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In: A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea
In Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collection of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, revolutionary, and social theorist. Fanon’s work not only gave voice to the “wretched” in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), but also shaped the radical resistance to colonialism, empire, and racism throughout much of the world. His seminal works, such as Black Skin, White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, were read by The Black Panther Party in the United States, anti-imperialists in Africa and Asia, and anti-monarchist revolutionaries in the Middle East. Today, many revolutionaries and scholars have returned to Fanon’s work, as it continues to shed light on the nature of colonial domination, racism, and class oppression.

Contributors include: Syed Farid Alatas, Rose Brewer, Dustin J. Byrd, Sean Chabot, Richard Curtis, Nigel C. Gibson, Ali Harfouch, Timothy Kerswell, Seyed Javad Miri, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pramod K. Nayar, Elena Flores Ruíz, Majid Sharifi, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib and Esmaeil Zeiny.
Author: Anver M. Emon

Abstract

This Fieldnote challenges scholars of Islam and Muslims to consider how the production of knowledge on Islam and Muslims has long been, and continues to be, intimately associated with projects of governance, whether by the modern state or premodern regime. The present is simply a particularly robust historical period during which, wherever one might stand on the political spectrum, the study of Islam is undertaken in the shadow of the state—a disaggregated project of law and justice, border control, national security, and regulation. This Fieldnote recasts Islam and Muslim in an adjectival sense—‘Islamic’ and ‘Muslim’—in order to highlight their variability in relation to the purposes for which they are deployed. To better understand the dynamics by which the ‘Islamic’ is deployed for purposes of state projects, this Fieldnote outlines four registers of analysis—time, space, scale, and rhetoric—to inspire new research on the production of knowledge in the academic study of Islam and Muslims today.

In: Middle East Law and Governance

Abstract

This article examines a wall painting of the temptation of Saint Martin in the so-called Panteón de los Reyes of San Isidoro in León, focusing on its unorthodox portrayal of Satan as an Ethiopianized, dark-skinned figure wearing a robe reflective of Fatimid textile traditions. Tracing the scene’s divergent sources within the complex network of images, texts, and ideas then circulating in León, it argues that the unusually configured image constituted an innovative, intervisual response to the concerns of a palatine viewership that in the first decades of the twelfth century remained preoccupied with its own dynastic and political position, both within the Leonese kingdom and with reference to its wider European sphere.

In: Medieval Encounters
Author: Ebru Boyar

This article considers the transfer of medical knowledge from Europe to the Ottoman empire and argues that what was significant in such transfer was medical practice rather than textual transfer, that the Ottomans were open to adopting medical knowledge from the non-Islamic world, the deciding factor being not the origin but the successful nature of the treatment, and that if there was a border which medical knowledge did not traverse, it was one created by everyday custom not by any Muslim/Christian divide or rejection of knowledge from outside.

In: Turkish Historical Review

Abstract

The Black Death, as a unique historical event, has long attracted the attention of medieval and medical historians both in terms of the length of the pandemic and its geographical scope. Nevertheless, historical studies on the Black Death have often neglected the role it played in Iran. The present paper examines Iranian historical accounts of events pertaining to the pandemic in the late Middle Ages and its consequent outbreak in Iran. Its findings can open new frontiers for understanding the broad geographical area impacted by plague and, specifically, its spread in Iran. This paper attempts also to highlight the value of Iranian historical sources from the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries for understanding better the outbreak of the plague.

In: Journal of Persianate Studies
Author: John Waldmeir
For the writers and artists in In-Between Identities: Signs of Islam in Contemporary American Writing, contemporary Muslim American identity is neither singular nor fixed. Rather than dismiss the tradition in favor of more secular approaches, however, all of the figures here discover in Muhammad’s revelation resources for affirming such uncertainty. For them, the Qur’anic notion of a divine “sign” validates creation, even that creativity born of contrasting if not competing assumptions about identity. To develop this claim, individual chapters in the book discuss Muslim faith in the work of poets Naomi Shihab Nye, Kazim Ali, Tyson Amir and Amir Sulaiman; novelists Mohja Kahf, Rabih Alameddine, and Willow Wilson; illustrator Sandow Birk; playwright Ayad Akhtar; and the online record of the 30 Mosques in 30 Days project.
Author: Paola Tartakoff

Abstract

In the 1230s, Christian authorities prosecuted Norwich Jews on charges of having seized and circumcised a five-year-old boy in an effort to convert him to Judaism. In the same decade, English chroniclers began to depict this case as an attempted ritual murder. According to Roger Wendover and Matthew Paris, Jews circumcised the boy with the intention of crucifying him at Easter. This article explores what the near simultaneous development of these two intriguing and seemingly disparate narratives suggests about thirteenth-century Christian perceptions and portrayals of circumcision. In so doing, it ushers research on medieval Christian attitudes toward circumcision into new spheres, deepens understandings of thirteenth-century Christian anxieties about conversion to Judaism, and brings to light a marginal note in the autograph copy of Matthew Paris’ Chronica majora that may constitute evidence of evolving Christian views of the relationship between the bodies of Jews’ alleged victims and the body of Christ.

In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

The Liber de aduentu Messiae is one of Ramon Llull’s major contributions to Jewish-Christian polemics. However, oddly enough, it has been neglected by scholars. The present study consists of two parts: the first contains an analysis and description of certain contextual and internal features of the work in question; and the second a critical edition of the text, which until now has remained unedited in its totality.

In: Medieval Encounters