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New Texts Out Now: Amy Motlagh, Burying the Beloved: Marriage, Realism, and Reform in Modern Iran

[Cover of Amy Motlagh,

Amy Motlagh, Burying the Beloved: Marriage, Realism, and Reform in Modern Iran. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Amy Motlagh (AM): Part of the study of literature is obsessive re-reading. In this case, I became preoccupied with what I felt was a narrow translation of a word in the English edition of Sadeq Hedayat’s The Blind Owl (which is perhaps the only Persian novel to achieve the status of a work of “world literature”), giving rise to an interpretation of the novel that seemed to conceal some of the complexities of how this could be read in the Persian. Although the preoccupation with that particular word ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman, Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012)]

Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman, “Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012). Jadaliyya (J): What led you to write this article? Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman (MS and RF): The post-revolutionary political scene in Egypt, with at least fourteen Islamist parties vying for power, is a timely historical moment to take a close look at the dynamics of religious authority versus the so-called secular. As the Egyptian people succeeded in overthrowing Mubarak’s dictatorship, the importance of popular discourses asserts itself strongly. Our article came about partly through a desire to show how popular, non-institutional ...

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New Texts Out Now: Farzaneh Milani, Words, Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement

[Cover of Farzaneh Milani,

Farzaneh Milani, Words, Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Farzaneh Milani (FM): In a way, Words, not Swords is a rebuttal to my first book, Veils and Words. The central argument of Veils and Words revolved around Iranian women's literary output. I claimed that the veil had covered not only Iranian women's bodies, but also their literary voices. Women's self-expression, either bodily or verbal, I surmised, was covered by the material veil and its verbal counterpart—silence. I explored ways in which women poets and prose writers escaped the ...

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Art and Subversion: An Interview with Omar Kholeif

[Still image from Khaled Hafez, “On Presidents and Superheroes” (2009, video). Copyright and courtesy of the artist.]

Subversion. Featuring work by Akram Zaatari, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Khaled Hafez, Larissa Sansour, Marwa Arsanios, Sharif Waked, Sherif El-Azma, Tarzan and Arab, and Wafaa Bilal. Curated by Omar Kholeif. Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, UK. 14 April - 5 June 2012, preview/symposium 13 April 2012. [Omar Kholeif is Curator of Subversion, a large-scale exhibition and public program, which runs until 5 June 2012 at Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK. More about Omar Kholeif here; follow him on Twitter here.] Anthony Alessandrini (AA): What was the idea behind this show, and what made you decide to curate it? Omar Kholeif (OK): The spark for Subversion ...

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NEWTONs You Might Have Missed

[New Texts Out Now]

Since we have featured so much remarkable work in New Texts Out Now (NEWTON), we wanted to pause for a second to let you catch up. Here are a few great posts that you might have missed from the past several months: Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt, "Between Nationalism and Women's Rights: The Kurdish Women's Movement in Iraq" Paul Amar, “Middle East Masculinity Studies: Discourses of ‘Men in Crisis,’ Industries of Gender in Revolution” James L. Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History, Third Edition and The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know Amal N. Ghazal, Islamic Reform and Arab Nationalism: Expanding the Crescent from the Mediterranean to the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Stephen Day, Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen

[Cover of Stephen W. Day,

Stephen W. Day, Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen: A Troubled National Union. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya: What made you write this book? Stephen Day (SD): This book had a long gestation period, so answering this question is a bit complicated. I would say the book has been more than ten years in the making. It originates with my doctoral thesis at Georgetown University. I started field research in Yemen in 1995, five years after the country’s national unification and two years after its first multi-party elections, which resulted in political stalemate leading to a brief civil war in 1994. Arriving after this war, I sought to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mervat Hatem, Literature, Gender, and Nation-Building in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

[Cover of Mervat Hatem,

Mervat F. Hatem, Literature, Gender, and Nation-Building in Nineteenth-Century Egypt: The Life and Works of `A’sha Taymur. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mervat Hatem (MH): The modern construction of Egyptian history gives the grand old men of nineteenth-century Egyptian modernity (Khedive Ismail, Sheikh Rifa` Rafi` al-Tahtawi, and judge Qasim Amin) credit for promoting the interests of women by respectively building the first general school for women in al-Siyufiya (1873) and publishing one important book that supported the education of women (1873) and another to advocate their liberation through the abolition of the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Betty S. Anderson, The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education

[Cover of Betty S. Anderson,

Betty S. Anderson, The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Betty S. Anderson (BSA): I always joke that I conceived the project in the pool of the Carlton Hotel in Beirut. In June 2000, I visited Beirut for the first time so I could attend an Arab American University Graduate (AAUG) conference. One day, I walked with some friends all along the Corniche and up through the American University of Beirut (AUB) campus and then back to the hotel. Since it was late June and ridiculously hot, the only option at that point was to jump in the pool as ...

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New Texts Out Now: Pascale Ghazaleh, Held in Trust: Waqf in the Islamic World

[Cover of

Pascale Ghazaleh, editor, Held in Trust: Waqf in the Islamic World. Cairo and New York: American University of Cairo Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Pascale Ghazaleh (PG): This book brings together articles written by scholars from different countries, working on different aspects of waqf during different periods. These articles were originally papers submitted to the annual seminar organized by Dr. Nelly Hanna of the American University in Cairo's Arab and Islamic Civilizations Department. In 2005, I helped set up the seminar, and the theme we chose was waqf. One of Dr. Hanna's priorities has been to facilitate contacts ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ben White, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination, and Democracy

[Cover of Ben White,

Ben White, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy. London: Pluto Press and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ben White (BW): I wanted to write something that would accessibly describe the policies of segregation and discrimination that Palestinian citizens in Israel have experienced since 1948. Many people—even those who are engaged with Palestine/Israel to some extent—are unaware of the ways in which the Palestinian minority has been systematically marginalized in ways that go far beyond the “complaints of inequality” that surface in mainstream media on occasion. This is more than popular ...

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New Texts Out Now: Karima Khalil, Messages from Tahrir

[Cover of

Karima Khalil, editor, Messages from Tahrir. Cairo and New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2011. Jadaliyya: What made you put this book together? Karima Khalil: One of the first things I saw when I went to Tahrir for the first time on 29 January 2011 was a man standing quietly, holding a sign in Arabic saying: “I used to be afraid but I became Egyptian.” I thought this was an incredibly powerful statement, coming as we did from thirty years of repression with very little public anti-regime protest. I looked around me and saw how many different people—of all ages and backgrounds—were holding signs made from all kinds of things: paper, cardboard, wood, ...

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Happy NEWTON Year: New Texts by Ella Shohat and Joseph Sassoon, the Egyptian Revolution, and More

New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) is gearing up for 2012, featuring an array of new and forthcoming texts that are sure to be of interest to Jadaliyya readers. This week, we are delighted to feature two important books: Joseph Sassoon’s Saddam Hussein’s Ba‘th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime, which was just published by Cambridge University Press, and the new edition of Ella Shohat’s Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation, with a new postscript by the author, recently published by I. B. Tauris. Next week, to mark the first anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, we will feature Messages from Tahrir, a collection of images from the Egyptian ...

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New Texts Out Now: Roger Owen, The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life

Roger Owen, The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Roger Owen (RO): I was intrigued by news reports from Algeria in the spring of 2009 stating that President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika of Algeria was going to amend the constitutional term limits in order to allow him become, in effect, president life, as Ben Ali and other Arab republican presidents had done before him. This led me on to consider the whole ...

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New Texts Out Now: Gilbert Achcar, Eichmann in Cairo: The Eichmann Affair in Nasser's Egypt

Gilbert Achcar, “Eichmann in Cairo: The Eichmann Affair in Nasser's Egypt.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Gilbert Achcar (GA): The story of this article resembles that of my book The Arabs and the Holocaust, of which it can be seen as a sequel. In both cases, the initial impulse of writing was not the evolution of my ongoing research, but a fortuitous circumstance. The prelude to the book was a request made to me a few years ago to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Junaid Rana, Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora

Junaid Rana, Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Junaid Rana (JR): My book was borne out of ethnographic research I completed on the role of labor migration in the global economy. I started with some basic questions: why do people become labor migrants, how does labor migration become transnational and global, what are the conditions that lead to labor migration, and how are labor migrants ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nelly Hanna, Artisan Entrepreneurs in Cairo and Early Modern Capitalism (1600-1800)

Nelly Hanna, Artisan Entrepreneurs in Cairo and Early Modern Capitalism (1600-1800). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book, and what particular topics, issues, and literatures does it address? Nelly Hanna (NH): The book is part of a large body of literature that deals with the artisans and guilds of the Ottoman Empire. Scholars have written about artisans in Istanbul, Bursa, Aleppo, and Jerusalem (including Suraiya Faroqhi, Abdul Karim Rafeq, Haim ...

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New Texts Out Now: Shahla Talebi, Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran

Shahla Talebi, Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011. Winner of the 2011 Outstanding Academic Title Award, sponsored by Choice, and Honorable Mention in the Biography & Autobiography category in the 2011 PROSE Awards Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Shahla Talebi (ST): I knew since leaving Iran in late 1993 that I wanted to find a way to make whatever sense possible of my experience of imprisonment, and the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nergis Ertürk, Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey

Nergis Ertürk, Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nergis Ertürk (NE): One of my motives was to try to deepen our understanding of the phoneticizing Turkish alphabet reform of 1928, which replaced a Perso-Arabic script with a Latin alphabet, as well the language reforms of the 1930s, which replaced many Arabic and Persian loanwords with Turkish neologisms. Of the effects of these reforms, the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nezar AlSayyad, Cairo: Histories of a City

Nezar AlSayyad, Cairo: Histories of a City. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): Why did you write this book? Nezar AlSayyad (NA): Cairo has fascinated me since I was first exposed to the city’s Islamic heritage in 1973, and it has continued to keep me under its spell. This love affair began to wane by the early 1990s, however, when my appreciation for the city began to be tempered by the realities of its problems. By the time I was asked to write this book, in 2006, I had ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, Women's Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent

Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, editors, Women’s Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent. Special issue of SOCIALDIFFERENCE-ONLINE (December 2011). [SOCIALDIFFERENCE-ONLINE is a publication of the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University, an advanced study center that promotes innovative interdisciplinary scholarship on the role of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race in global dynamics of power and inequality.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you ...

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New Texts Out Now: Joshua Stacher, Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria

Joshua Stacher, Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012.  Jadaliyya: What made you write this book? Joshua Stacher: The central reason for writing this book was to understand the differences in how executive power operates in autocratic political systems. I had been living in Cairo for about four years and, while I had traveled to other Arab countries and noticed differences, I had grown accustomed to the Mubarak regime's variant of ...

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New Texts Out Now: Magid Shihade, Not Just a Soccer Game: Colonialism and Conflict Among Palestinians in Israel

Magid Shihade, Not Just a Soccer Game: Colonialism and Conflict Among Palestinians in Israel. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Magid Shihade (MS): One reason was personal. The book begins with a case study of a soccer game between two Palestinian villages: Kafr Yassif, with a dominantly Christian population, and Julis, which is a Druze village. The game ended with a fight between the fans of the two teams and resulted in the killing of two people, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ziad Fahmy, Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture

Ziad Fahmy, Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011.  Jadaliyya: What made you write this book? Ziad Fahmy: Growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, I experienced firsthand the marked difference between the modern standard Arabic (MSA) that I was taught in school and the colloquial Egyptian I spoke with my parents, relatives, and friends. In elementary school, I struggled with the complex grammar rules and regulations we had to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ella Shohat, Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation

Ella Shohat, Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (1989). New Edition. New York and London: I. B. Tauris, 2010 [When Ella Shohat’s book Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation was first published in 1989, Edward Said wrote: “Shohat's Israeli Cinema is a tour-de-force. Not only is it theoretically sophisticated, it is also deeply rooted in the changing politics and perceptions of the Israeli predicament as they bear upon Israeli films. With brilliant ...

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About NEWTON

Jadaliyya’s NEWTON (New Texts Out Now) section features interviews with writers of recently published and forthcoming books, articles, and translations, along with short excerpts from these new works. The idea of NEWTON is to provide readers with a brief background of a new text, and to help readers to find out about a work that they might not otherwise encounter.

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