Publications of Monterescu, Daniel

Border Wines: Terroir across Contested Territory

Etymologically related, the concepts of terroir and territoriality display divergent cultural histories. While one designates the palatable characteristics of place as a branded story of geographic distinction (goût de terroir), the other imbues the soil with political meaning, defendable boundaries, and collective entitlement. This research traces the production of eno-locality in contested spaces across political borders. Tracing the ascent of terroir as an organizing principle for the global wine culture and food industry, I examine the intersection of political geography, national identity, and cultural locality in the production of edible authenticity. Border wine regions such as Tokaj between Hungary and Slovakia, the Judean Hills and South Mount Hebron in Israel and Palestine, and the former Cold War buffer zone between Bulgaria and Greece illustrate the articulation of terroir as a story of border-crossing. Beyond the essentialization of terroir as “nature” and the contested politics of territory, I identify three formations of the terroir-territory connection: (a) territorialization of terroir, (b) terroir-ization of territory, and (c) colonial terroir expansion. In the case of “border wines” indexical strategies of boundary- and terroir-making highlight the creative agency and semiotic manipulation of winemakers across political territories.

Estranged Natives and Indigenized Immigrants: A Relational Anthropology of Ethnically Mixed Towns in Israel/Palestine

Ethnic relations between the Palestinian and Jewish communities in ethnically mixed towns in Israel are marked by class divides, political fragmentation, and perception of alienation vis-a` -vis place and other. Analyzing patterns of communal identity politics, this article revisits the spatial history of Jaffa since 1948. Against theories of urban ethnocracy predicated on the convergence of state policies and capitalist accumulation, which in turn engender longstanding spatial segregation between Jews and Arabs and between new and old residents, I argue that it is precisely the indeterminate “contact zones” between communities and spaces that constitute the political and cultural realities in these cities. Proposing a relational reading of these spatial dynamics, this article shows that in contradistinction to the basic premise of the nation-state, in Jaffa as well as other mixed towns, the coupling between space and identity collapses. The concepts of “spatial heteronomy” and “stranger relations” are proposed to characterize the challenge raised by ethnically mixed towns to the Jewish state and to the ethnonational logic that guides it.

Monterescu D. Heteronomy: the Cultural Logic of Space in Jaffa. In: Mixed Towns, Trapped Communities: Historical Narratives, Spatial Dynamics Gender Relations and Cultural Encounters in Ethnically Mixed Towns in Israel/Palestine. London: Ashgate; 2007.
Monterescu D, Tumkin Z, Mintz Z. The City Profile: Final Report (Quarter 7).. Submitted to the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Strategic Planning Unit, Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Municipality; 2002.