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New Texts Out Now: Rachel Beckles Willson, Orientalism and Musical Mission: Palestine and the West

[Cover of Rachel Beckles Willson,

Rachel Beckles Willson, Orientalism and Musical Mission: Palestine and the West. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Rachel Beckles Willson (RBW): In 2004, I was puzzled by the way that the English press—specifically newspapers that are usually rather critical, The Guardian and The Observer—responded to some western classical music initiatives in Ramallah led by the celebrated conductor Daniel Barenboim. It all seemed to be wildly admiring, while also reproducing imperialistic discourses about Arabs and Europe (the former in need of the latter’s civilizing missions). This was all the more ...

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NEWTON in Focus: Egypt

This week we highlight various NEWTON texts relevant to the study of Egypt. The authors of these texts write from a wide range of perspectives and approach questions with which Egypt has grappled, not only in the wake of Tahrir, but throughout its modern existence. 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 Egypt or on any other topics relevant to the region—please email us at reviews@jadaliyya.com. To stay up to date with ongoing discussions by scholars and instructors in the field, sign up for Jadaliyya’s Pedagogy ...

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New Texts Out Now: Dina Rizk Khoury, Iraq in Wartime: Soldiering, Martyrdom, and Remembrance

[Cover of Dina Rizk Khoury,

Dina Rizk Khoury, Iraq in Wartime: Soldiering, Martyrdom, and Remembrance. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Dina Rizk Khoury (DRK): The 2003 US invasion of Iraq was the chief impetus for writing this book. I had been about halfway through writing a book on the politics of reform and rebellion in Ottoman Baghdad when the build-up for the 2003 invasion began. Ottoman Baghdad receded very quickly from my focus. I was frustrated as a historian and as an opponent of the war with the way that Iraq was reduced to a set of symbols and catch phrases—Saddam Hussain, the sanctions, WMD, Ba’th oppression, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Sally K. Gallagher, Making Do in Damascus

[Cover of Sally K. Gallgher,

Sally K. Gallagher, Making Do in Damascus: Navigating a Generation of Change in Family and Work. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sally Gallagher (SG): I have had a long interest in gender and economic development, and had the opportunity to begin a study of the effects of participating in an income-generating project for women in Damascus just as it was getting started. This was a really great opportunity to watch change in the making, rather than go in after the fact and ask people: how is your life different? Slowly I was able to begin building contacts among networks of women across social classes, and was ...

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New Texts Out Now: January 2013 Back to School Edition

As we kick off the spring 2013 semester, Jadaliyya would like to remind you of some of the most creative and groundbreaking works in Middle East studies that we have featured in our New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) page. Since we launched this page in 2011, we have had the opportunity to share with you unique interviews by authors and excerpts from their new and forthcoming publications. Here you will find a list divided by topic of some of these texts that you may find particularly useful pedagogically. We encourage you to integrate these into your curricula during this semester and beyond. To stay up to date with ongoing discussions by scholars and instructors in the field, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Paolo Gerbaudo, Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism

[Cover of Paolo Gerbaudo,

Paolo Gerbaudo, Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism. London and New York: Pluto Books, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Paolo Gerbaudo (PG): I have been involved in progressive social movements in Italy and the UK for the last twelve years, some times as a participant, other times as a journalist for il manifesto, a newspaper of the Italian New Left, other times as a social movement researcher, and still other times as an organizer. Thus, the first reason for writing this book for me was a strong sense of commitment to, and solidarity with, the movements I studied, and an enthusiasm about the sense of possibility they ...

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New Texts Out Now: Noga Efrati, Women in Iraq: Past Meets Present

[Cover of Noga Efrati,

Noga Efrati, Women in Iraq: Past Meets Present. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Noga Efrati (NE): The US-led invasion of Iraq became a full-scale military occupation while I was in the midst of working on a historical account of women under the British occupation and the British-installed monarchy in the first half of the twentieth century. I found myself more and more intrigued, as contemporary events cascaded, to find that the struggle of Iraqi women’s rights activists, especially between 2003 and 2005, to a large extent revolved around the same three issues that had concerned activists during the Hashemite ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lisa Hajjar, Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights

[Cover of Lisa Hajjar,

Lisa Hajjar, Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights. New York: Routledge, 2012 [“Framing Twenty-First Century Social Issues” series]. Jadaliyya (J): What inspired you to write this book? Lisa Hajjar (LH): Torture is my great and terrible obsession. I think, read, write, and talk about torture all the time, as anyone who knows me can attest. I was inspired to write this book in order to share my knowledge, my passion, and—to be blunt—my anger about torture with college students, although hopefully people who are not students also will find it interesting. This book, like others in the Routledge series, Framing Twenty-First Century Social Issues, is geared ...

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New Texts Out Now: Orit Bashkin, New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq

[Cover of Orit Bashkin,

Orit Bashkin, New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Orit Bashkin (OB): I became interested in the topic as a teenager, reading Hebrew novels written by Iraqi Jews who described their experiences in Iraq. When I was working on my first book I met Iraqi Jews who spoke to me about their experiences in Iraq, and Iraqi Muslims and Christians who spoke about their Jewish friends and neighbors. What amazed me about some of these conversations was the personal memories of Iraqi Jews now living in Israel; their Iraqi-patriotic sentiments and their longing for Iraq did not ...

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NEWTON 2012 in Review

We have had the opportunity to highlight an extraordinary series of books and articles on New Texts Out Now this year. Before we make our way into the new year, here are all of the NEWTONs that we published in 2012. Enjoy, and see you in 2013.  Myriam Ababsa, Badouin Dupret, and Eric Denis, Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East: Case Studies from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey  Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, Women’s Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent  Gilbert Achcar, “Eichmann in Cairo: The Eichmann Affair in Nasser’s Egypt”  Ali Ahmida, “Libya, Social Origins of Dictatorship, and the Challenge ...

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New Texts Out Now: Laleh Khalili, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies

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Laleh Khalili, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Laleh Khalili (LK): In the course of completing my first book, I was performing some final interviews with Palestinian residents in Lebanon who had been detainees in Israel at various points over the last couple of decades. I was conducting these interviews when the news of Abu Ghraib tortures broke and pictures of detainees being held by leashes, of dogs attacking detainees, of the sexualized torture emerged. More than one interviewee told me that the images felt familiar. That was one of the first ...

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New Texts Out Now: Elisabeth Weber, Living Together: Jacques Derrida's Communities of Violence and Peace

[Cover of

Elisabeth Weber, editor, Living Together: Jacques Derrida’s Communities of Violence and Peace. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Elisabeth Weber (EW): The volume was conceived after the conference I organized with my colleague Thomas Carlson in October 2003 at the University of California at Santa Barbara, on “Irreconcilable Differences? Jacques Derrida and the Question of Religion.” The conference turned out to be Jacques Derrida’s last public appearance in the United States. The collection of essays is grouped around Derrida’s keynote address, “Avowing—The Impossible: ‘Returns,’ Repentance and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ilana Feldman, The Challenge of Categories: UNRWA and the Definition of a "Palestine Refugee"

Ilana Feldman, "The Challenge of Categories: UNRWA and the Definition of a 'Palestine Refugee.'" Journal of Refugee Studies 25.3 (2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article?  Ilana Feldman (IF): There were two primary motivating forces for writing this article. First, it is part of a special issue in the Journal of Refugee Studies on “The Refugee in the Post-War World, 1945-1960,” that itself was a result of a conference of the same name. By participating in this issue, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jeannie Sowers, Environmental Politics in Egypt: Activists, Experts, and the State

Jeannie Sowers, Environmental Politics in Egypt: Activists, Experts, and the State. London and New York: Routledge, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jeannie Sowers (JS): In Egypt, as elsewhere, environmental issues are often viewed as secondary to issues of “high politics,” such as national elections and debates among political elites. Yet so many of the core concerns of politics—power, resources, justice—are most clearly seen in who has access to land, health, water, and other ...

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New Texts Out Now: Na'eem Jeenah, Pretending Democracy: Israel, An Ethnocratic State

Na’eem Jeenah, editor, Pretending Democracy: Israel, An Ethnocratic State. Johannesburg: Afro-Middle East Centre, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you publish this book? Na’eem Jeenah (NJ): The book emerged out of a conference organized by the Afro-Middle East Centre and which was held in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference brought together important scholars who have being thinking and writing about the issue of the nature of the Israeli state, those who are affected by this, and also ways in which ...

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New Texts Out Now: Natalya Vince, Saintly Grandmothers: Youth Reception and Reinterpretation of the National Past in Contemporary Algeria

Natalya Vince, “Saintly Grandmothers: Youth Reception and Reinterpretation of the National Past in Contemporary Algeria.” The Journal of North African Studies, 18:1 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Natalya Vince (NV): The Algerian War of Independence (1954-62), or at least a selective and glorified version of the war, has played a key role in both the formation of Algerian national identity and the legitimization of political elites. For the past fifty years, museums, monuments, ...

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New Texts Out Now: John M. Willis, Unmaking North and South: Cartographies of the Yemeni Past, 1857-1934

John M. Willis, Unmaking North and South: Cartographies of the Yemeni Past, 1857-1934. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? John Willis (JW): The book began as a dissertation written in the departments of history and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University. While I had been interested in the production and mastery of space as a particular technic of power for some time, what drove me to frame the dissertation and then the book ...

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New Texts Out Now: Madawi Al-Rasheed, A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia

Madawi Al-Rasheed, A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Madawi Al-Rasheed (MAR): First, the banality of superficial opinions on Saudi women that is so pervasive. In the public sphere, especially in the West, Saudi women are either superstars or victims of their own society and religion. I felt it was time to contribute to this debate from an academic perspective. I ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nicola Pratt, The Gender Logics of Resistance to the "War on Terror"

Nicola Pratt, "The Gender Logics of Resistance to the 'War on Terror': Constructing Sex-Gender Difference Through the Erasure of Patriarchy in the Middle East." Third World Quarterly 33:10 (2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Nicola Pratt (NP): This article is based on fieldwork conducted in 2007 and 2008 at the “Cairo Conferences,” which were a series of conferences in opposition to imperialism, Zionism, neoliberalism, and dictatorship. Initially, I attended the 2007 ...

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NEWTON Author Nergis Ertürk Receives MLA First Book Prize

We are very happy to report that Nergis Ertürk, whose book Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey was featured in New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) in 2012, is the recipient of the Nineteenth Annual Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book. She will receive the award, together with the other winners of 2012 MLA publication prizes, on 5 January at the 2013 Annual MLA Convention in Boston. This gives us the opportunity to congratulate four other 2012 NEWTON authors who were also awarded major ...

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New Texts Out Now: Marwan M. Kraidy, The Revolutionary Body Politic

Marwan M. Kraidy, “The Revolutionary Body Politic: Preliminary Thoughts on a Neglected Medium in the Arab Uprisings.” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.1 (2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Marwan Kraidy (MK): I received an invitation from the editors to write an essay with a brutal time frame (if I recall correctly, an author had dropped out two weeks before the copy deadline, and I was asked to fill in). But that was just technical. What really made me write the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Amahl Bishara, Back Stories: US News Production and Palestinian Politics

Amahl A. Bishara, Back Stories: US News Production and Palestinian Politics. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Amahl Bishara (AB): Back Stories is an ethnography of the production of US news during the second Palestinian Intifada. I started this project in New York City around the beginning of the uprising. I would wake up every morning, and my first step would be to reach for the news. But obviously the news represented only a narrow slice of ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War

Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar, editors, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar (NA and DA): The idea for this book first emerged in 2006, when Iraqis were generally portrayed either as passive victims or as perpetrators of horrific violence. In the midst of an ongoing humanitarian crisis and the violence, destruction, killings, and widespread sufferings ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ann Elizabeth Mayer, Islam and Human Rights

Ann Elizabeth Mayer, Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, Fifth Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ann Elizabeth Mayer (AEM): Many things have changed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region since the first edition of this book, published in the mid-1980s, examined proposed “Islamic” versions of human rights. I wanted to update the earlier versions of this book to take into account new developments in the ongoing contention ...

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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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