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Earthen Architecture in Muslim Cultures

Historical and Anthropological Perspectives

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Edited by Stéphane Pradines

This edited volume follows the panel “Earth in Islamic Architecture” organised for the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) in Ankara, on the 19th of August 2014. Earthen architecture is well-known among archaeologists and anthropologists whose work extends from Central Asia to Spain, including Africa. However, little collective attention has been paid to earthen architecture within Muslim cultures. This book endeavours to share knowledge and methods of different disciplines such as history, anthropology, archaeology and architecture. Its objective is to establish a link between historical and archaeological studies given that Muslim cultures cannot be dissociated from social history.

Contributors: Marinella Arena; Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya; Christian Darles; François-Xavier Fauvelle; Elizabeth Golden; Moritz Kinzel; Rolando Melo da Rosa; Atri Hatef Naiemi; Bertrand Poissonnier; Stéphane Pradines; Paola Raffa and Paul D. Wordsworth.

Mediated by Gifts

Politics and Society in Japan, 1350-1850

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Edited by Martha Chaiklin

Mediated by Gifts is a collection of essays by top scholars on gifts, giving and the social and political forces that shaped these practices in medieval and early modern Japan. The international assemblage of authors provides new insights into these deeply ingrained practices. The essays focus on topics such as shogunal visits to shrines and temples, exchanges between the imperial house and the shogun, a physician and his patients, the shogun, his vassals his and his ladies, the merchant class and the shogunal government, and between scholars and their cosmopolitan circle of contacts. This virtually unexplored view of Japanese history provides new tools to better elucidate both historical and modern Japan. Contributors are Lee Butler, Andrew Goble, Kaneko Hiraku, Laura Nenzi, Ozawa Emiko, Cecilia Segawa Siegle, and Margarita Winkel.

Shariʿa Councils and Muslim Women in Britain

Rethinking the Role of Power and Authority

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Tanya Walker

The public debate on Shariʿa councils in Britain has been heavily influenced by the assumption that the councils exist as religious authorities and that those who use them exercise their right to religious freedom. In Shariʿa Councils and Muslim Women in Britain Tanya Walker draws on extensive fieldwork from over 100 cases to argue for a radically different understanding of the setting and dynamics of the Shariʿa councils. The analysis highlights the pragmatic manoeuvrings of Muslim women, in pursuit of defined objectives, within limited space – holding in tension both the constraints of particular frameworks of power, and the realities of women’s agency. Despite this needed nuance in a polarised debate however, important questions about the rights of Muslim women remain.

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Edited by Olga Katsiardi-Hering and Maria A. Stassinopoulou

The Danube has been a border and a bridge for migrants and goods since antiquity. Between the 17th and the 19th centuries, commercial networks were formed between the Ottoman Empire and Central and Eastern Europe creating diaspora communities. This gradually led to economic and cultural transfers connecting the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Continental world of commerce. The contributors to the present volume offer different perspectives on commerce and entrepreneurship based on the interregional treaties of global significance, on cultural and ecclesiastical relations, population policy and demographical aspects. Questions of identity, family, and memory are in the centre of several chapters as they interact with the topographic and socio-anthropological territoriality of all the regions involved.

Contributors are: Constantin Ardeleanu, Iannis Carras, Lidia Cotovanu, Lyubomir Georgiev, Olga Katsiardi-Hering, Dimitrios Kontogeorgis, Nenad Makuljević, Ikaros Mantouvalos, Anna Ransmayr, Vaso Seirinidou, Maria A. Stassinopoulou.

Politics of Precarity

Migrant Conditions, Struggles and Experiences

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Edited by Martin Bak Jørgensen and Carl-Ulrik Schierup

In Politics of Precarity: Migrant Conditions, Struggles and Experiences, edited by Carl-Ulrik Schierup and Martin Bak Jørgensen, the contributing authors look into precarity. Precarity has become a buzzword in as well academia as among activist. The book depicts precarity as being both a condition and a mobilizing force for resistance. The volume asks questions that investigate conditions and resistance across diverse cases such as first generation urbanites in China, migrant pensioners and unemployed youth in Sweden and Spain, refugees in Germany, irregular and regular migrants in Southern Europe, Turkey, Russia the United States and South Africa.

Contributors are: Susanne Bregnbæk, Ines Calzada, Maribel Casas-Cortés, Anna Gavanas, Gregoris Ioannou, Martin Bak Jørgensen, Irina Kuznetsova-Morenko, Ronaldo Munck, Dimitris Parsanoglou, John Round, Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Peter Schultz Jørgensen, Nazlı Şenses, Vassilis Tsianos, Nicos Trimikliniotis, and Mimi Zou.

Rethinking Private Higher Education

Ethnographic Perspectives from the Middle East and Beyond

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Edited by Daniele Cantini

Rethinking Private Higher Education takes the university as a core institution in modern nation states, which is currently undergoing a serious revision. It offers fresh insights into the actual meaning of ‘private’ in different higher education contexts, contributing to a deeper understanding of the actual effects of global policies in local contexts through ethnographies. This book explores how private universities were established, their context and history, and their changing business models and operations.
The strengths of this book are its ethnographic detail, which shows the complexity and fast changing forms of private higher education, and its reluctance to jump to simplified labelling of public and private. It is a model for further ethnographic studies of local developments in higher education.

Contributors are: Ayça Alemdaroğlu, Daniele Cantini, Carmela Chávez Irigoyen, Enrico Ille, Sylvie Mazzella, Alexander Mitterle, Annemarie Profanter, and Susan Wright.

Theory in Action

Theoretical Constructionism

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Edited by Peter Sohlberg and Håkon Leiulfsrud

How to approach social theory actively, with a theoretical lens analogous to the use of methods, has been a challenge for professional scholars and students alike. Rather than treating social theory in an iconic manner, we explore the active use of theorizing for constructing and generating new knowledge. Examples of theoretical constructions and topics discussed include: the heuristic role of concepts; theoretical construction work; the importance of question-driven sociology; counterfactual reasoning; the power of ordinary language; an inventory of explanatory practices in social science; abduction; comparative case studies; class operations and the potential for using Merton’s middle range theory. Theory in Action is highly relevant for researchers and students interested in constructing theories in the social sciences.

Contributors are: Göran Ahrne, Mette Andersson, Roar Hagen, Willy Guneriussen, Ragnvald Kalleberg, Håkon Leiulfsrud, Willy Martinussen, Annick Prieur, Peter Sohlberg, Pål Strandbakken, and Richard Swedberg.

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Edited by Alberto Gasparini

The Walls between Conflict and Peace discusses how walls are not merely static entities, but are in constant flux, subject to the movement of time. Walls often begin life as a line marking a radical division, but then become an area, that is to say a border, within which function civil and political societies, national and supranational societies. Such changes occur because over time cooperation between populations produces an active quest for peace, which is therefore a peace in constant movement. These are the concepts and lines of political development analysed in the book.
The first part of the book deals with political walls and how they evolve into borders, or even disappear. The second part discusses possible and actual walls between empires, and also walls which may take shape within present-day empires. The third part analyses various ways of being of walls between and within states: Berlin, the Vatican State and Italy, Cyprus, Israel and Palestine, Belfast, Northern European Countries, Gorizia and Nova Gorica, the USA and Mexico. In addition, discussion centres on a possible new Iron Curtain between the two Mediterranean shores and new and different walls within the EU. The last part of the book looks at how walls and borders change as a result of cooperation between the communities on either side of them.
The book takes on particular relevance in the present circumstances of the proliferation of walls between empires and states and within single states, but it also analyses processes of conflict and peace which come about as a result of walls.

Contributors are: Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Melania-Gabriela Ciot, Hastings Donnan, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Alberto Gasparini, Maria Hadjipavlou, Max Haller, Neil Jarman, Thomas Lunden, Domenico Mogavero, Alejandro Palma, Dennis Soden.

The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters

Situating Scriptural Practices

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Edited by Richard Fox and Annette Hornbacher

The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters examines traditional uses of writing on the Indonesian island of Bali, focusing on the power attributed to Balinese script.The approach is interdisciplinary and comparative, bringing together insights from anthropological and philological perspectives. Scholars have long recognized a gap between the practices of philological interpretation and those of the Javano-Balinese textual tradition. The question is what impact this gap should have on our conception of ‘the text’. Of what relevance, for example, are the uses to which Balinese script has been put in the context of ceremonial rites? What ideas of materiality, power and agency are at work in the production and preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts, inscribed amulets and other script-bearing instruments?
Contributors include: Andrea Acri, Helen Creese, Richard Fox, H.I.R. Hinzler, Annette Hornbacher, Thomas M. Hunter and Margaret Wiener.

Edited by Kathryn O. Weber, Emma Hite, Lori Khatchadourian and Adam T. Smith

Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics re-examines the relationship between Eurasia’s past and its present by interrogating the social construction of time and the archaeological production of culture. Traditionally, archaeological research in Eurasia has focused on assembling normative descriptions of monolithic cultures that endure for millennia, largely immune to the forces of historical change. The papers in this volume seek to document forces of difference and contestation in the past that were produced in the perceptible engagements of peoples, things, and places. The research gathered here convincingly demonstrates that these forces made social life in ancient Eurasia rather more fitful and its publics considerably more unruly than archaeological research has traditionally allowed.
Contributors are Mikheil Abramishvili, Paula N. Doumani Dupuy, Magnus Fiskesjö, Hilary Gopnik, Emma Hite, Jean-Luc Houle, Erik G. Johannesson, James A. Johnson, Lori Khatchadourian, Ian Lindsay, Maureen E. Marshall, Mitchell S. Rothman, Irina Shingiray, Adam T. Smith, Kathryn O. Weber and Xin Wu.