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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: Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber, Arab and Arab American Feminisms

[Cover of Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber,

Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber, editors, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, Nadine Naber (RA, EA, NN): It was a year after 11 September 2001, and the three of us were on the same panel at the American Anthropological Association in New Orleans. As we sat at Café du Monde, we noted how Arab American and Arab American feminist perspectives were virtually absent from the academic conferences in which we participate (for example,. the American Studies Association, Middle East Studies ...

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New Texts Out Now: Thomas Pierret, Religion and State in Syria

[Cover of Thomas Pierret,

Thomas Pierret, Religion and State in Syria: The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Thomas Pierret (TP): The main incentive was the dearth of scholarly literature on two issues I am interested in: the role of the ulama in contemporary societies, and Islam in Syria. Until the late 1990s, common wisdom had it that the ulama had suffered a significant decline throughout the twentieth century, to the extent that they were hardly worthy of interest for researchers. Consequently, the burgeoning of studies on modern Islam after the Iranian revolution in 1979 did not ...

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New Texts Out Now: Eyad Houssami, Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre

[Covers of the English and Arabic editions of

Eyad Houssami, editor. Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre. Foreword by Elias Khoury. London: Pluto Press, 2012. Innana Mahkoumoun Bil Amal: Kitabat Fi Al Masrah. Beirut: Dar Al Adab, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What led you to commission and compile this collection? Eyad Houssami (EH): As a theater director, I am always thinking about why we make theater, what plays matter where, and how to stage drama today. I also think about how characters, stories, and public dialogue—intimate, immediate, unmediated—can draw people together. One of the problems with theater today is its insularity. Theaters are being padlocked and threatened with demolition in Beirut and Cairo. ...

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Summer Readings from NEWTON

[NEWTON logo]

The New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) page has greatly expanded over the past year, in large part thanks to the recommendations and contributions from many of Jadaliyya’s readers. We would like to provide you with ample summer reading material by reminding you of several new texts that we have featured in recent months. This compilation of works spans a wide range of topics and disciplines by prominent authors in the field of Middle East studies. We hope this list will be pedagogically useful for readers preparing syllabi for the fall semester, as well as those hoping to learn about new and unique perspectives on the region. To stay up to date with ongoing discussions by ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ayca Cubukcu, The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity

[Cover of the

Ayça Çubukçu, “The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity,” Humanitarianism and Responsibility, special issue of Journal of Human Rights 12 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Ayça Çubukçu (AÇ): This article originated in a piece I wrote for Jadaliyya during the vitalizing days of the Arab Spring, in the heat of debate about the virtues of an international military intervention in Libya. As Jadaliyya readers would recall, following the February 2011 uprising against Colonel Qaddafi in eastern Libya, there were calls for the international community to intervene, if necessary with violence, into Libyan affairs. A ...

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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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New Texts Out Now: Markus Dressler, Writing Religion: The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam

Markus Dressler, Writing Religion: The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Markus Dressler (MD): I have been working on Alevism and religion in modern Turkey on and off for more than fifteen years. During this time, I became more and more interested in the way that contemporary discourses on Alevism are informed by modern ideologies, in particular nationalism and secularism. I realized just how deeply most ...

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New Texts Out Now: Daniel Neep, Occupying Syria under the French Mandate

Daniel Neep, Occupying Syria under the French Mandate: Insurgency, Space, and State Formation. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Daniel Neep (DN): Scholars who work on state formation have tended to have little to say about the phenomenon of colonial violence. This seemed to me curious, given that violence is arguably the most central, and certainly the most visceral, dimension of the colonial encounter. In historical sociology, that ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mounira Soliman and Walid El Hamamsy, Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa

Mounira Soliman and Walid El Hamamsy, editors, Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Mounira Soliman and Walid El Hamamsy (MS & WH): The idea for this book came from our perceived awareness of an emerging body of popular culture in the Middle East and North Africa that needed to be examined, analyzed, and theorized. We felt that work on popular culture in this ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mark Fathi Massoud, Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan

Mark Fathi Massoud, Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mark Fathi Massoud (MFM): I wrote this book to investigate the nature of the law and how law is used both to develop and to disrupt authority. I also wrote the book to understand Sudan. Sudan was the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve colonial independence from the British. Its ...

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New Texts Out Now: Louise Cainkar, Global Arab World Migrations and Diasporas

Louise Cainkar, “Global Arab World Migrations and Diasporas.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XXI No. 1 (Spring 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Louise Cainkar (LC): This article was developed from a keynote speech I delivered at the Conference on Arab World Migrations and Diasporas, organized by Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. When contemplating the keynote, I considered deeply what my particular contribution would be to a room full of multi-disciplinary ...

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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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