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Your search for 'Middle Eastern Studies' in subject found 81 book(s).
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41. cover
Title: Memory for forgetfulness: August, Beirut, 1982 online access is available to everyone
Author: Darwīsh, Maḥmūd
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Literature | Literature in Translation | Middle Eastern Studies | Rhetoric
Publisher's Description: One of the Arab world's greatest living poets uses the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the shelling of Beirut as the setting for this sequence of prose poems. Mahmoud Darwish vividly recreates the sights and sounds of a city under terrible siege. As fighter jets scream overhead, he explores the war-ravaged streets of Beirut on August 6th (Hiroshima Day). Memory for Forgetfulness is an extended reflection on the invasion and its political and historical dimensions. It is also a journey into personal and collective memory. What is the meaning of exile? What is the role of the writer in time of war? What is the relationship of writing (memory) to history (forgetfulness)? In raising these questions, Darwish implicitly connects writing, homeland, meaning, and resistance in an ironic, condensed work that combines wit with rage.Ibrahim Muhawi's translation beautifully renders Darwish's testament to the heroism of a people under siege, and to Palestinian creativity and continuity.   [brief]
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42. cover
Title: Death before dying: the Sufi poems of Sultan Bahu
Author: Sult̤ān Bāhū 1630-1691
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Literature | Religion | Poetry | Middle Eastern Studies | Literature in Translation | Islam | South Asia
Publisher's Description: These 115 poems introduce readers in English to Sultan Bahu (d. 1691), a Sufi mystical poet who continues to be one of the most beloved writers in Punjabi. Bahu, whose name translates as "With God," remains highly popular in Pakistan and India today - even illiterate Punjabis can recite his poetry b . . . [more]
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43. cover
Title: Armenia: portraits of survival and hope
Author: Miller, Donald E. (Donald Earl) 1946-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern Studies | Religion | Sociology
Publisher's Description: A remarkable view of how geopolitics affects ordinary people, this book documents, in words and pictures, the lives of Armenians in the last two decades. Based on intimate interviews with three hundred Armenians and featuring Jerry Berndt's superb photographs, it brings together firsthand testimony about the social, economic, and spiritual circumstances of Armenians during the 1980s and 1990s, when the country faced an earthquake, pogroms, and war. At times shocking and deeply emotional, Armenia: Portraits of Survival and Hope is a story of extreme suffering and hardship, a searching look at the fight for independence, and an exceptionally complex portrait of the human spirit. A companion to the Millers' highly acclaimed work Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide, which documented the genocide of 1915, this book focuses on four groups of people: survivors of the earthquakes that devastated northwestern Armenia in 1988; refugees from Azerbaijan who fled Baku and Sumgait because of pogroms against them; women, children, and soldiers who were affected by the war in Nagorno-Karabakh; and ordinary citizens who survived several winters without heat because of the blockade against Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan. The Millers' narrative situates these accounts contextually and thematically, but the voices of individuals remain paramount. The Millers also describe their personal experiences in repeated research trips, inviting us to look beyond the headlines and think beyond the circumstances of our own lives as they bring contemporary Armenia to life.   [brief]
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44. cover
Title: Tortured confessions: prisons and public recantations in modern Iran online access is available to everyone
Author: Abrahamian, Ervand 1940-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Politics | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: The role of torture in recent Iranian politics is the subject of Ervand Abrahamian's important and disturbing book. Although Iran officially banned torture in the early twentieth century, Abrahamian provides documentation of its use under the Shahs and of the widespread utilization of torture and public confession under the Islamic Republican governments. His study is based on an extensive body of material, including Amnesty International reports, prison literature, and victims' accounts that together give the book a chilling immediacy.According to human rights organizations, Iran has been at the forefront of countries using systematic physical torture in recent years, especially for political prisoners. Is the government's goal to ensure social discipline? To obtain information? Neither seem likely, because torture is kept secret and victims are brutalized until something other than information is obtained: a public confession and ideological recantation. For the victim, whose honor, reputation, and self-respect are destroyed, the act is a form of suicide.In Iran a subject's "voluntary confession" reaches a huge audience via television. The accessibility of television and use of videotape have made such confessions a primary propaganda tool, says Abrahamian, and because torture is hidden from the public, the victim's confession appears to be self-motivated, increasing its value to the authorities.Abrahamian compares Iran's public recantations to campaigns in Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, and the religious inquisitions of early modern Europe, citing the eerie resemblance in format, language, and imagery. Designed to win the hearts and minds of the masses, such public confessions - now enhanced by technology - continue as a means to legitimize those in power and to demonize "the enemy."   [brief]
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45. cover
Title: Medicines of the soul: female bodies and sacred geographies in a transnational Islam
Author: Malti-Douglas, Fedwa
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: Gender Studies | Islam | Middle Eastern Studies | Cultural Anthropology | Autobiography
Publisher's Description: In Medicines of the Soul, the autobiographical writings of three leading women in today's Islamic revival movement reveal dramatic stories of religious transformation. As interpreted by Fedwa Malti-Douglas, the autobiographies provide a powerful, groundbreaking portrayal of gender, religion, and dis . . . [more]
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46. cover
Title: War, institutions, and social change in the Middle East online access is available to everyone
Author: Heydemann, Steven
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | Postcolonial Studies | Cultural Anthropology
Publisher's Description: Few areas of the world have been as profoundly shaped by war as the Middle East in the twentieth century. Despite the prominence of war-making in this region, there has been surprisingly little research investigating the effects of war as a social and political process in the Middle East. To fill this gap, War, Institutions, and Social Change in the Middle East brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars who explore the role of war preparation and war-making on the formation and transformation of states and societies in the contemporary Middle East. Their findings pose significant challenges to widely accepted assumptions and present new theoretical starting points for the study of war and the state in the contemporary developing world. Heydemann's collaborators include political scientists, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Their essays are both theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, covering topics such as the effects of World War II on state-market relations in Syria and Egypt, the role of war in the rise of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the political economy of Lebanese militias, and the effects of the 1967 war on state and social institutions in Israel. The volume originated as a research planning project of the Joint Committee on the Near and Middle East of the Social Science Research Council.   [brief]
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47. cover
Title: Interpreting the self: autobiography in the Arabic literary tradition online access is available to everyone
Author: Reynolds, Dwight Fletcher 1956-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Literature in Translation | Comparative Literature | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Autobiography is a literary genre which Western scholarship has ascribed mostly to Europe and the West. Countering this assessment and presenting many little-known texts, this comprehensive work demonstrates the existence of a flourishing tradition in Arabic autobiography. Interpreting the Self discusses nearly one hundred Arabic autobiographical texts and presents thirteen selections in translation. The authors of these autobiographies represent an astonishing variety of geographical areas, occupations, and religious affiliations. This pioneering study explores the origins, historical development, and distinctive characteristics of autobiography in the Arabic tradition, drawing from texts written between the ninth and nineteenth centuries c.e. This volume consists of two parts: a general study rethinking the place of autobiography in the Arabic tradition, and the translated texts. Part one demonstrates that there are far more Arabic autobiographical texts than previously recognized by modern scholars and shows that these texts represent an established and - especially in the Middle Ages - well-known category of literary production. The thirteen translated texts in part two are drawn from the full one-thousand-year period covered by this survey and represent a variety of styles. Each text is preceded by a brief introduction guiding the reader to specific features in the text and providing general background information about the author. The volume also contains an annotated bibliography of 130 premodern Arabic autobiographical texts.In addition to presenting much little-known material, this volume revisits current understandings of autobiographical writing and helps create an important cross-cultural comparative framework for studying the genre.   [brief]
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48. cover
Title: Perceptions of Palestine: their influence on U.S. Middle East policy online access is available to everyone
Author: Christison, Kathleen 1941-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern History | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: For most of the twentieth century, considered opinion in the United States regarding Palestine has favored the inherent right of Jews to exist in the Holy Land. That Palestinians, as a native population, could claim the same right has been largely ignored. Kathleen Christison's controversial new book shows how the endurance of such assumptions, along with America's singular focus on Israel and general ignorance of the Palestinian point of view, has impeded a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Christison begins with the derogatory images of Arabs purveyed by Western travelers to the Middle East in the nineteenth century, including Mark Twain, who wrote that Palestine's inhabitants were "abject beggars by nature, instinct, and education." She demonstrates other elements that have influenced U.S. policymakers: American religious attitudes toward the Holy Land that legitimize the Jewish presence; sympathy for Jews derived from the Holocaust; a sense of cultural identity wherein Israelis are "like us" and Arabs distant aliens. She makes a forceful case that decades of negative portrayals of Palestinians have distorted U.S. policy, making it virtually impossible to promote resolutions based on equality and reciprocity between Palestinians and Israelis. Christison also challenges prevalent media images and emphasizes the importance of terminology: Two examples are the designation of who is a "terrorist" and the imposition of place names (which can pass judgment on ownership). Christison's thoughtful book raises a final disturbing question: If a broader frame of reference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had been employed, allowing a less warped public discourse, might not years of warfare have been avoided and steps toward peace achieved much earlier?   [brief]
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49. cover
Title: Human rights and reform: changing the face of North African politics online access is available to everyone
Author: Waltz, Susan Eileen
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Politics | History | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History | African History | African Studies
Publisher's Description: Independence from colonial rule did not usher in the halcyon days many North Africans had hoped for, as the new governments in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria soon came to rely on repression to reinforce and maintain power. In response to widespread human rights abuses, individuals across the Maghrib began to form groups in the late 1970s to challenge the political practices and structures in the region, and over time these independent human rights organizations became prominent political actors. The activists behind them are neither saints nor revolutionaries, but political reformers intent on changing political patterns that have impeded democratization.This study, the first systematic comparative analysis of North African politics in more than a decade, explores the ability of society, including Islamist forces, to challenge the powers of states. Locating Maghribi polities within their cultural and historical contexts, Waltz traces state-society relations in the contemporary period. Even as Algeria totters at the brink of civil war and security concerns rise across the region, the human rights groups Susan Waltz examines implicitly challenge the authoritarian basis of political governance. Their efforts have not led to the democratic transition many had hoped, but human rights have become a crucial new element of North African political discourse.   [brief]
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50. cover
Title: Three mothers, three daughters: Palestinian women's stories online access is available to everyone
Author: Gorkin, Michael
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Cultural Anthropology | Women's Studies | Sociology
Publisher's Description: This remarkable collection of oral histories from six Palestinian women, three mothers and three of their daughters, affords an unparalleled view into the daily lives of women who have lived, and continue to live, through a turbulent and rapidly changing era. In recording these stories, Michael Gorkin and Rafiqa Othman have preserved each woman's distinctive voice, capturing in vivid and moving detail a broad range of experience - everything from recollections of native villages to an account of incarceration as a political prisoner. Highly personal events such as courting, marriage, and childbirth are interwoven with memories of upheavals such as the wars of 1948 and 1967. The women speak with surprising candor about conflicts between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, men and women, Arabs and Jews. These beautifully written narratives bear witness to the power of Palestinian culture in sustaining the often difficult lives of women. The book also provides brilliant testimony to the experience of living in the midst of the Arab-Israeli conflict.Michael Gorkin, a Jewish-American psychologist who lives in Israel, and Rafiqa Othman, a Palestinian special education teacher, have collected the narratives from different cultural and geographic locations within the boundaries of historical Palestine - including East Jerusalem, a refugee camp on the West Bank, and an Arab village within Israel. With surprising intimacy, the mothers and daughters discuss their views about sex, marriage, and child-rearing; ideas about themselves and their relationship to God, their families, and their homeland; and questions of shame, devotion, freedom, and honor.In the preface, introduction and epilogue, Gorkin and Othman frame the stories and describe the project. The linked stories of mothers and daughters attest to the profound changes that have occurred in the lives of Palestinian women during this century - in the areas of education, work, political involvement and personal freedom. In addition to delineating this astonishing historical and cultural transformation, the stories create lasting images of the people these women have loved and hated, the pleasures they have enjoyed, the dangers they have survived, and the hopes they continue to cherish.   [brief]
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51. cover
Title: Jewish passages: cycles of Jewish life
Author: Goldberg, Harvey E
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Jewish Studies | Middle Eastern Studies | Anthropology
Publisher's Description: American or Middle Eastern, Ashkenazi or Sephardi, insular or immersed in modern life - however diverse their situations or circumstances, Jews draw on common traditions and texts when they mark life's momentous events and rites of passage. The interplay of past and present, of individual practice and collective identity, emerges as a central fact of contemporary Jewish experience in Harvey E. Goldberg's multifaceted account of how Jews celebrate and observe the cycles of life. A leading anthropologist of Jewish culture, Goldberg draws on his own experience as well as classic sources and the latest research to create a nuanced portrait of Jewish rituals and customs that balances the reality of "ordinary Jews" with the authority of tradition. Looking at classic rites of passage such as circumcision and marriage, along with emerging life-milestone practices like pilgrimage and identity-seeking tourism, Jewish Passages aptly reflects the remarkable cultural and religious diversity within Judaism. This work offers a new view of Jewish culture and history with the individual firmly situated at their center by blending anecdote and historical vignettes with rabbinic, midrashic, and anthropological insights; by exploring Sephardi and Ashkenazi traditions as well as modern ideologies; and by bringing into sharp relief the activities of women and relations with Gentile neighbors. As such, this book provides a unique window on the particulars - and the significance - of personal and communal acts of identification among Jews past, present, and future.   [brief]
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52. cover
Title: A different shade of colonialism: Egypt, Great Britain, and the mastery of the Sudan
Author: Powell, Eve Troutt
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern Studies | Postcolonial Studies | European History
Publisher's Description: This incisive study adds a new dimension to discussions of Egypt's nationalist response to the phenomenon of colonialism as well as to discussions of colonialism and nationalism in general. Eve M. Troutt Powell challenges many accepted tenets of the binary relationship between European empires and non-European colonies by examining the triangle of colonialism marked by Great Britain, Egypt, and the Sudan. She demonstrates how central the issue of the Sudan was to Egyptian nationalism and highlights the deep ambivalence in Egyptian attitudes toward empire and the resulting ambiguities and paradoxes that were an essential component of the nationalist movement. A Different Shade of Colonialism enriches our understanding of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Egyptian attitudes toward slavery and race and expands our perspective of the "colonized colonizer."   [brief]
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53. cover
Title: Speak, bird, speak again: Palestinian Arab folktales online access is available to everyone
Author: Muhawi, Ibrahim 1937-
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Anthropology | Literature in Translation | Middle Eastern Studies | Folklore and Mythology
Publisher's Description: Were it simply a collection of fascinating, previously unpublished folktales, Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales would merit praise and attention because of its cultural rather than political approach to Palestinian studies. But it is much more than this. By combining their respective expertise in English literature and anthropology, Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana bring to these tales an integral method of study that unites a sensitivity to language with a deep appreciation for culture.As native Palestinians, the authors are well-suited to their task. Over the course of several years they collected tales in the regions of the Galilee, Gaza, and the West Bank, determining which were the most widely known and appreciated and selecting the ones that best represented the Palestinian Arab folk narrative tradition. Great care has been taken with the translations to maintain the original flavor, humor, and cultural nuances of tales that are at once earthy and whimsical. The authors have also provided footnotes, an international typology, a comprehensive motif index, and a thorough analytic guide to parallel tales in the larger Arab tradition in folk narrative. Speak, Bird, Speak Again is an essential guide to Palestinian culture and a must for those who want to deepen their understanding of a troubled, enduring people.   [brief]
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54. cover
Title: Rediscovering Palestine: merchants and peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 online access is available to everyone
Author: Doumani, Beshara 1957-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: History | Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Drawing on previously unused primary sources, this book paints an intimate and vivid portrait of Palestinian society on the eve of modernity. Through the voices of merchants, peasants, and Ottoman officials, Beshara Doumani offers a major revision of standard interpretations of Ottoman history by investigating the ways in which urban-rural dynamics in a provincial setting appropriated and gave meaning to the larger forces of Ottoman rule and European economic expansion. He traces the relationship between culture, politics, and economic change by looking at how merchant families constructed trade networks and cultivated political power, and by showing how peasants defined their identity and formulated their notions of justice and political authority.Original and accessible, this study challenges nationalist constructions of history and provides a context for understanding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is also the first comprehensive work on the Nablus region, Palestine's trade, manufacturing, and agricultural heartland, and a bastion of local autonomy. Doumani rediscovers Palestine by writing the inhabitants of this ancient land into history.   [brief]
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55. cover
Title: "Peaks of Yemen I summon": poetry as cultural practice in a North Yemeni tribe
Author: Caton, Steven Charles 1950-
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Middle Eastern Studies | Literary Theory and Criticism | Medieval Studies | Folklore and Mythology | Language and Linguistics
Publisher's Description: In this first full-scale ethnographic study of Yemeni tribal poetry, Steven Caton reveals an astonishingly rich folkloric system where poetry is both a creation of art and a political and social act. Almost always spoken or chanted, Yemeni tribal poetry is cast in an idiom considered colloquial and "ungrammatical," yet admired for its wit and spontaneity. In Yemeni society, the poet has power over people. By eloquence the poet can stir or, if his poetic talents are truly outstanding, motivate an audience to do his bidding. Yemeni tribesmen think, in fact, that poetry's transformative effect is too essential not to use for pressing public issues.Drawing on his three years of field research in North Yemen, Caton illustrates the significance of poetry in Yemeni society by analyzing three verse genres and their use in weddings, war mediations, and political discourse on the state. Moreover, Caton provides the first anthropology of poetics. Challenging Western cultural assumptions that political poetry can rarely rise above doggerel, Caton develops a model of poetry as cultural practice. To compose a poem is to construct oneself as a peacemaker, as a warrior, as a Muslim. Thus the poet engages in constitutive social practice.Because of its highly interdisciplinary approach, this book will interest a wide range of readers including anthropologists, linguists, folklorists, literary critics, and scholars of Middle Eastern society, language, and culture.   [brief]
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56. cover
Title: Men, women, and God(s): Nawal El Saadawi and Arab feminist poetics online access is available to everyone
Author: Malti-Douglas, Fedwa
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Literature | Middle Eastern Studies | Gender Studies | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: Men, Women, and God(s) is a pioneering study of the Arab world's leading feminist and most controversial woman writer, Nawal El Saadawi. Author of plays, memoirs, and such novels as Woman at Point Zero and The Innocence of the Devil , El Saadawi has become well known in the West as well as in the Arab community for her unforgettable female heroes and explosive narratives, which boldly address sexual violence, female circumcision, theology, and other politically charged themes. Her outspoken feminism and critique of patriarchy have also earned her the wrath of repressive forces in the Middle East. Imprisoned in her native Egypt under Sadat, El Saadawi is now among those on the death lists of Islamic religious conservatives.In Men, Women, and God(s) Fedwa Malti-Douglas makes the work of this important but little-understood writer truly accessible. Contending that El Saadawi's texts cannot be read in isolation from their Islamic and Arabic heritage, Malti-Douglas draws upon a deep knowledge of classical and modern Arabic textual traditions - and on extensive conversations with Nawal El Saadawi - to place the writer within her cultural and historical context. With this impassioned and radical exegesis of El Saadawi's prolific output, Malti-Douglas has written a crucial study of one of the most controversial and influential writers of our time.   [brief]
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57. cover
Title: Intimate enemies: Jews and Arabs in a shared land
Author: Benvenisti, Meron 1934-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Jewish Studies | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: As Israelis and Palestinians negotiate separation and division of their land, Meron Benvenisti, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, maintains that any expectations for "peaceful partition" are doomed. In his brave and controversial new book, he raises the possibility of a confederation of Israel/Palestine, the only solution that he feels will bring lasting peace.The seven million people in the territory between Jordan and the Mediterranean are mutually dependent regarding employment, water, land use, ecology, transportation, and all other spheres of human activity. Each side, Benvenisti says, must accept the reality that two national entities are living within one geopolitical entity - their conflict is intercommunal and will not be resolved by population transfers or land partition.A geographer and historian by training, a man passionately rooted in his homeland, Benvenisti skillfully conveys the perspective of both Israeli and Palestinian communities. He recognizes the great political and ideological resistance to a confederation, but argues that there are Israeli Jews and Palestinians who can envision an undivided land, where attachment to a common homeland is stronger than militant tribalism and segregation in national ghettos. Acknowledging that equal coexistence between Israeli and Palestinian may yet be an impossible dream, he insists that such a dream deserves a place in the current negotiations."Meron Benvenisti is the Middle East expert to whom Middle East experts go for advice . . . the most oft-quoted and oft-damned analyst in Israel." - from the Foreword by Thomas L. Friedman   [brief]
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58. cover
Title: Rule of experts: Egypt, techno-politics, modernity
Author: Mitchell, Timothy 1955-
Published: University of California Press,  2002
Subjects: Politics | Middle Eastern Studies | Cultural Anthropology | Postcolonial Studies | Economics and Business | Middle Eastern History | Sociology
Publisher's Description: Can one explain the power of global capitalism without attributing to capital a logic and coherence it does not have? Can one account for the powers of techno-science in terms that do not merely reproduce its own understanding of the world? Rule of Experts examines these questions through a series of interrelated essays focused on Egypt in the twentieth century. These explore the way malaria, sugar cane, war, and nationalism interacted to produce the techno-politics of the modern Egyptian state; the forms of debt, discipline, and violence that founded the institution of private property; the methods of measurement, circulation, and exchange that produced the novel idea of a national "economy," yet made its accurate representation impossible; the stereotypes and plagiarisms that created the scholarly image of the Egyptian peasant; and the interaction of social logics, horticultural imperatives, powers of desire, and political forces that turned programs of economic reform in unanticipated directions. Mitchell is a widely known political theorist and one of the most innovative writers on the Middle East. He provides a rich examination of the forms of reason, power, and expertise that characterize contemporary politics. Together, these intellectually provocative essays will challenge a broad spectrum of readers to think harder, more critically, and more politically about history, power, and theory.   [brief]
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59. cover
Title: May her likes be multiplied: biography and gender politics in Egypt online access is available to everyone
Author: Booth, Marilyn
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Women's Studies | Literature | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: Marilyn Booth's elegantly conceived study reveals the Arabic tradition of life-writing in an entirely new light. Though biography had long been male-authored, in the late nineteenth century short sketches by and about women began to appear in biographical dictionaries and women's journals. By 1940, hundreds of such biographies had been published, featuring Arabs, Turks, Indians, Europeans, North Americans, and ancient Greeks and Persians. Booth uses over five hundred "famous women" biographies - which include subjects as diverse as Joan of Arc, Jane Austen, Aisha bt. Abi Bakr, Sarojini Naidu, and Lucy Stone - to demonstrate how these narratives prescribed complex role models for middle-class girls, in a context where nationalist programs and emerging feminisms made defining the ideal female citizen an urgent matter.Booth begins by asking how cultural traditions shaped women's biography, and to whom the Egyptian biographies were directed. The biographies were published at a time of great cultural awakening in Egypt, when social and political institutions were in upheaval. The stories suggested that Islam could be flexible on social practice and gender, holding out the possibility for women to make their own lives. Yet ultimately they indicate that women would find it extremely difficult to escape the nationalist ideal: the nuclear family with "woman" at its center. This conflict remains central to Egyptian politics today, and in her final chapter Booth examines Islamic biographies of women's lives that have been published in more recent years.   [brief]
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60. cover
Title: Sacred landscape: the buried history of the Holy Land since 1948
Author: Benvenisti, Meron 1934-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Jewish Studies | Religion | Middle Eastern Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: As a young man Meron Benvenisti often accompanied his father, a distinguished geographer, when the elder Benvenisti traveled through the Holy Land charting a Hebrew map that would rename Palestinian sites and villages with names linked to Israel's ancestral homeland. These experiences in Benvenisti's youth are central to this book, and the story that he tells helps explain how during this century an Arab landscape, physical and human, was transformed into an Israeli, Jewish state.Benvenisti first discusses the process by which new Hebrew nomenclature replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, and ruins in Eretz Israel/Palestine (his name for the Holy Land, thereby defining it as a land of Jews and Arabs). He then explains how the Arab landscape has been transformed through war, destruction, and expulsion into a flourishing Jewish homeland accommodating millions of immigrants. The resulting encounters between two peoples who claim the same land have raised great moral and political dilemmas, which Benvenisti presents with candor and impartiality.Benvenisti points out that five hundred years after the Moors left Spain there are sufficient landmarks remaining to preserve the outlines of Muslim Spain. Even with sustained modern development, the ancient scale is still visible. Yet a Palestinian returning to his ancestral landscape after only fifty years would have difficulty identifying his home. Furthermore, Benvenisti says, the transformation of Arab cultural assets into Jewish holy sites has engendered a struggle over the "signposts of memory" essential to both peoples. Sacred Landscape raises troublesome questions that most writers on the Middle East avoid. The now-buried Palestinian landscape remains a symbol and a battle standard for Palestinians and Israelis. But it is Benvenisti's continuing belief that Eretz Israel/Palestine has enough historical and physical space for the people of both nations and that it can one day be a shared homeland.   [brief]
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