Framing the Global Fellow Zsuzsa Gille recently discussed with us her book Paprika, Foie Gras, and Red Mud: The Politics of Materiality in the European Union, published by IU Press.
In the book, Zsuzsa Gille examines three scandals that have shaken Hungary since joining the European Union: the 2004 ban on paprika due to contamination, the 2008 boycott of Hungarian foie gras by Austrian animal rights activists, and the “red mud” spill of 2010, Hungary’s worst environmental disaster. Gille analyzes how practices of production and consumption were affected by the proliferation of new standards and regulations that came with entry into the EU. She identifies a new modality of power—the materialization of politics, or achieving political goals with the seemingly apolitical tools of tinkering with technology and infrastructure—and elucidates a new approach to understanding globalization, materiality, and transnational politics.
Zsuzsa Gille is Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is author of From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary (IUP, 2007), editor (with Maria Todorova) of Post-Communist Nostalgia, and author (with Michael Burawoy et al.) of Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections and Imaginations in a Postmodern World.