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Based on over a hundred extensive personal narratives from women of different generations in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, Nicola Pratt traces women’s activism from national independence through to the Arab uprisings, arguing that activist women are critical geopolitical actors. Weaving together these personal accounts with the ongoing legacies of colonialism, Embodying Geopolitics demonstrates how the production and regulation of gender is integrally bound up with the exercise and organization of geopolitical power, with consequences for women’s activism and its effects.
The Making of the Modern Mediterranean
Views from the South
edited by Judith E. Tucker
Studies of the pivotal historic place of the Mediterranean have long been dominated by specialists of its northern shores, that is, by European historians. The seven leading authors in this groundbreaking volume challenge views of Mediterranean space as shaped by European trajectories, and in doing so, they challenge our comfortable notions. Drawing perspectives from the Mediterranean’s eastern and southern shores, they ask anew: What is the Mediterranean? What are its borders, its defining characteristics? What forces of nature, politics, culture, or economics have made the Mediterranean, and how long have they or will they endure? Covering the sixteenth century to the twentieth, this timely volume brings the early modern world into conversation with the modern world in new ways, demonstrating that only recently can we differentiate the north and south into separate cultural and political zones. The Making of the Modern Mediterranean: Views from the South offers a blueprint for a new generation of readers to rethink the world we thought we knew.
Conversion to Islam in the Premodern Age
edited by Nimrod Hurvitz, Christian C. Sahner, Uriel Simonsohn, Luke Yarbrough
Conversion to Islam is a phenomenon of immense significance in human history. At the outset of Islamic rule in the seventh century, Muslims constituted a tiny minority in most areas under their control. But by the beginning of the modern period, they formed the majority in most territories from North Africa to Southeast Asia. Across such diverse lands, peoples, and time periods, conversion was a complex, varied phenomenon. Converts lived in a world of overlapping and competing religious, cultural, social, and familial affiliations, and the effects of turning to Islam played out in every aspect of life. Conversion therefore provides a critical lens for world history, magnifying the constantly evolving array of beliefs, practices, and outlooks that constitute Islam around the globe. This groundbreaking collection of texts, translated from sources in a dozen languages from the seventh to the eighteenth centuries, presents the historical process of conversion to Islam in all its variety and unruly detail, through the eyes of both Muslim and non-Muslim observers.
The Life of the Syrian Saint Barsauma
Eulogy of a Hero of the Resistance to the Council of Chalcedon
translated by Andrew N. Palmer
Andrew N. Palmer’s vivid translation of the Syriac Life of Barsauma opens a fascinating window onto the ancient Middle East, seen through the life and actions of one of its most dramatic and ambiguous characters: the monk Barsauma, ascetic hero to some, religious terrorist to others. The Life takes us into the eye of the storm that raged around Christian attempts to define the nature of Christ in the great Council of Chalcedon, the effect of which was to split the growing Church irrevocably, with the Oriental Orthodox on one side and Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic on the other. Previously known only in extracts, this ancient text is now finally brought to readers in its entirety, casting dramatic new light on the relations among pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Holy Land and on the role of religious violence, real or imagined, in the mental world of a Middle East as shot through with conflict as it is today.
What Beverages Teach Us About Rabbinic Literature
by Jordan D. Rosenblum
Though ancient rabbinic texts are fundamental to analyzing the history of Judaism, they are also daunting for the novice to read. Rabbinic literature presumes tremendous prior knowledge, and its fascinating twists and turns in logic can be disorienting. Rabbinic Drinking helps learners at every level navigate this brilliant but mystifying terrain by focusing on rabbinic conversations about beverages, such as beer and wine, water, and even breast milk. By studying the contents of a drinking vessel—including the contexts and practices in which they are imbibed—Rabbinic Drinking surveys key themes in rabbinic literature to introduce readers to the main contours of this extensive body of historical documents.
Features and Benefits:
- Contains a broad array of rabbinic passages, accompanied by didactic and rich explanations and contextual discussions, both literary and historical
- Thematic chapters are organized into sections that include significant and original translations of rabbinic texts
- Each chapter includes in-text references and concludes with a list of both referenced works and suggested additional readings
The Clarion of Syria
A Patriot’s Call against the Civil War of 1860
by Butrus al-Bustani
translated by Jens Hanssen and Hicham Safieddine
This translation makes a key historical document accessible for the first time to an English audience. An introduction by the translators sketches the history that led up to the civil strife in Mt. Lebanon, outlines a brief biography of Butrus al-Bustani, and provides an authoritative overview of the literary style and historiography of Nafir Suriyya. Rereading these pamphlets in the context of today’s political violence, in war-torn Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world, helps us gain a critical and historical perspective on sectarianism, foreign invasions, conflict resolution, Western interventionism, and nationalist tropes of reconciliation.
Year of the Locust
A Soldier’s Diary and the Erasure of Palestine’s Ottoman Past
by Salim Tamari and Ihsan Salih Turjman
Year of the Locust captures in page-turning detail the end of the Ottoman world and a pivotal moment in Palestinian history. In the diaries of Ihsan Hasan al-Turjman (1893–1917), the first ordinary recruit to describe World War I from the Arab side, we follow the misadventures of an Ottoman soldier stationed in Jerusalem. There he occupied himself by dreaming about his future and using family connections to avoid being sent to the Suez. His diaries draw a unique picture of daily life in the besieged city, bringing into sharp focus its communitarian alleys and obliterated neighborhoods, the ongoing political debates, and, most vividly, the voices from its streets—soldiers, peddlers, prostitutes, and vagabonds. Salim Tamari’s indispensable introduction places the diary in its local, regional, and imperial contexts while deftly revising conventional wisdom on the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.