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After Orientalism

Critical Perspectives on Western Agency and Eastern Re-appropriations

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Edited by François Pouillion and Jean-Claude Vatin

The debate on Orientalism began some fifty years ago in the wake of decolonization. While initially considered a turning point, Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) was in fact part of a larger academic endeavor – the political critique of “colonial science” – that had already significantly impacted the humanities and social sciences. In a recent attempt to broaden the debate, the papers collected in this volume, offered at various seminars and an international symposium held in Paris in 2010-2011, critically examine whether Orientalism, as knowledge and as creative expression, was in fact fundamentally subservient to Western domination.
By raising new issues, the papers shift the focus from the center to the peripheries, thus analyzing the impact on local societies of a major intellectual and institutional movement that necessarily changed not only their world, but the ways in which they represented their world. World history, which assumes a plurality of perspectives, leads us to observe that the Saidian critique applies to powers other than Western European ones — three case studies are considered here: the Ottoman, Russian (and Soviet), and Chinese empires.
Other essays in this volume proceed to analyze how post-independence states have made use of the tremendous accumulation of knowledge and representations inherited from previous colonial regimes for the sake of national identity, as well as how scholars change and adapt what was once a hegemonic discourse for their own purposes. What emerges is a new landscape in which to situate research on non-Western cultures and societies, and a road-map leading readers beyond the restrictive dichotomy of a confrontation between West and East.

With contributions by: Elisabeth Allès; Léon Buskens; Stéphane A. Dudoignon; Baudouin Dupret; Edhem Eldem; Olivier Herrenschmidt; Nicholas S. Hopkins; Robert Irwin; Mouldi Lahmar; Sylvette Larzul; Jean-Gabriel Leturcq; Jessica Marglin; Claire Nicholas; Emmanuelle Perrin; Alain de Pommereau; François Pouillon; Zakaria Rhani; Emmanuel Szurek; Jean-Claude Vatin; Mercedes Volait

Women and Islamic Cultures

Disciplinary Paradigms and Approaches: 2003 - 2013

Edited by Suad Joseph, Marilyn L. Booth, Bahar Davary, Hoda El Sadda, Sarah Gualtieri, Vriginia Hooker, Therese Saliba and Elora Shehabuddin

The first decade of the 21st century witnessed an explosion in scholarly and public interest in women and Islamic cultures, globally. From misguided media representations, to politically motivated state manipulations, to agenda-driven Islamist movements, to feminist and international NGO projects – the subject and image of Muslim women has become iconic and riveting. This volume unpacks the representations, motivations, agendas, and projects by focusing on the advances in scholarly research on women and Islamic cultures in the first decade of the 21st century. The editors of the pioneering Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures bring together leading scholars, discipline by discipline, to critically analyze state of the art research on women and Islamic cultures from 2003-2013.

Editors for this volume include Suad Joseph, Marilyn Booth, Bahar Davary, Hoda Elsadda, Sarah Gualtieri, Virginia Hooker, Amira Jarmakani, Therese Saliba, and Elora Shehabuddin.

Contributors include Suad Joseph, Azza Basarudin, Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh, Amira Jarmakani, Sajeda Amin, Kamran Rastegar, Robina Mohammad, Annika Rabo, Ahmed Ragab, Vannessa Hearman, Bahar Davary, Michelle Hartman, Hoda Elsadda, Nerina Rustomji, Amaney Jamal, Vickie Langohr, Hania Sholkamy, Zayn Kassam, Rachel Rinaldo, Samar Habib.

Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia

Women’s Rights Movements, Religious Resurgence and Local Traditions

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Edited by Susanne Schroeter

The volume is the first comprehensive compilation of texts on gender constructions, normative gender orders and their religious legitimizations, as well as current gender policies in Islamic Southeast Asia, which besides the Islamic core countries of Malaysia and Indonesia also comprises southern Thailand and Mindanao (the Philippines). The authors trace the impact of national development programmes, modernization, globalization, and political conflicts on the local and national gender regimes in the twentieth century, and elaborate on the consequences of the revitalization of a conservative type of Islam. The book, thus, elucidates the boundary lines of cultural and political processes of negotiation related to state, society, and community. It employs a broad analytical framework, offers rich empirical data and gives new insights into current debates on gender and Islam.

Contributors include Nelly van Doorn-Harder, Farish A. Noor, Siti Musdah Mulia, Amporn Marddent, Maila Stivens, Alexander Horstmann, Amina Rasul-Bernardo, Monika Arnez, Susanne Schröter, Nurul Ilmi Idrus, Vivienne S.M. Angeles and Birte Brecht-Drouart.

Women, Leadership, and Mosques

Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority

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Edited by Masooda Bano and Hilary E. Kalmbach

The acceptance of female leadership in mosques and madrassas is a significant change from much historical practice, signalling the mainstream acceptance of some form of female Islamic authority in many places. This volume investigates the diverse range of female religious leadership present in contemporary Muslim communities in South, East and Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America, with chapters discussing its emergence, the limitations placed upon it, and its wider impact, as well as the physical and virtual spaces used by women to establish and consolidate their authority. It will be invaluable as a reference text, as it is the first to bring together analysis of female Islamic leadership in geographically and ideologically-diverse Muslim communities worldwide.

Performing Islam

Gender and Ritual in Iran

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Azam Torab

Performing Islam takes as its main focus the rich array of ceremonial activities that shape and inform the lives of circles of women in south Tehran. Based on anthropological fieldwork, the book describes and analyses rituals that mark religious anniversaries and life course events in Iran today. Arguing that the ritual performances are powerful forums where ideas develop, and where rules, symbols and discourses are contested, this book discusses the values and beliefs underpinning gender constructions in a rapidly changing and complex society. The ambiguous metaphorical language of the rituals is examined, revealing how gender ideologies are projected and renewed, but also challenged, destabilized and ridiculed. Thus the rituals provide possibilities for self-expression, innovation and incremental change. This study goes beyond questions of meaning and culture to interrogate the dynamics of gender performance as products of power and politics.

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Edited by Armando Salvatore and Dale Eickelman

This book explores the public role of Islam in contemporary world politics. “Public Islam” refers to the diverse invocations and struggles over Islamic ideas and practices that increasingly influence the politics and social life of large parts of the globe. The contributors to this volume show how public Islam articulates competing notions and practices of the common good and a way of envisioning alternative political and religious ideas and realities, reconfiguring established boundaries of civil and social life. Drawing on examples from the late Ottoman Empire, Africa, South Asia, Iran, and the Arab Middle East, this volume facilitates understanding the multiple ways in which the public sphere, a key concept in social thought, can be made transculturally feasible by encompassing the evolution of non-Western societies in which religion plays a vital role.

Speaking for Islam

Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies

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Edited by Gudrun Krämer and Sabine Schmidtke

Who speaks for Islam? To whom do Muslims turn when they look for guidance? To what extent do individual scholars and preachers exert religious authority, and how can it be assessed? The upsurge of Islamism has lent new urgency to these questions, but they have deeper roots and a much longer history, and they certainly should not be considered in the light of present concerns only.
The present volume – grown out of an international symposium at the Free University, Berlin in 2002 – is not so much concerned with religious authority, but with religious authorities, men and women claiming, projecting and exerting religious authority within a given context. It addresses issues such as the relationship of knowledge, conduct and charisma, the social functions of the schools of law and theology, and the efforts on the part of governments and rulers to organize religious scholars and to implement state-centred hierarchies.
The volume focuses on Middle Eastern Muslim majority societies in the period from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, and the individual papers offer case studies elucidating important aspects of the wider phenomenon. Individually and collectively, they highlight the scope and variety of religious authorities in past and present Muslim societies.

This book is also available in paperback.

Edited by Augustus R. Norton

Launched in 1992, the Civil Society in the Middle East program has brought together dozens of leading scholars to analyze political life through an exploration of civil society within the states of the region.
This is the first of two volumes to be published by E.J. Brill; it contains original studies of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the prospects for democratization in the Arab world, the consequences of economic liberalization and contemporary Islamic thought on civil society and democracy.
This first volume offers a wealth of new material on unions, political parties and professional syndicates, and other components of civil society, as the authors weigh the prospects for political reform in the Middle East, and provide readable yet richly informed assessments of state-society relations.

Official History in Modern Indonesia

New Order Perceptions and Counterviews

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Michael Wood

Dealing with New Order perceptions of the past this study gives insights into how the past can be used for purposes of national-building and regime legitimization and into the nature of the New Order. The Suharto regime created a coherent history that is reflected in recent archaeological and historical research, in popular histories and biographies, in monuments and in school textbooks.
The author describes an official history stretching from the proto-Indonesia of Majapahit, through the Indonesian Revolution up to the birth of the New Order in 1965. He also gives a counterview to this history stressing Indonesia’s place in the larger Islamic world.
The past emphasized political stability and national unity under the guidance of the military and socially disruptive ideas were to be avoided.

Women and Demons

Cult Healing in Islamic Egypt

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Gerda Sengers

This rich ethnographic study describes the nearly impossible challenge of the daily existence of women in the poor neighbourhoods of Cairo. When these women fall ill they often put the blame on beings from an invisible world that invaded their body (possession), and they seek the help of traditional healers in the Zar ceremony or Koran healing. This book examines in detail the links between cosmology, power and gender. It tackles questions such as ‘what is possession, what is being said with it, and what does society have to do with it?’. The author, who lived a long time in various poor areas of Cairo, attended many sessions of Koran healing and participated in the Zar ceremony. She observed and interviewed many possessed women, as well as healers and other ‘demon specialists’.