure the reader remains ignorant of almost anything else that might show Afrin in a favorable light: for instance, the fact that its previously peaceful conditions had allowed it to go furthest with Rojava’s experiment in revolutionary feminism, to the point where two-thirds of all officeholders there are women. Or the fact that Rojava as a whole is conducting the most radical experiment in women’s empowerment, perhaps, in history, and that this experiment is being attacked by overtly patriarchal Islamists partly for this very reason. One might be forgiven for thinking a “left” commentator on the region might find this fact, or the experiments with direct democracy, worthy of discussion; or at the very least, worthy of remark. But Cole is careful to ensure his readers are not privy to any of this information.

    Image 5: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Image 5: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Here, Cole again employs the technique of the selective reporting of accusations (accusations against the YPG are regularly reproduced, with no comment on whether or not they ought to be credited; equivalent accusations against Turkey or FSA forces are simply not reported). Critical background is excluded: the fact, for instance, that the “Arab belt” populations between the three cantons that fear ethnic cleansing might do so largely because they are themselves mostly there as a result of Syrian government ethnic cleansing population against Kurds in the ’50s and ’60s, or that a UN investigation confirmed that, when the other two cantons (Cezire and Kobane) were united, no ethnic cleansing by YPG/J forces took place. Similarly, Manbij, a territory between Afrin and Kobane, was seized by the YPG from ISIS two years ago; even though it was a formerly Kurdish majority city that had been ethnically cleansed by the Syrian government in the ’60s and then again by Daesh over the last several years, until Kurds had been reduced to a mere 5% of the population, “Kurdish rule” has seen its population swell dramatically as 120,000 mostly Arab refugees came to live there from other parts of Syria. This is the very opposite of ethnic cleansing.

    In fact, the very existence of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, let alone the fact that it has put its model forward as a multiethnic democratic solution for all of Syria, or that it has nonetheless been excluded from official peace talks on Turkish insistence, is entirely left out Cole’s account.

    Finally, crucially, Cole uses the selective reporting trick to provide a pretext for Turkey’s unprovoked attack: its claims that the YPG is attacking its cities. The reality according to virtual all foreign observers until now has been the exact opposite: Turkey has been periodically shelling and bombing Afrin and other parts of Rojava for more than a year now, with the YPG refusing to take the bait and not returning fire.

    Image 6: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Image 6: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    As a summary of the war so far this is bizarre (in fact, the Turkish army had by that time failed to advance more than five kilometers into Afrin; the YPG/J had already released videos of as many as 20 armored vehicles destroyed or captured). The crucial thing to notice here though is how what were earlier reported as mere Turkish accusations of cross-border attacks has suddenly morphed into a flat-out a statement of fact. This rhetorical slippage is all the more striking considering, again, all the contextual information that’s left out, such as:

    (1) the fact that recordings have been released of Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkish intelligence, proposing faking just such cross-border missile attacks as a pretext for invasion, and considerable evidence the rocket attacks were indeed launched from the Turkish side, and

    (2) the fact that there are no similar doubts about the reality of Turkish artillery and bombing attacks on civilian targets in Afrin. These latter have included attacks on villages, urban neighborhoods, dams, bakeries, and water filtration plants, which have caused hundreds of civilian casualties. The Turkish air force has even carried out an ISIS-like attack on a famous archaeological site, the Ain Dara Hittite temple complex, which, sitting alone in a desert far from any other conceivable target, appears to have been blown apart for no other reason than to destroy the region’s cultural heritage.

    (This latter might be of some interest to anthropologists. In fact, both sides of the conflict are fighting a mythic battle. Islamists, now including the Turkish army, which has been increasingly taken over by Islamist loyalists since the coup, take aim at ruins as vestiges of a pagan past. The Kurdish movement in particular treasures them for that very reason, seeing Kurds as descendants of the Neolithic, goddess-worshipping peoples of the region, and their revolution as the beginning of historical reversal of patriarchy in its birthplace. A YPJ statement responding to Turkey’s Islamist auxiliaries’ mutilation of the corpse of a female fighter declared, “This time, my sisters will make history. We will avenge our Goddess Tiamat and smash the legacy of Marduk.”)

    Not a single mention of any of these facts about Turkish bombing of civilian targets and past threats of false-flag attacks appears anywhere in Cole’s piece, or in anything else he’s written. The piece ends:

    Image 7: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    Image 7: Screenshot from Juan Cole’s blog (, accessed 11 February 2018).

    The conclusion, alas, rather gives the game away. “Some observers” is again bizarre, since Erdogan himself has stated he intends to take Afrin city. He has also declared that Kurds have historically only represented 35 percent of the Afrin population (a statement that seems to have no historical basis whatsoever) and that he intends to give the territory back to its “rightful owners,” which has been taken by almost everyone else as public admission that ethnic cleansing is precisely what he has in mind. So, this is hardly something Cole just somehow figured out.

    A radical feminist experiment in direct democracy, of world-historic significance, is currently being attacked by forces of the far-right intent on carrying out war crimes to suppress it. While the women and men defending Afrin have shown extraordinary tenacity in blunting the Turkish offensive, the only long-term chance they have of fending off the onslaught is to hold out until global outrage forces world powers to withdraw their “green light” to Turkey’s military aggression. In this context, words are weapons. Erdogan’s regime is keenly aware of this and has showered untold millions on Western PR firms and influence peddlers to tar anyone associated with the Kurdish Freedom Movement as “terrorists.”

    As intellectuals we are used to being relatively marginal players in the global game. This is one unusual situation where the role of intellectuals, and particularly the broad left intellectual public is potentially crucial. Our thoughts, our potential interventions, actually do matter. The Women’s Defense Forces for instance have declared that they are fighting for all women against patriarchy, but above all they have appealed to women’s movements across the world for support. Those trying to put the ideas of Murray Bookchin and other Western left libertarians into practice have similarly called for the solidarity of all those trying to broaden and deepen democracy. This is what makes projects like Cole’s Informed Comment so strategically important, and makes his systematic hostility to the women’s revolution beginning to take place in the Middle East so insidious. What he has effectively done in the piece above is produced an elaborate case for war crimes, dressed up to be palatable to an educated foreign public: if Erdogan’s army, and its allied Grey Wolf fascist death squads, and Salafist Jihadi militias, actually do manage to destroy Afrin’s feminist experiment, the men like Juan Cole will have played a key role in making it possible.

    David Graeber is a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. While his academic work focuses on debt, value theory, direct action, and the ethnography of Madagascar, he visited Rojava in 2014, was a poll observer in the Kurdish region in Turkey in 2015, and has kept up an ongoing interest in the politics of the region.

    Cite as: Graeber, David. 2018. “Manufactured ignorance: The strange case of Juan Cole and the Kurdish Freedom Movement, and the International Liberal Intelligentsia.” FocaalBlog, 16 February.

  • Museum Worlds

    “Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire” is now at San Francisco’s de Young Museum

    House of the WaterlilyThe 1,000-year-old former Mesoamerican city, Teotihuacan, is on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and, after Feb. 11, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The de Young Museum provides an interactive digital story about the major exhibition, “Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire”. To celebrate, we’re presenting our new title: HOUSE OF THE WATERLILY: A Novel of the Ancient Maya World by Kelli Carmean


  • Berghahn Journals Blog

    World Anthropology Day 2018

    The 2018 Anthropology Day celebration is on Thursday, February 15. According to the AAA website, Anthropology Day “is a day for anthropologists to celebrate our discipline while sharing it with the world around us.”
    In support of these efforts and to mark this special day, we are delighted to showcase titles from across all strands of the subject and offer a time-limited discount of 25% off ALL Anthropology print titles ordered via our website by the close of 24th February 2018. Simply enter the code WAD18 at checkout.      

    Featured below are a number of new, recent and forthcoming titles. For a full listing of all current and new anthropology titles, please see our catalog. For a complete list of all titles in the range, please visit our website.



    The Unwritten Rules of Academia
    Laura Nader


    Analyzing the workings of boundary maintenance in the areas of anthropology, energy, gender, and law, Nader contrasts dominant trends in academia with work that pushes the boundaries of acceptable methods and theories. Although the selections illustrate the history of one anthropologist’s work over half a century, the wider intent is to label a field as contrarian to reveal unwritten rules that sometimes hinder transformative thinking and to stimulate boundary crossing in others.

    Read Introduction

    New in Paperback:

    Genres and Contexts in the Twenty-First Century
    Edited by Helena Wulff


    “This well-written collection of essays is not merely a programmatic statement about the need for anthropologists to experiment with genres, but indicates how it can be done. It succeeds in showing just as much as telling, with examples ranging from the thought-provoking to the entertaining.” · Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo

    Read Introducing the Anthropologist as Writer: Across and Within Genres


    Edited by Michael Jackson and Albert Piette


    “Overall, this book offers fascinating insights into the potentialities of existential anthropology… it allows to step beyond some of the conceptions that have governed past edited collections in this field, without yielding to current fads in Anglophone anthropology.” · Sociologus

    Read Introduction: Anthropology and the Existential Turn


    Varieties of Liminality
    Edited by Agnes Horvath, Bjørn Thomassen, and Harald Wydra


    “In well integrated chapters, the [volume] proves the relevance of the concept across disciplines, particularly for the study of moments of instability and possibility, as well as for understanding the transformative potential of participation… In addition to helping one understand in-between experiences overall, [it] invites the reader to rethink the complicated relation between individual agency, social order and cultural transmission… a remarkable contribution to sociology, anthropology and critical theory.” · European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

    Read Introduction: Liminality and the Search for Boundaries



    NEW SERIES: Studies in Social Analysis

    The focus of this series is on ‘analysis’, understood not as a synonym of ‘theory’, but as the fertile meeting-ground of the empirical and the conceptual. It provides a platform for exploring anthropological approaches to social analysis in all of their variety, and in doing so seeks also to open new avenues of communication between anthropology and the humanities as well as other social sciences.

    Entanglements, Suspensions, Suspicions
    Edited by Mateusz Laszczkowski and Madeleine Reeves


    In recent years, political and social theory has been transformed by the heterogeneous approaches to feeling and emotion jointly referred to as ‘affect theory’. These range from psychological and social-constructivist approaches to emotion to feminist and post-human perspectives. Covering a wide spectrum of topics and ethnographic contexts—from engineering in the Andes to household rituals in rural China, from South African land restitution to migrant living in Moscow, and from elections in El Salvador to online and offline surveillance among political refugees from Uzbekistan and Eritrea—the chapters in this volume interrogate this ‘affective turn’ through the lens of fine-grained ethnographies of the state. The volume enhances the anthropological understanding of the various ways through which the state comes to be experienced as a visceral presence in social life.

    Read Introduction: Affective States: Entanglements, Suspensions, Suspicions


    Toward a Relational Anthropology of the State
    Edited by Tatjana Thelen, Larissa Vetters, and Keebet von Benda-Beckmann


    Stategraphy—the ethnographic exploration of relational modes, boundary work, and forms of embeddedness of actors—offers crucial analytical avenues for researching the state. By exploring interactions and negotiations of local actors in different institutional settings, the contributors explore state transformations in relation to social security in a variety of locations spanning from Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans to the United Kingdom and France. Fusing grounded empirical studies with rigorous theorizing, the volume provides new perspectives to broader related debates in social research and political analysis.

    Read Introduction to Stategraphy: Toward a Relational Anthropology of the State

    For a full list of volumes please visit series webpage.


    LOOSE CAN(N)ONS Series

    The Cultural Analysis of America
    Lee Drummond


    American anthropologists have long advocated cultural anthropology as a tool for cultural critique, yet seldom has that approach been employed in discussions of major events and cultural productions that impact the lives of tens of millions of Americans. This collection of essays aims to refashion cultural analysis into a hard-edged tool for the study of American society and culture, addressing topics including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, abortion, sports doping, and the Jonestown massacre-suicides. Grounded in the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, the essays advance an inquiry into the nature of culture in American society.


    Anthropology of Europe Series

    Edited by Andrés Barrera-González, Monica Heintz and Anna Horolets


    In what ways did Europeans interact with the diversity of people they encountered on other continents in the context of colonial expansion, and with the peasant or ethnic ‘Other’ at home? How did anthropologists and ethnologists make sense of the mosaic of people and societies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when their disciplines were progressively being established in academia? By assessing the diversity of European intellectual histories within sociocultural anthropology, this volume aims to sketch its intellectual and institutional portrait. It will be a useful reading for the students of anthropology, ethnology, history and philosophy of science, research and science policy makers.

    Read Introduction: Strength from the Margins: Restaging European Anthropologies


    Worlds in Motion Series

    Critical Engagements
    Edited by Noel B. Salazar and Kiran Jayaram

    Scholars from various disciplines have used key concepts to grasp mobilities, but as of yet, a working vocabulary of these has not been fully developed. Given this context and inspired in part by Raymond Williams’ Keywords (1976), this edited volume presents contributions that critically analyze mobility-related keywords: capital, cosmopolitanism, freedom, gender, immobility, infrastructure, motility, and regime. Each chapter provides an historical context, a critical analysis of how the keyword has been used in relation to mobility, and a conclusion that proposes future usage or research.

    Read Introduction: Keywords of Mobility: A Critical Introduction


    Sexual Economies, Marriage and Migration in a Disparate World
    Edited by Christian Groes and Nadine T. Fernandez


    As globalization and transnational encounters intensify, people’s mobility is increasingly conditioned by intimacy, ranging from love, desire, and sexual liaisons to broader family, kinship and conjugal matters. This book explores the entanglement of mobility and intimacy in various configurations throughout the world. It argues that rather than being distinct and unrelated phenomena, intimacy-related mobilities constitute variations of cross-border movements shaped by and deeply entwined with issues of gender, kinship, race and sexuality, as well as local and global powers and border restrictions in a disparate world.

    For a full list of volumes please visit series webpage.


    The Human Economy Series

    Global Perspectives on Technology, Financial Inclusion, and Design
    Edited by Bill Maurer, Smoki Musaraj, and Ivan Small


    Mobile money, e-commerce, cash cards, retail credit cards, and more—as new monetary technologies become increasingly available, the global South has cautiously embraced these mediums as a potential solution to the issue of financial inclusion. How, if at all, do new forms of dematerialized money impact people’s everyday financial lives? In what way do technologies interact with financial repertoires and other socio-cultural institutions? How do these technologies of financial inclusion shape the global politics and geographies of difference and inequality? These questions are at the heart of Money at the Margins, a groundbreaking exploration of the uses and socio-cultural impact of new forms of money and financial services.


    Edited by Keith Hart


    This book addresses how to think about money (from Aristotle to the daily news and the sexual economy of luxury goods); its contemporary evolution (banking the unbanked and remittances in the South, cross-border investment in China, the payments industry and the politics of bitcoin); and cases from 19th century India and Southern Africa to contemporary Haiti and Argentina. Money is one idea with diverse forms. As national monopoly currencies give way to regional and global federalism, money is a key to achieving economic democracy.

    Read Introduction: Money in a Human Economy


    Confiscated Mafia Land in Sicily
    Theodoros Rakopoulos


    From Clans to Co-ops explores the social, political, and economic relations that enable the constitution of cooperatives operating on land confiscated from mafiosi in Sicily, a project that the state hails as arguably the greatest symbolic victory over the mafia in Italian history. Rakopoulos’s ethnographic focus is on access to resources, divisions of labor, ideologies of community and food, and the material changes that cooperatives bring to people’s lives in terms of kinship, work and land management. The book contributes to broader debates about cooperativism, how labor might be salvaged from market fundamentalism, and to emergent discourses about the ‘human’ economy.

    From Clans to Co-ops: Confiscated Mafia Land in Sicily by Theodoros Rakopoulos is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

    This edition is supported by the University of Bergen. Full Text.

    For a full list of volumes please visit the series webpage.


    Higher Education in Critical Perspective: Practices and Policies Series

    Uncertain Futures for Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy
    Edited by Susan Wright and Cris Shore


    Universities have been subjected to continuous government reforms since the 1980s, to make them ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘efficient’ and aligned to the predicted needs and challenges of a global knowledge economy. Under increasing pressure to pursue ‘excellence’ and ‘innovation’, many universities are struggling to maintain their traditional mission to be inclusive, improve social mobility and equality and act as the ‘critic and conscience’ of society. Drawing on a multi-disciplinary research project, University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation (URGE), this collection analyses the new landscapes of public universities emerging across Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and the different ways that academics are engaging with them.

    Read Introduction: Privatizing the Public University: Key Trends, Countertrends and Alternatives


    Action Research in Higher Education
    Morten Levin and Davydd J. Greenwood


    Public universities are in crisis, waning in their role as central institutions within democratic societies. Denunciations are abundant, but analyses of the causes and proposals to re-create public universities are not. Based on extensive experience with Action Research-based organizational change in universities and private sector organizations, Levin and Greenwood analyze the wreckage created by neoliberal academic administrators and policymakers. The authors argue that public universities must be democratically organized to perform their educational and societal functions. The book closes by laying out Action Research processes that can transform public universities back into institutions that promote academic freedom, integrity, and democracy.

    Read Introduction: Democracy and Public Universities

    For a full list of volumes please visit the series page.


    Max Planck Studies in Anthropology and Economy Series

    Precarity, Class and the Neoliberal Subject
    Edited by Chris Hann and Jonathan Parry
    Afterword by Michael Burawoy


    Bringing together ethnographic case studies of industrial labor from different parts of the world, Industrial Labor on the Margins of Capitalism explores the increasing casualization of workforces and the weakening power of organized labor. This division owes much to state policies and is reflected in local understandings of class. By exploring this relationship, these essays question the claim that neoliberal ideology has become the new ‘commonsense’ of our times and suggest various propositions about the conditions that create employment regimes based on flexible labor.


    Explorations in Self-Sufficiency after Socialism
    Edited by Stephen Gudeman and Chris Hann


    “…the volume offers possibilities for fruitfully reconsidering enduring topics and issues in economic theory that are of great interest not just to anthropologists but to other social scientists and economic philosophers.” · Anthropos

    Read Introduction: Self-Sufficiency as Reality and as Myth

    For a full list of volumes please visit series webpage.


    Dislocations Series

    Labour, Social Movements and the Invisible Hand of Mao in Western Nepal
    Michael Hoffmann


    Located in the far-western Tarai region of Nepal, Kailali has been the site of dynamic social and political change in recent history. The Partial Revolution examines Kailali in the aftermath of Nepal’s Maoist insurgency, critically examining the ways in which revolutionary political mobilization changes social relations—often unexpectedly clashing with the movement’s ideological goals. Focusing primarily on the end of Kailali’s feudal system of bonded labor, Hoffmann explores the connection between politics, labor, and Mao’s legacy, documenting the impact of changing political contexts on labor relations among former debt-bonded laborers.

    Read Introduction: The Maoist Victory Rally


    Edited by Catherine Dolan and Dinah Rajak
    Afterword by Robert J. Foster


    “Each chapter in this important book, in one way or another, interrogates the slippery and shady partnerships forming between transnational corporations, international development agencies, and NGOs to further augment and implement CSR programmes…If you think critically about corporations, add this to your collection.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

    Read Introduction: Towards an Anthropology of Corporate Social Responsibility


    Toward a Global Anthropology of Labor
    Edited by Sharryn Kasmir and August Carbonella


    “[This volume] draws upon long-term fieldwork to examine how labor struggles have faltered, become disconnected from the societal mission to advance the greater good, and the reactions and fallout from this change. Applying principles of global anthropology to the dilemma, Blood and Fire portrays an uncertain future. A thought-provoking and studious title, ideal for college library anthropology shelves.”  ·  Library Bookwatch

    Read Introduction: Toward a Global Anthropology of Labor

    For a full list of volumes please visit series webpage.

    Anthropology Journals:

    Berghahn Journals is the journals division of Berghahn Books, an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences. A peer-review press, Berghahn is committed to the highest academic standards and seeks to enable innovative contributions to the scholarship in its fields of specialty.

    Open Access Articles:

    Visions of prosperity and conspiracy in Timor-Leste
    by Judith Bovensiepen
    Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology
    Volume: 2016 Issue: 75

    Which community for cooperatives? Peasant mobilizations, the Mafia, and the problem of community participation in Sicilian co-ops
    by Theodoros Rakopoulos
    Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology
    Volume: 2015 Issue: 71

    Workshop Scribbles, Policy Work and Impact: Anthropological Sensibilities in Praxis at an FASD Workshop
    by Michelle Stewart
    Anthropology in Action: Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice
    Volume: 22 Issue: 2

    Girlhood and Ethics: The Role of Bodily Integrity
    by Mar Cabezas and Gottfried Schweiger
    Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
    Volume: 9 Issue: 3

    Less Than One But More Than Many: Anthropocene as Science Fiction and Scholarship-in-the-Making
    by Heather Anne Swanson, Nils Bubandt and Anna Tsing
    Environment and Society: Advances in Research
    Volume: 6 Issue: 1

    ‘Ceremonies of Renewal’: Visits, Relationships, and Healing in the Museum Space
    by Laura Peers
    Museum Worlds: Advances in Research
    Volume: 1 Issue: 1

    Securitization, alterity, and the state: Human (in)security on an Amazonian frontier
    Marc Brightman and Vanessa Grotti
    Regions and Cohesion
    Volume: 4 Issue: 3

    Narratives of the Invisible: Autobiography, Kinship, and Alterity in Native Amazonia
    Vanessa Elisa Grotti and Marc Brightman
    Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice
    Volume: 60 Issue: 1

    Scholarly Blogs:

    A multimedia site, EnviroSociety provides insights into contemporary socio-ecological issues with posts from top scholars in the social sciences that engage readers interested in current environmental topics.

    FocaalBlog is associated with Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. It aims to accelerate and intensify anthropological conversations beyond what a regular academic journal can do, and to make them more widely, globally, and swiftly available.

    Berghahn Blog
    Berghahn Books’ very own blog page with special discount offers, info about new titles, author interviews, and more.


  • Berghahn Journals Blog

    International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    In recognition of this year’s anniversary, Berghahn would like to showcase a range of Holocaust related titles, including our War and Genocide Series, which reflects a growing interest in the study of war and genocide within the framework of social and cultural history. We are pleased to offer a 25% discount on any of our Print Genocide Studies titles for the next 30 days. At checkout, simply enter the code IHR18.

    New and recently-published titles can be found in our latest History Catalogue.

    In recognition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Berghahn Journals would like to offer FREE access to related articles* from the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, European Judaism, Historical Reflections, and the Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society until February 3.

    Jews and Other Others at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
    Irit Dekel
    Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (Vol. 23, Issue 2)


    A Totem and a Taboo: Germans and Jews Re-enacting Aspects of the Holocaust
    Jeremy Schonfield
    European Judaism (Vol. 49, Issue 2)


    Holocaust Ethics: Difficult Histories and Threatening Memories
    Victor Jeleniewski Seidler
    European Judaism (Vol. 47, Issue 1)


    From Holocaust Trauma to the Dirty War
    Federico Finchelstein
    Historical Reflections (Vol. 41, Issue 3)


    Ignored and Misunderstood Aspects of the Holocaust
    Gerhard L. Weinberg
    Historical Reflections (Vol. 39, Issue 2)


    The Holocaust in the Textbooks and in the History and Citizenship Education Program of Quebec
    Sivane Hirsch and Marie McAndrew
    Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (Vol. 6, Issue 1)


    *Content is exclusively for the user’s individual, personal, non-commercial use. View full terms and conditions.


    Essays across Disciplines


    Edited by Norman J. W. GodaSince the end of World War II, the ongoing efforts aimed at criminal prosecution, restitution, and other forms of justice in the wake of the Holocaust have constituted one of the most significant episodes in the history of human rights and international law. As such, they have attracted sustained attention from historians and legal scholars. This edited collection substantially enlarges the topical and disciplinary scope of this burgeoning field, exploring such varied subjects as literary analysis of Hannah Arendt’s work, the restitution case for Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, and the ritualistic aspects of criminal trials.

    Read Introduction


    The Men of the Wannsee Conference
    Edited by Hans-Christian Jasch and Christoph Kreutzmüller
    Translated from the German by Charlotte Kreutzmüller-Hughes and Jane Paulick


    On 20 January 1942, fifteen senior German government officials attended a short meeting in Berlin to discuss the deportation and murder of the Jews of Nazi-occupied Europe. Despite lasting less than two hours, the Wannsee Conference is today understood as a signal episode in the history of the Holocaust, exemplifying the labor division and bureaucratization that made the “Final Solution” possible. Yet while the conference itself has been exhaustively researched, many of its attendees remain relatively obscure. Combining accessible prose with scholarly rigor, The Participants presents fascinating profiles of the all-too-human men who implemented some of the most inhuman acts in history.

    Read Introduction: The Participants: The Men of the Wannsee Conference


    Arab and Turkish Responses
    Edited by Francis R. Nicosia and Boğaç A. Ergene

    Volume 7, Vermont Studies on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust


    Given their geographical separation from Europe, ethno-religious and cultural diversity, and subordinate status within the Nazi racial hierarchy, Middle Eastern societies were both hospitable as well as hostile to National Socialist ideology during the 1930s and 1940s. By focusing on Arab and Turkish reactions to German anti-Semitism and the persecution and mass-murder of European Jews during this period, this expansive collection surveys the institutional and popular reception of Nazism in the Middle East and North Africa. It provides nuanced and scholarly yet accessible case studies of the ways in which nationalism, Islam, anti-Semitism, and colonialism intertwined, all while sensitive to the region’s political, cultural, and religious complexities.


    Historical and Psychological Studies of the Kestenberg Archive
    Edited by Sharon Kangisser Cohen, Eva Fogelman, and Dalia Ofer


    The testimonies of individuals who survived the Holocaust as children pose distinct emotional and intellectual challenges for researchers: as now-adult interviewees recall profound childhood experiences of suffering and persecution, they also invoke their own historical awareness and memories of their postwar lives, requiring readers to follow simultaneous, disparate narratives. This interdisciplinary volume brings together historians, psychologists, and other scholars to explore child survivors’ accounts. With a central focus on the Kestenberg Holocaust Child Survivor Archive’s over 1,500 testimonies, it not only enlarges our understanding of the Holocaust empirically but illuminates the methodological, theoretical, and institutional dimensions of this unique form of historical record.

    Read Introduction



    The Holocaust in Czech and Slovak Historical Culture
    Tomas Sniegon

    Volume 18, Making Sense of History


    “Overall, this is an informative book [that]… may be especially useful for readers interested in the ongoing development of historical narratives in Europe generally, and in the Czech and Slovak Republics in particular.” · Holocaust and Genocide

    About 270,000 out of the 360,000 Czech and Slovak casualties of World War II were victims of the Holocaust. Despite these statistics, the Holocaust vanished almost entirely from post-war Czechoslovak, and later Czech and Slovak, historical cultures. The communist dictatorship carried the main responsibility for this disappearance, yet the situation has not changed much since the fall of the communist regime. The main questions of this study are how and why the Holocaust was excluded from the Czech and Slovak history.

    Read Introduction: Czechoslovak history’s velvet awakening


    Popular Responses to the Persecution and Murder of the Jews
    Edited by Susanna Schrafstetter and Alan E. Steinweis

    Volume 6, Vermont Studies on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust


    For decades, historians have debated how and to what extent the Holocaust penetrated the German national consciousness between 1933 and 1945. How much did “ordinary” Germans know about the subjugation and mass murder of the Jews, when did they know it, and how did they respond collectively and as individuals? This compact volume brings together six historical investigations into the subject from leading scholars employing newly accessible and previously underexploited evidence. Ranging from the roots of popular anti-Semitism to the complex motivations of Germans who hid Jews, these studies illuminate some of the most difficult questions in Holocaust historiography, supplemented with an array of fascinating primary source materials.

    Read Introduction: The German People and the Holocaust


    Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
    Jordana Silverstein


    “Anxious Histories invites scholars and educators to consider Holocaust education from a series of thought-provoking dimensions. It ought to spur further research to enrich the knowledge base at both the theoretical and practical levels. The book adds to our understanding of the contents and discontents of Holocaust education in Jewish high schools in diaspora contexts at the beginning of the 21st century. Its treatment of a crucial and timely topic in our field renders it a valuable work. For its innovative claims about the roles of both anxiety and assimilation in how Jewish educators teach the Holocaust, it merits our careful attention.” · Journal of Jewish Education

    Read Introduction: Holocaust Historiography, Anxiety and the Formulations of a Diasporic Jewishness


    Buchenwald, Babi Yar, Lidice
    Jessica Rapson


    “Jessica Rapson has written a fascinating book… that can be immensely inspiring. One may not agree with her all the time, but this makes her discourse contribution even more valuable.” · H-Soz-Kult

    Commentary on memorials to the Holocaust has been plagued with a sense of “monument fatigue”, a feeling that landscape settings and national spaces provide little opportunity for meaningful engagement between present visitors and past victims. This book examines the Holocaust via three sites of murder by the Nazis: the former concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany; the mass grave at Babi Yar, Ukraine; and the razed village of Lidice, Czech Republic. Bringing together recent scholarship from cultural memory and cultural geography, the author focuses on the way these violent histories are remembered, allowing these sites to emerge as dynamic transcultural landscapes of encounter in which difficult pasts can be represented and comprehended in the present. This leads to an examination of the role of the environment, or, more particularly, the ways in which the natural environment, co-opted in the process of killing, becomes a medium for remembrance.

    Read Introduction


    Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich
    Sabine Hildebrandt
    Foreword by William E. Seidelman


    “With this book Sabine Hildebrandt submits an important piece of work to the public, a work that is always absorbing, and needs to be taken very, very seriously. It truly presents a milestone in the research and reappraisal of one of the darkest chapters in the history of medicine. On the basis of thorough new research and a meticulous collection of existing data, it analyzes concisely, objectively, and consistently the position and development of the medical discipline of anatomy during the Third Reich…It would be more than appropriate to include this important book as a standard text in the medical curriculum on the history of medicine. Also, this work can be recommended warmly and without reservations to the general public.” · Annals of Anatomy

    Of the many medical specializations to transform themselves during the rise of National Socialism, anatomy has received relatively little attention from historians. While politics and racial laws drove many anatomists from the profession, most who remained joined the Nazi party, and some helped to develop the scientific basis for its racialist dogma. As historian and anatomist Sabine Hildebrandt reveals, however, their complicity with the Nazi state went beyond the merely ideological. They progressed through gradual stages of ethical transgression, turning increasingly to victims of the regime for body procurement, as the traditional model of working with bodies of the deceased gave way, in some cases, to a new paradigm of experimentation with the “future dead.”

    Read Introduction


    The Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity, 1930-1945
    Christoph Kreutzmüller
    Translated from the German by Jane Paulick and Jefferson Chase


    “Kreutzmüller’s well written study deals with resistance offered by Berlin’s Jews in the face of Hitler’s legal machinery to destroy their economic selfreliance. The exhaustive research… abundant examples and case studies complement the data, making the book useful for both research and teaching.” · Choice

    Before the Nazis took power, Jewish businesspeople in Berlin thrived alongside their non-Jewish neighbors. But Nazi racism changed that, gradually destroying Jewish businesses before murdering the Jews themselves. Reconstructing the fate of more than 8,000 companies, this book offers the first comprehensive analysis of Jewish economic activity and its obliteration. Rather than just examining the steps taken by the persecutors, it also tells the stories of Jewish strategies in countering the effects of persecution. In doing so, this book exposes a fascinating paradox where Berlin, serving as the administrative heart of the Third Reich, was also the site of a dense network for Jewish self-help and assertion.

    Read Introduction


    Interpreting the Scrolls of Auschwitz
    Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams


    “Chare and Williams have applied a multidisciplinary approach using methods drawn from history, literature, art, psychology, photography, and the study of material culture to analyze these documents, which are often referred to as the Scrolls of Auschwitz, an allusion to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the damaged documents are often very difficult to read and interpret. A valuable contribution to Holocaust scholarship, the field of eyewitness testimony, and the documentation of traumatic events… Highly Recommended.” · Choice

    Check out Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams’s piece on Slate’s The Vault and also Searching for Feelings: The Scrolls of Auschwitz and Son of Saul on the Berghahn Blog.

    Read Introduction: Matters of Testimony

    War and Genocide Series

    “The Berghahn series Studies on War and Genocide has immeasurably enriched the English-language scholarship available to scholars and students of genocide and, in particular, the Holocaust.” · Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions


    Edited by Claire Zalc and Tal Bruttmann


    How does scale affect our understanding of the Holocaust? In the vastness of its implementation and the sheer amount of death and suffering it produced, the genocide of Europe’s Jews presents special challenges for historians, who have responded with work ranging in scope from the world-historical to the intimate. In particular, recent scholarship has demonstrated a willingness to study the Holocaust at scales as focused as a single neighborhood, family, or perpetrator. This volume brings together an international cast of scholars to reflect on the ongoing microhistorical turn in Holocaust studies, assessing its historiographical pitfalls as well as the distinctive opportunities it affords researchers.

    Read Introduction: Towards a Microhistory of the Holocaust


    The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide
    Taner Akçam and Umit Kurt
    Translated by Aram Arkun


    “This book is a valuable addition to filling the gaps of our understanding of genocide and helps readers navigate complex terrain in the case study presented… I recommend this book as a case study to be included in graduate level courses. In addition to its thorough review of the questionable statecraft of genocidal states, it is a reminder of the merits of engaged scholarship. Akçam and Kurt, by sharing their research as an act of solidarity with citizens who continue to challenge state restraints and master narratives based on genocide, make a contribution to the ongoing process of crafting a just society.” · Histoire Sociale/Social History

    Read Introduction


    Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945
    Edited by Wolf Gruner and Jörg Osterloh


    “Much remains to be learned about the Holocaust in the occupied regions, but this collection helps fill the gap.” · Holocaust and Genocide Studies

    Between 1935 and 1940, the Nazis incorporated large portions of Europe into the German Reich. The contributors to this volume analyze the evolving anti-Jewish policies in the annexed territories and their impact on the Jewish population, as well as the attitudes and actions of non-Jews, Germans, and indigenous populations. They demonstrate that diverse anti-Jewish policies developed in the different territories, which in turn affected practices in other regions and even influenced Berlin’s decisions. Having these systematic studies together in one volume enables a comparison – based on the most recent research – between anti-Jewish policies in the areas annexed by the Nazi state. The results of this prizewinning book call into question the common assumption that one central plan for persecution extended across Nazi-occupied Europe, shifting the focus onto differing regional German initiatives and illuminating the cooperation of indigenous institutions.

    Read Introduction

    For a full list of titles in the series please visit the series webpage.

    Berghahn Jounals


    German Politics and Society is the only American publication that explores issues in modern Germany from the combined perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural studies. The journal provides a forum for critical analysis and debate about politics, history, film, literature, visual arts, and popular culture in contemporary Germany. Every issue includes contributions by renowned scholars commenting on recent books about Germany.

    Featured Article:

    Latent but Not Less Significant: The Holocaust as an Argumentative Resource in German National Identity Discourse
    Eunike Piwoni



    French Politics, Culture & Society explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines France’s relationship to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire.

    Featured Article:

    Francophonie and Sephardic Difference in the Postwar United States
    Nadia Malinovich


    A Journal for the New Europe


    For over 40 years, European Judaism has provided a voice for the postwar Jewish world in Europe. It has reflected the different realities of each country and helped to rebuild Jewish consciousness after the Holocaust.

    Featured Article: 

    Fetishizing the Holocaust: Comedy and Transatlantic Connections in Howard Jacobson’s Kalooki Nights
    David Brauner



    JEMMS explores perceptions of society as constituted and conveyed in processes of learning and educational media. The focus is on various types of texts (such as textbooks, museums, memorials, films) and their institutional, political, social, economic, and cultural contexts.

    Featured Article:

    The Holocaust in the Textbooks and in the History and Citizenship Education Program of Quebec
    Sivane Hirsch and Marie McAndrew


  • Berghahn Journals Blog

    We will be attending the AHA 2018 Meeting!

    If you can’t attend, get a 25% discount on all History titles on our website with code AHA18. Browse our newly published interactive online History 2018 catalog or use the new enhanced subject searching features­ for a complete listing of all published and forthcoming titles.

    We hope to see you in Washington DC!

    Below is a preview of some of our newest releases on display:


    The Men of the Wannsee Conference
    Edited by Hans-Christian Jasch and Christoph Kreutzmüller
    Translated from the German by Charlotte Kreutzmüller-Hughes and Jane Paulick


    On 20 January 1942, fifteen senior German government officials attended a short meeting in Berlin to discuss the deportation and murder of the Jews of Nazi-occupied Europe. Despite lasting less than two hours, the Wannsee Conference is today understood as a signal episode in the history of the Holocaust, exemplifying the labor division and bureaucratization that made the “Final Solution” possible. Yet while the conference itself has been exhaustively researched, many of its attendees remain relatively obscure. Combining accessible prose with scholarly rigor, The Participants presents fascinating profiles of the all-too-human men who implemented some of the most inhuman acts in history.

    Read Introduction: The Participants: The Men of the Wannsee Conference


    Complicating the Picture
    Edited by Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi


    “A refreshingly candid response to Japanese scholarship that denies or minimizes the attack on Nanking in order to advance contemporary jingoistic politics … Highly recommended.” · Choice

    First published in 2007, The Nanking Atrocity remains an essential resource for understanding the massacre committed by Japanese soldiers in Nanking, China during the winter of 1937-38. Through a series of deeply considered and empirically rigorous essays, it provides a far more complex and nuanced perspective than that found in works like Iris Chang’s bestselling The Rape of Nanking. It systematically reveals the flaws and exaggerations in Chang’s book while deflating the self-exculpatory narratives that persist in Japan even today. This second edition includes an extensive new introduction by the editor reflecting on the historiographical developments of the last decade, in advance of the 80th anniversary of the massacre.

    Read Introduction: Iris Chang Reassessed: A Polemical Introduction to the Second Edition


    Episodes in Mexican Social History
    Carlos Illades
    Translated by Philip Daniels

    NEW SERIES: Volume 2, Studies in Latin American and Spanish History


    “Unequivocally, a very timely work that expands the understanding of Mexico’s social history…Highly recommended.” • Choice

    Conflict, domination, violence—in this wide-ranging, briskly narrated volume from acclaimed Mexican historian Carlos Illades, these three phenomena register the pulse of a diverse, but inequitable and discriminatory, social order. Drawing on rich and varied historical sources, Illades guides the reader through seven signal episodes in Mexican social history, from rebellions under Porfirio Díaz’s dictatorship to the cycles of violence that have plagued the country’s deep south to the recent emergence of neo-anarchist movements. Taken together, they comprise a mosaic history of power and resistance, with artisans, rural communities, revolutionaries, students, and ordinary people confronting the forces of domination and transforming Mexican society.

    Read Chapter 1. The Historiography of Social Movements


    British Foreign Policy before the First World War
    Andreas Rose
    Translated from the German by Rona Johnston
    Foreword by Sir Christopher Clark, author of Sleepwalkers

    Volume 5,  Studies in British and Imperial History


    Prior to World War I, Britain was at the center of global relations, utilizing tactics of diplomacy as it broke through the old alliances of European states. Historians have regularly interpreted these efforts as a reaction to the aggressive foreign policy of the German Empire. However, as Between Empire and Continent demonstrates, British foreign policy was in fact driven by a nexus of intra-British, continental and imperial motivations. Recreating the often heated public sphere of London at the turn of the twentieth century, this groundbreaking study carefully tracks the alliances, conflicts, and political maneuvering from which British foreign and security policy were born.

    Read Introduction


    Conflict and Transformation in Europe, the Middle East, and America
    Edited by Marsha L. Rozenblit and Jonathan Karp


    World War I utterly transformed the lives of Jews around the world: it allowed them to display their patriotism, to dispel antisemitic myths about Jewish cowardice, and to fight for Jewish rights. Yet Jews also suffered as refugees and deportees, at times catastrophically. And in the aftermath of the war, the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Russian and Ottoman Empires with a system of nation-states confronted Jews with a new set of challenges. This book provides a fascinating survey of the ways in which Jewish communities participated in and were changed by the Great War, focusing on the dramatic circumstances they faced in Europe, North America, and the Middle East during and after the conflict.

    Read Introduction: On the Significance of World War I and the Jews


    Beyond Borders and Peripheries
    Edited by Irene Kacandes and Yuliya Komska


    Arguably more than any other region, the area known as Eastern Europe has been defined by its location on the map. Yet its inhabitants, from statesmen to literati and from cultural-economic elites to the poorest emigrants, have consistently forged or fathomed links to distant lands, populations, and intellectual traditions. Through a series of inventive cultural and historical explorations, Eastern Europe Unmapped dispenses with scholars’ long-time preoccupation with national and regional borders, instead raising provocative questions about the area’s non-contiguous—and frequently global or extraterritorial—entanglements.

    Read Introduction: A Discontiguous Eastern Europe


    Transnational Connections and Cooperation between Movements and Regimes in Europe from 1918 to 1945
    Edited by Arnd Bauerkämper and Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe


    It is one of the great ironies of the history of fascism that, despite their fascination with ultra-nationalism, its adherents understood themselves as members of a transnational political movement. While a true “Fascist International” has never been established, European fascists shared common goals and sentiments as well as similar worldviews. They also drew on each other for support and motivation, even though relations among them were not free from misunderstandings and conflicts. Through a series of fascinating case studies, this expansive collection examines fascism’s transnational dimension, from the movements inspired by the early example of Fascist Italy to the international antifascist organizations that emerged in subsequent years.

    Read Introduction: Fascism without Borders. Transnational Connections and Cooperation between Movements and Regimes in Europe, 1918 – 1945


    An Anthropology of the Western Historical Imagination
    K. Patrick Fazioli

    Volume 29,  Making Sense of History


    Since its invention by Renaissance humanists, the myth of the “Middle Ages” has held a uniquely important place in the Western historical imagination. Whether envisioned as an era of lost simplicity or a barbaric nightmare, the medieval past has always served as a mirror for modernity. This book gives an eye-opening account of the ways various political and intellectual projects—from nationalism to the discipline of anthropology—have appropriated the Middle Ages for their own ends. Deploying an interdisciplinary toolkit, author K. Patrick Fazioli grounds his analysis in contemporary struggles over power and identity in the Eastern Alps, while also considering the broader implications for scholarly research and public memory.

    Read Introduction


    Kurt Forstreuter and the Historiography of Medieval Prussia
    Cordelia Hess


    For nearly a century, it has been a commonplace of Central European history that there were no Jews in medieval Prussia—the result, supposedly, of the ruling Teutonic Order’s attempts to create a purely Christian crusader’s state. In this groundbreaking historical investigation, however, medievalist Cordelia Hess demonstrates the very weak foundations upon which that assumption rests. In exacting detail, she traces this narrative to the work of a single, minor Nazi-era historian, revealing it to be ideologically compromised work that badly mishandles its evidence. By combining new medieval scholarship with a biographical and historiographical exploration grounded in the 20th century, The Absent Jews spans remote eras while offering a fascinating account of the construction of historical knowledge.

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    Essays across Disciplines
    Edited by Norman J. W. Goda


    Since the end of World War II, the ongoing efforts aimed at criminal prosecution, restitution, and other forms of justice in the wake of the Holocaust have constituted one of the most significant episodes in the history of human rights and international law. As such, they have attracted sustained attention from historians and legal scholars. This edited collection substantially enlarges the topical and disciplinary scope of this burgeoning field, exploring such varied subjects as literary analysis of Hannah Arendt’s work, the restitution case for Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, and the ritualistic aspects of criminal trials.




    East Germany in the Cold War World
    Edited by Quinn Slobodian

    Volume 15, Protest, Culture & Society


    “The chapters in the edited volume provide nuanced cases of East German idealism and the limitations of its practice, which belied a variety of racial prejudices and tensions… the interdisciplinary and extended geographic scope of this edited volume successfully furthers a number of interrelated fields relating to the role of the GDR and the socialist world in the Cold War, race and their continuing legacies.” · Journal of Contemporary History

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    The Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity, 1930-1945
    Christoph Kreutzmüller
    Translated from the German by Jane Paulick and Jefferson Chase


    “Christoph Kreutzmüller’s book is vigorously researched, elegantly structured and well-written, and succeeds in providing new information on a subject already exhaustively studied, namely ‘Aryanization’ and the destruction of business, that extends beyond the borders of Berlin.” · H-Net

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    Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich
    Sabine Hildebrandt
    Foreword by William E. Seidelman


    The Anatomy of Murder itself is comprehensive, fully documented in scores of primary and secondary sources, and carefully places its findings in the context of previous historical research on the history of medicine in Germany before, during and after the Third Reich. There are extensive chapter notes and bibliographies to many archival and published sources.” · German History Review

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    A Modern History of Greed
    Jared Poley

    Volume 11,  Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association


    “…a thought-provoking study of a subject that is too often taken for granted, rather than subjected to critical examination.” • Financial Times

    A seeming constant in the history of capitalism, greed has nonetheless undergone considerable transformations over the last five hundred years. This multilayered account offers a fresh take on an old topic, arguing that greed was experienced as a moral phenomenon and deployed to make sense of an unjust world. Focusing specifically on the interrelated themes of religion, economics, and health—each of which sought to study and channel the power of financial desire—Jared Poley shows how evolving ideas about greed became formative elements of the modern experience.

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    The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide
    Taner Akçam and Umit Kurt
    Translated by Aram Arkun

    Volume 21, War and Genocide


    “This book is a valuable addition to filling the gaps of our understanding of genocide and helps readers navigate complex terrain in the case study presented… I recommend this book as a case study to be included in graduate level courses. In addition to its thorough review of the questionable statecraft of genocidal states, it is a reminder of the merits of engaged scholarship. Akçam and Kurt, by sharing their research as an act of solidarity with citizens who continue to challenge state restraints and master narratives based on genocide, make a contribution to the ongoing process of crafting a just society.” · Histoire Sociale/Social History

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    The Balkan Wars and the Emergence of Modern Military Conflict, 1912-13
    Edited by Katrin Boeckh and Sabine Rutar


    Though persistently overshadowed by the Great War in historical memory, the two Balkan conflicts of 1912–1913 were among the most consequential of the early twentieth century. By pitting the states of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro against a diminished Ottoman Empire—and subsequently against one another—they anticipated many of the horrors of twentieth-century warfare even as they produced the tense regional politics that helped spark World War I. Bringing together an international group of scholars, this volume applies the social and cultural insights of the “new military history” to revisit this critical episode with a central focus on the experiences of both combatants and civilians during wartime.


    Video Testimony in Memorial Museums
    Steffi de Jong

    Volume 10,  Museums and Collections


    In recent years, historical witnessing has emerged as a category of “museum object.” Audiovisual recordings of interviews with individuals remembering events of historical importance are now integral to the collections and research activities of museums. They have also become important components in narrative and exhibition design strategies. With a focus on Holocaust museums, this study scrutinizes for the first time the new global phenomenon of the “musealization” of the witness to history, exploring the processes, prerequisites, and consequences of the transformation of video testimonies into exhibits.


    Mediterranean Guest Workers and their Families at Work and in the Neighbourhood, 1960-1980
    Jozefien De Bock
    Foreword by Leo Lucassen


    Originally coined in 2001 in a report on racial tensions in the United Kingdom, the concept of “parallel lives” has become familiar in the European discourse on immigrant integration. There, it refers to what is perceived as the segregation of immigrant populations from the rest of society. However, the historical roots of this presumed segregation are rarely the focus of discussion. Combining quantitative analysis, archival research, and over one hundred oral history interviews, Parallel Lives Revisited explores the lives of immigrants from six Mediterranean countries in a postwar Belgian city to provide a fascinating account of how their experiences of integration have changed at work and in their neighborhoods across two decades.

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    German Politics and Society
    “We Must Talk about Cologne”: Race, Gender, and Reconfigurations of “Europe”


    Patterns of Evenki Mobility in Eastern Siberia


    Migration as a Response to Internal Colonialism in Brazil



Top Article Downloads

  1. Under the Shadow of Empire: Indigenous Girls' Presencing as Decolonizing Force
    Girlhood Studies, vol. 7, #1, Summer 2014
  2. Forget Dawkins: Notes toward an Ethnography of Religious Belief and Doubt
    Social Analysis, vol. 59, #2, Summer 2015
  3. Blaming Sexualization for Sexting
    Girlhood Studies, vol. 7, #1, Summer 2014
  4. Out of the Closet? German Patriotism and Soccer Mania
    German Politics & Society, vol.24, #3, Autumn 2006
  5. Rape Culture and the Feminist Politics of Social Media
    Girlhood Studies, vol. 7, #1, Summer 2014
  6. Less Than One But More Than Many: Anthropocene as Science Fiction and Scholarship-in-the-Making
    Environment and Society, vol. 6, #1, Summer 2015
  7. Staging "small, small incidents": Dissent, gender, and militarization among young people in Kashmir
    Focaal, vol. 2011, #60, Summer 2011
  8. An Inquiry into the Roots of the Modern Concept of Development
    Contributions to the History of Concepts, vol. 4, #2, Autumn 2008
  9. Misunderstood, misrepresented, contested? Anthropological knowledge production in question
    Focaal, vol. 2015, #72, Summer 2015
  10. Theatres of virtue: Collaboration, consensus, and the social life of corporate social responsibility
    Focaal, vol. 2011, #60, Summer 2011

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World Anthropology Day 2018

The 2018 Anthropology Day celebration is on Thursday, February 15. According to the AAA website, Anthropology Day “is a day for anthropologists to celebrate our discipline while sharing it with the world around us.” In support of these efforts and to mark this special day, we are delighted to showcase titles from across all strands of the subject […]


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To mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp on the 27th of January, the United Nations has recognized this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the people murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. For more information on developing educational programs to instill the memory of the tragedy […]