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Landscape, Tradition and Power in Medieval Iceland

Dalir and the Eyjafjörður region c.870-c.1265

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Chris Callow

Chris Callow’s Landscape, Tradition and Power critically examines the evidence for socio-political developments in medieval Iceland during the so-called Commonwealth period. The book compares regions in the west and north-east of Iceland because these regions had differing human and physical geographies, and contrasting levels of surviving written evidence. Callow sets out the likely economies and institutional frameworks in which political action took place. He then examines different forms of evidence – the Contemporary sagas, Landnámabók (The Book of Settlements), and Sagas of Icelanders – considering how each describes different periods of the Commonwealth present political power. Among its conclusions the book emphasises stasis over change and the need to appreciate the nuances and purposes of Iceland’s historicising sagas.

Language, Gender and Law in the Judaeo-Islamic Milieu

Cambridge Genizah Studies Series Volume 10

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Edited by Zvi Stampfer and Amir Ashur

The articles in this volume focus on the legal, linguistic, historical and literary roles of Jewish women in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages. Drawing heavily on manuscript evidence from the Cairo Genizah, the authors examine the challenges involved in the identification and interpretation of women’s letters from medieval Egypt, the registers of women’s written language, the relations between Jewish women and the Muslim legal system, the conversion of women, visions of women in Hell and gendered readings in the aggadic tradition of Judaism.

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Samarpita Mitra

In Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Samarpita Mitra studies literary periodicals as a particular print form, and reveals how their production and circulation were critical to the formation of a Bengali public sphere during the turn of the twentieth century. Given its polyphonic nature, capacity for sustaining debates and adaptability by readers with diverse reading competencies, periodicals became the preferred means for dispensing modern education and entertainment through the vernacular. The book interrogates some of the defining debates that shaped readers’ perspectives on critical social issues and explains how literary culture was envisioned as an indicator of the emergent nation. Finally it looks at the Bengali-Muslim and women’s periodicals and their readerships and argues that the presence of multiple literary voices make it impossible to speak of Bengali literary culture in any singular terms.

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Edited by Ann B. Tlusty and Mark Häberlein

A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Augsburg introduces readers to major political, social and economic developments in Augsburg from c. 1400 to c. 1800 as well as to those themes of social and cultural history that have made research on this imperial city especially fruitful and stimulating. The volume comprises contributions by an international team of 23 scholars, providing a range of the most significant scholarly approaches to Augsburg’s past from a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and methodologies. Building on the impressive number of recent innovative studies on this large and prosperous early modern city, the contributions distill the extraordinary range and creativity of recent scholarship on Augsburg into a handbook format.

Contributors are Victoria Bartels, Katy Bond, Christopher W. Close, Allyson Creasman, Regina Dauser, Dietrich Erben, Alexander J. Fisher, Andreas Flurschütz da Cruz, Helmut Graser, Mark Häberlein, Michele Zelinsky Hanson, Peter Kreutz, Hans-Jörg Künast, Margaret Lewis, Andrew Morrall, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, Barbara Rajkay, Reinhold Reith, Gregor Rohmann, Claudia Stein, B. Ann Tlusty, Sabine Ullmann, Wolfgang E.J. Weber.

Prosecuting Women

A Comparative Perspective on Crime and Gender Before the Dutch Criminal Courts, c.1600-1810

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Ariadne Schmidt

In the early modern period women played a prominent role in crime. At times they even made up half of all defendants. Female criminality was a typically urban phenomenon. Why do we find so many women before the Dutch criminal courts?
In Prosecuting women Ariadne Schmidt analyses the relation between female crime and the urban context by comparing prosecution patterns in various Dutch cities. Prosecuting women looks beyond the bare figures, examines the personal circumstances of criminal women and shows how women's illegal activities were linked to the socio-economic context of the locality and varied over time. The local interplay between actual crime and the responses of the authorities gave every city a location-specific dynamic in its pattern of prosecuted crime.

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Irene Fosi

In Rome, where strategies to re-establish Roman Catholic orthodoxy were formulated, the problem of how to deal with foreigners and particularly with ‘heretics’ coming from Northern Europe was an important priority throughout the early modern period. Converting foreigners had a special significance for the Papacy. This volume, which includes several case studies, explores the meaning of conversion and the changes of policy adopted by the church bodies set up to protect orthodoxy. It uses inquisitorial documents (from Archivio della Congregazione per la dottrina della Fede) and sources from other archives and libraries, both in Rome and elsewhere. The book includes an updated bibliography with a particular attention paid to anglophone historiography.

The Shīʿīs in Palestine

From the Medieval Golden Age until the Present

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Yaron Friedman

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Joel West

The Joker both fascinates and repels us. From his origin in Detective Comics in 1940, he has committed obscene crimes, some of the worst the Batman universe has ever known, and, conversely, fans have made him the topic of erotic and pornographic “fan fiction.” Speculation about the Joker abounds, where some fans have even claimed that the Joker is “queer coded.” This work explores various popular claims about the Joker, and delves into the history of comic books, and of other popular media from a semiotic viewpoint to understand “The Clown Prince of Crime” in the contexts in which he existed to understand his evolution in the past. From his roots as a “typical hoodlum,” The Joker even starred in his own eponymous comic book series and he will be featured in a non-canonical movie. This work examines what it is about the Joker which fascinates us.

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Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree

With the birth of a serial press in the seventeenth century, the introduction of paid advertising was the most crucial step in pointing the newspaper industry towards a sustainable future. Here, as in so much else, the laboratory of invention was the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. In this study, based on an exhaustive examination of the first 6,000 advertisements placed in Dutch newspapers between 1620 and 1675, Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree chart the growth of advertising from an adjunct to the book industry, advertising newly published titles, to a broad reflection of a burgeoning consumer society. Businesses and private citizens used the newspapers to offer a wide range of goods and services, publicise new inventions, or appeal for help in recovering lost and stolen goods, pets or children. In these evocative, colourful and sometimes deeply moving notices, we see the beginnings of marketing strategies that would characterise the advertising world over the following centuries, and into the modern era.

News, Business and Public Information

Advertisements and Announcements in Dutch and Flemish Newspapers, 1620-1675

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Edited by Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree

The history of newspaper advertising began in the seventeenth-century Low Countries. The newspaper publishers of the Dutch Republic were the first to embrace advertisements, decades before their peers in other news markets in Europe. In this survey, Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree have brought together the first 6,000 advertisements placed in Dutch and Flemish newspapers between 1620 and 1675. Provided here in an English translation, and accompanied by seven indices, this work provides for the first time a complete overview of the development of newspaper advertising and its impact on the Dutch book trade, economy and society. In these evocative announcements, ranging from advertisement for library auctions, the publication of new books, pamphlets and maps to notices of crime, postal schedules or missing pets, the seventeenth century is brought to life. This survey offers a unique perspective on daily life, personal relationships and societal change in the Dutch Golden Age.