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NEWTONs You Might Have Missed

[NEWTON logo.]

With a new semester on the horizon, NEWTON is about to kick into high gear once again. Below are a few amazing posts that you might have missed the first time around. If you wish to recommend a book to be reviewed or if you have just published a book or a peer-reviewed article, please email us at reviews@jadaliyya.com Mohamed Daadaoui, Moroccan Monarchy and the Islamist Challenge: Maintaining Makhzen Power Ziad Fahmy, Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture Belén Fernández, The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work Amal N. Ghazal, Islamic Reform and Arab Nationalism: Expanding the Crescent from the Mediterranean to the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Khaled Furani, Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry

[Cover of Khaled Furani,

Khaled Furani, Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Khaled Furani (KF): Growing up in thrall to Israeli policies aimed at diluting and obliterating the Palestine that was, I saw in Arabic poetry “what remains,” to quote from Hannah Arendt’s reminiscences of the Germany she once knew (reverberating in Ghassan Kanafani’s novella and Walid Khalidi’s compendium). In the Arab world, poetry has played the kind of role that perhaps blues and jazz have held in black history in the United States: a record of resilience in rhythms. I wanted to write a book that ...

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New Texts Out Now: Akram Khater, Embracing the Divine: Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East

[Cover of Akram Fouad Khater,

Akram Fouad Khater, Embracing the Divine: Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Akram Khater (AK): This book was partly a happenstance, and came partly out of a keen awareness of a gaping hole in Middle Eastern scholarship. The happenstance is common enough in scholarly research. Tired of the texts I was reading at the Bibliotheque Nationale for my PhD dissertation, I turned to the Arabic card catalog to browse for interesting manuscripts. I stumbled upon one titled Aghrab imra’a fil ‘alam [The Strangest Woman in the World]. With such an unabashedly over the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Hamid Dabashi, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism

[Cover of Hamid Dabashi,

Hamid Dabashi, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism. London and New York: Zed Books, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Hamid Dabashi (HD): As you well know, a massive set of revolutionary uprisings are sweeping across North Africa and Western Asia, from Morocco to Syria and from Bahrain to Yemen. This is all happening in the aftermath of an equally important uprising code-named the Green Movement in Iran. While the Arab uprisings were under way, the Eurozone crisis and civil unrest swept across Europe from Greece to Spain, and before that was completely registered the Occupy Wall Street movement started in the US. Like everyone else, I was ...

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New Texts Out Now: Hilal Elver, The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion

[Cover of Hilal Elver,

Hilal Elver, The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Hilal Elver (HE): My experience in Turkey in relation to the headscarf is the main reason for writing the book. Turkey is very much a divided society: ninety-nine percent of the population is Muslim and it is a significantly religious society, yet it has also developed a secular legal order and social structure. I felt this duality even in my own family environment. My mother was an educated woman and a devout Muslim. For most of her life, at least when I was growing up, I witnessed the ...

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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: Jason Brownlee, Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the US-Egyptian Alliance

Jason Brownlee, Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the US-Egyptian Alliance. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jason Brownlee (JB): I had a series of experiences in 2009 that got me thinking about the intersection of US foreign policy and human rights abuses in Egypt. First, I was in Egypt in January 2009, during the massive protests against Operation Cast Lead (Israel's military assault on the Gaza Strip, which ended just before ...

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New Texts Out Now: James Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know

James Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): How did you come to write this book? James Gelvin (JG): In the winter of 2011, I made contact with Oxford University Press about doing a condensed, “trade” (i.e., mass market) version of my The Modern Middle East: A History. I thought this would be useful because, among other things, the book lays out the historical background for the Arab uprisings we were witnessing. The ...

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NEWTONs You Might Have Missed

After taking a brief summer vacation, New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) will return next week. In the meantime, here are a few great posts that you might have missed from the past few months: Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, editors, Women’s Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent Betty S. Anderson, The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education Stephen W. Day, Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen: A Troubled National Union  Nergis Ertürk, Grammatology and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Maaike Voorhoeve, Family Law in Islam

Maaike Voorhoeve, editor, Family Law in Islam: Divorce, Marriage and Women in the Muslim World. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What led you to edit this book? Maaike Voorhoeve (MV): When I started my PhD on the contemporary application of Tunisian family law by Tunisian judges, my idea was as follows: the Tunisian family code deviates significantly from Islamic law, and therefore it is interesting to examine if judges apply the code, or whether they apply Islamic law instead. ...

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New Texts Out Now: Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine

Omar Jabary Salamanca, Mezna Qato, Kareem Rabie, and Sobhi Samour, editors. Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine. Special Issue of Settler Colonial Studies 2.1 (2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue? Editors (E): This open-access (and therefore freely accessible) special issue emerges out of a conference we organized in early March 2011, convened by the SOAS Palestine Society. The impetus for the conference came from two main directions. First, we all work on ...

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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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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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