This is a book about people caught between home and abroad, crossing imperial boundaries in southeastern Europe at the beginning of the modern age.
Through a series of life stories, which the author reconstructs with the aid of many new sources, readers discover how certain men and women defined and adapted their loyalties and affiliations, how they fashioned their identities, how they enrolled their linguistic, political, economic, and social resources to build a family and a career. Travelling between Istanbul, Vienna, Trieste, Moscow, Bucharest, or Iaşi, individuals of different backgrounds built their networks across borders, linking people and objects and facilitating cultural transfer and material and social change.
The book presents the life, visions and activities of the nascent Roma civic elite who initiated the movement for Roma civic emancipation.
Roma Portraits in History, in the form of individual portraits, presents the life trajectory, visions and specific actions put forward by the nascent Roma elite and its leading representatives concerning the present and future of their community. The book is based on a rich source base of key original archival documents, in multiple languages, including Romani language, discovered in countries across the region of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, all of which showcase ‘Roma elite’ visions and action. To fulfil the general picture case studies of representatives from Spain and the US are also included.