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New Texts Out Now: Asef Bayat, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam

[Cover of Asef Bayat, editor,

Asef Bayat, editor, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Asef Bayat (AB): Well, for me the primary reason for producing this book was a realization that there was a major gap in the scholarship on Islamism. While so much has been written on political Islam—some of which remains solid scholarship—the mainstream perspectives tend to treat political Islam as if it were a static movement with little scope for change. Even those who did detect degrees of change in certain Islamist movements rarely dealt with highlighting their particular ...

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New Texts Out Now: Eliane Raheb, Sleepless Nights

[Poster for the film

Eliane Raheb, director. Sleepless Nights [Layali Bala Noom]. Itar Productions, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you create this film? Eliane Raheb (ER): The idea of executing the Sleepless Nights documentary came gradually. I first read the apology and the confessions of Assaad Shaftari back in 2002, when a local newspaper published them in a three-part series. He answered several questions I had after the end of the civil war. I read his testimony, but I wanted to know more about him and his experience through the Lebanese civil war, how a normal human being turns to a fighter, a war planner…and then, as soon as peace is announced, he returns to the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Noura Erakat and Mouin Rabbani, Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures

[Cover of

Noura Erakat and Mouin Rabbani, editors, Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures. Washington, DC: Tadween Publishing, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Noura Erakat and Mouin Rabbani (NE & MR): The book represents a compilation of articles and documents published by Jadaliyya during the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations in 2011-2012. We felt this moment represents—for better or worse—a critical juncture in Palestinian history and the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, deserving of proper analysis and contextualization. It will either mark the moment at which Palestinians began to definitively ...

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New Texts Out Now: Elizabeth Thompson, Justice Interrupted: The Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Middle East

[Cover of Elizabeth F. Thompson,

Elizabeth F. Thompson, Justice Interrupted: The Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Middle East. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Elizabeth Thompson (ET): I have long wished for a bottom-up, people’s history of the Middle East. So I took the opportunity offered by the Carnegie Corporation’s grants for books on the Islamic world to write a history based on the biographies of activists who led the largest political movements in the region. Two moments in teaching also inspired this book. First, I joined a panel on the third anniversary of 9/11, where a religion scholar once again lamented the corruption ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lara Deeb and Mona Harb, Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi‘ite South Beirut

[Cover of

Lara Deeb and Mona Harb, Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi‘ite South Beirut. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Lara Deeb (LD) and Mona Harb (MH): Leisurely Islam began as a series of conversations about how Dahiya—the area situated to the south of municipal Beirut, where we had each conducted our previous research—and the Shi‘i Islamic milieu centered there were changing in the early years of this century. We had both written a great deal about the political, institutional, urban, and religious changes that had occurred in Dahiya, and were interested in expanding our foci to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nathan Schneider, Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse

[Cover of Nathan Schneider,

Nathan Schneider, Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nathan Schneider (NS): I couldn't not. I happened to be the first reporter allowed to cover the planning meetings that led to Occupy Wall Street, and when the movement became a tremendous media sensation in the fall of 2011, I felt an immense responsibility to communicate the wisdom and mayhem I witnessed up close to a world bombarded by misconceptions about this and other popular uprisings. Then, as Occupy's fifteen minutes of fame faded, I stuck with it after most other note-takers left, chronicling both ...

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New Texts Out Now: Christiane Gruber and Sune Haugbolle, Visual Culture in the Modern Middle East

[Cover of Christiane Gruber and Sune Haugbolle,

Christiane Gruber and Sune Haugbolle, editors, Visual Culture in the Modern Middle East: Rhetoric of the Image. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Christiane Gruber and Sune Haugbolle (CG & SH): When we first met at a memory studies workshop in 2007, we talked about the need to bring visual culture as an emergent discipline into communication with media studies of the Middle East. In our discussions, we agreed that it would be fruitful to exchange ideas and materials in a workshop format, so we organized a conference on “Visual Culture in Political Islam,” which was held in Copenhagen in 2009. At ...

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New Texts Out Now: Toby Matthiesen, Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn't

[Cover of Toby Matthiesen,

Toby Matthiesen, Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn't. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Toby Matthiesen (TM): I wanted to show how the Arab Spring impacted the Gulf countries and how they tried to counter the challenges arising from the revolutions spreading across the region. I felt that this was a story that was generally under-reported and under-studied, and my book is a small attempt to try to change that. I probably would not have written this kind of book had I not experienced the sectarianization of politics, in the Gulf and beyond, first hand. I had already spent ...

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New Texts Out Now: Madawi Al-Rasheed, Carool Kersten, and Marat Shterin, Demystifying the Caliphate

[Cover of Madawi Al-Rasheed, Carool Kersten, and Marat Shterin,

Madawi Al-Rasheed, Carool Kersten, and Marat Shterin, editors, Demystifying the Caliphate: Historical Memory and Contemporary Contexts. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Madawi al-Rasheed (MAR): The concept of the caliphate has become a scary term invoked by both politicians and activists. Since 9/11, politicians in the West and the Muslim world invoke the word to scare constituencies or justify certain policies that often lead to war and destruction. Many politicians, among them George Bush and Tony Blair, have talked about the caliphate as a totalizing political system in which the oppression ...

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New Texts Out Now: Selma Dabbagh, Out of It: A Novel

[Cover of Selma Dabbagh,

Selma Dabbagh, Out of It: A Novel. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2012. Selected as a Guardian Book of the Year, 2011-2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Selma Dabbagh (SD): All writers are driven by a sense of compulsion. This compulsion has component elements of arrogance and vanity, as well as an artistic desire to put the messy rush of everyday life into a dignified, meaningful form. Out of It was my first novel, although I had published short stories previously, and the seeds of it came to me as an image and an idea. The image was of a young man leaping up on a roof, under fighter jets, his mood being a combination of recklessness and defiance. ...

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Morsi and the Army: The Illusive Power

[Cover of Glibert Achcar,

[The following excerpts are taken from Gilbert Achcar’s recently published book The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising, translated by G. M. Goshgarian (London: Saqi Books and Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013). The book will be featured in an upcoming NEWTON post. These selections were chosen by the author in light of the present situation in Egypt; for more on some of these points, click here.] On 12 August 2012, [Mohamed Morsi] the new Egyptian president sent the SCAF’s two most eminent members into retirement. Both of these military men had been close associates of Hosni Mubarak: Hussein Tantawi, the commander in chief of the armed ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System

[Cover of Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts,

Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, editors, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System. Smashwords, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Andrew Gardner (AG): Migrants in the Gulf states have been a central focal point in my research for more than a decade now. Over that decade, I definitely noticed that the portions of my research and my presentations that truly resonated with my audience were oftentimes not the scholarly and theoretical acrobatics that seemingly comprise so much academic activity today, but rather the migrant stories and narratives that have often served as the foundational data in my ethnographic ...

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New Texts Out Now: Wael Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament

Wael Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. [This is a special edition of NEWTON that coincides with the upcoming launch of Jadaliyya's Critical Currents of Islam page. CCI aims to engage with a range of topics related to Islam as it is interpreted, practiced, and contested in political, cultural, and economic arenas throughout the world. The page is a place for fresh and critical perspectives on many of the issues ...

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NEWTON in Focus: Palestine-Israel

This week we highlight various NEWTON texts relevant to the study of Palestine-Israel. The authors of these texts write from a wide range of perspectives, disciplinary approaches, and political frameworks. We encourage you to integrate these texts into your curricula in the coming semesters. If you wish to recommend a book or peer-reviewed article for a feature in NEWTON—whether on Palestine-Israel or on any other topics relevant to the region—please email us at reviews@jadaliyya.com. To stay up to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nelida Fuccaro, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East

Nelida Fuccaro, editor, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East. Special issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (April 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this issue? Nelida Fuccaro (NF): It was my interest in the urban history of oil producing countries, combined with the availability of stimulating interdisciplinary research on oil cities, a topic that is relatively new to Middle Eastern studies. I find this research very appealing. ...

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New Texts Out Now: H. Erdem Cipa and Emine Fetvaci, Writing History at the Ottoman Court

H. Erdem Çıpa and Emine Fetvacı, editors, Writing History at the Ottoman Court: Editing the Past, Fashioning the Future. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? H. Erdem Çıpa and Emine Fetvacı (HEÇ & EF): The book grew out of a small symposium on Ottoman historiography that we organized in 2009 at Indiana University, Bloomington. The quality of the papers and the congeniality of the participants sparked such intense and fruitful ...

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New Texts Out Now: Sinan Antoon, The Corpse Washer

Sinan Antoon, The Corpse Washer. Translated from the Arabic by the author. London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What led you to write this novel? Sinan Antoon (SA): In March 2004, a year after the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I was reading the New York Times one morning and came across a story about men and women who made their living by washing the dead. Thanks to the military occupation and the violence it unleashed, corpses were piling up every day in record numbers. ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ray Bush, Turmoil in North Africa

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New Texts Out Now: Adel Iskandar, Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution

Adel Iskandar, Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution. Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Adel Iskandar (AI): The book was not written with the intention of becoming a single contiguous narrative that coheres. In fact, it wasn’t even written to be a book. Instead, it was a collection of standalone articles composed at various junctures in the tumultuous life of revolutionary Egypt. As events unfolded, my modest ...

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New Texts Out Now: Derya Bayir, Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law

Derya Bayir, Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. London: Ashgate, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Derya Bayir (DB): Turkey’s uneasy relation with its multi-ethnic and multi-religious diversity is well known. The resurgence of the Kurdish minority over the last three decades has sharpened this uneasy relation. When I began writing this book, the initial question was to locate Turkey’s position in light of developments and trends in international law regarding the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Erdag Goknar, Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel

Erdağ Göknar, Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel. London and New York: Routledge, 2013.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Erdağ Göknar (EG): I have both an academic and personal interest in Pamuk. I first met him when I was a graduate student and have known him for fifteen years. I am also the translator of his historical novel My Name Is Red, a book that ushered him onto a world literary stage. The translation won the International Dublin ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lori Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine

Lori Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? How does it connect to and/or depart from your previous research?    Lori Allen (LA): My original research question focused on the generative capacities of violence and suffering, which I hoped to illuminate through investigating Palestinian human rights NGOs. I understood these institutions to be a central ...

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New Texts Out Now: Neha Vora, Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora

Neha Vora, Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Neha Vora (NV): I have always had an interest in South Asian diasporas, particularly in the forms of identification, cultural production, and belonging that occur as people move from “homeland” to new locales—how they imagine home and how they imagine themselves and their communities in relation to others. When I entered my PhD program in anthropology in 2002, I ...

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New Texts Out Now: Evelyn Alsultany and Ella Shohat, Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora

Evelyn Alsultany and Ella Shohat, editors, Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Evelyn Alsultany and Ella Shohat (EA & ES): Growing up in the wake of our families’ displacement from Iraq, and having lived in multiple geographies as part of complex familial mixing, we see this project as an attempt to connect what otherwise would be perceived as disparate and ...

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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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