Ethno-Baroque: Materiality, Aesthetics and Conflict in Modern-Day Macedonia | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Ethno-Baroque: Materiality, Aesthetics and Conflict in Modern-Day Macedonia

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Materiality, Aesthetics and Conflict in Modern-Day Macedonia

Rozita Dimova

176 pages, 9 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-040-5 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2013)

eISBN 978-1-78238-041-2 eBook

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“Overall, the book’s emphasis on the politics of aesthetics proves to be a useful magnifying glass, which successfully brings into focus the interwoven relationships between ethno-nationalism, economics, space, gender, and conflict in the Macedonian context. More importantly, however, it sheds light on new research pathways, which could be taken up by anthropologists, political scientists, and sociologists interested in the study of inter-ethnic relations and their link to private and public aesthetic and consumption choices.“ · Transnational Social Review .A Social Work Journal

Ethno-Baroque is a highly original contribution to the anthropology of the Balkans and of postsocialism; more widely, it engages with debates on the intersections of gender, ethnicity, nationalism, politics, aesthetics, affect, consumption, and materiality. Its freshness of perspective owes much to Dimova’s sophisticated grasp of a number of theorists whose insights she applies to the Macedonian case with a lightness of touch and a sense of humor that makes the text a pleasure to read… stands as an outstanding example of how well-chosen theory and careful ethnography can be combined to produce powerful new understandings of the ways in which global transformations play out in a specific, located lifeworld.” · Slavic Review

“It is a fundamental work for anybody who is interested in the study of Macedonia and ex-Yugoslav societies in general, but it appeals also to scholars of ethnicity and space in general. Clearly written, with abundance of historical and ethnographic details, the book utilizes an anthropological perspective to discuss the complicated historical construction of ethnicity… her book makes a solid, dependable, and powerful base that the attentive reader can mine for ethnographic, historical, and theoretical insights.” · Laboratorium

“This is a very fine work of ethnographic research and deep theoretical analysis. It masterfully combines explorations of ethnicity, class, status, gender, and consumption in Macedonia. The high level of research and thinking is evident; plus the author has an excellent command of appropriate theoretical frameworks. The historical explanations are nicely woven into the fabric of the book.” · Carol Silverman, University of Oregon

“The book contains fascinating material covering a really important period in one small country’s history…[It] captures the moment when the inherent contestability and precariousness of all the categories that people usually assume are fixed become painfully obvious in a variety of contexts.” · Sarah Green, University of Manchester


In post-1991 Macedonia, Barok furniture came to represent affluence and success during a period of transition to a new market economy. This furniture marked the beginning of a larger Baroque style that influenced not only interior decorations in people’s homes but also architecture and public spaces. By tracing the signifier Baroque, the book examines the reconfiguration of hierarchical relations among (ethnic) groups, genders, and countries in a transnational context. Investigating how Baroque has come to signify larger social processes and transformations in the current rebranding of the country, the book reveals the close link between aesthetics and politics, and how ethno-national conflicts are reflected in visually appealing ornamentation.

Rozita Dimova is Associate Professor of South East European Languages and Culture at Ghent University (Belgium) and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Slavonic Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). She is guest co-editor of the issue of History and Anthropology (Winter 2013, vol. 24), entitled “Contested Nation-building within the International ‘Order of Things’: Performance, Festivals and Legitimization in South-Eastern Europe.” Currently, she is completing a book manuscript on borders and neoliberalism in South-Eastern Europe.

Subject: Cultural Studies (General)Anthropology (General)Media Studies
Area: Southern Europe


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