The episode features Anca Parvulescu and Manuela Boatca, co-authors of an extraordinary, field-shifting new book – Creolizing the Modern: Transylvania across Empires (Cornell University Press, 2022). Dr. Boatca is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Freiburg in Germany, where she teaches and publishes widely on world-systems analysis, decolonial perspectives on global inequalities, gender and citizenship in modernity/coloniality, and the geopolitics of knowledge in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Dr. Parvulescu joins us from St. Louis where she teaches at the Washington University’s English Department. A prolific author, she has worked in the fields of literary theory and criticism, visual culture, female labor and migration, and the East-West relations in contemporary European history. The result of their sustained collaboration, Creolizing the Modern develops a comparative, multidisciplinary method for engaging with areas of the world that have inherited multiple, conflicting imperial and anti-imperial histories. Transylvania, one such historical region at the intersection of the Habsburg Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, has offered Boatca and Parvulescu a platform for a multi-level reading of topics that include the region’s capitalist integration into global commercial circuits, antisemitism and slavery, multilingualism, gender relations, and religion. Using Liviu Rebreanu’s 1920 modernist novel Ion as an analytical point of departure and a chronicle of Transylvania’s modernities, the co-authors provide innovative decolonial perspectives that aim to creolize modernity and the modern world-system.

Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University.

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