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Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara in 2020
The Africa Yearbook covers major domestic political developments, the foreign policy and socio-economic trends in sub-Sahara Africa – all related to developments in one calendar year. The Yearbook contains articles on all sub-Saharan states, each of the four sub-regions (West, Central, Eastern, Southern Africa) focusing on major cross-border developments and sub-regional organizations as well as one article on continental developments and one on African-European relations. While the articles have thorough academic quality, the Yearbook is mainly oriented to the requirements of a large range of target groups: students, politicians, diplomats, administrators, journalists, teachers, practitioners in the field of development aid as well as business people.
Editor / Translator: Odile Cisneros
This biography presents a remarkable vision of Spanish society at the beginning of the 13th century by exploring the life of Berenguela of Castile (1180-1246), a queen who dominated public life for over forty years. Born at a time when the centers of Christian power were formed, Berenguela provided royal leadership in a crucial period of Iberian history. Within the context of contemporary studies of female power throughout history, Salvador Martínez brings to life Berenguela, a queen who, through her wisdom and resolve, transformed the Iberian political and cultural scene for years to come.
Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
This volume explores social practices of framing, building and enacting community in urban-rural relations across medieval Eurasia. Introducing fresh comparative perspectives on practices and visions of community, it offers a thorough source-based examination of medieval communal life in its sociocultural complexity and diversity in Central and Southeast Europe, South Arabia and Tibet. As multi-layered social phenomena, communities constantly formed, restructured and negotiated internal allegiances, while sharing a topographic living space and joint notions of belonging. The volume challenges disciplinary paradigms and proposes an interdisciplinary set of low-threshold categories and tools for cross-cultural comparison of urban and rural communities in the Global Middle Ages.

Contributors are Maaike van Berkel, Hubert Feiglstorfer, Andre Gingrich, Károly Goda, Elisabeth Gruber, Johann Heiss, Kateřina Horníčková, Eirik Hovden, Christian Jahoda, Christiane Kalantari, Odile Kommer, Fabian Kümmeler, Christina Lutter, Judit Majorossy, Ermanno Orlando, and Noha Sadek.
This multi-disciplinary volume is the first collective effort to explore Istanbul, capital of the vast polyglot, multiethnic, and multireligious Ottoman empire and home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse urban populations, as an early modern metropolis.

It assembles topics seldom treated together and embraces novel subjects and fresh approaches to older debates. Contributors crisscross the socioeconomic, political, cultural, environmental, and spatial, to examine the myriad human and non-human actors, local and global, that shaped the city into one of the key sites of early modern urbanity.

Contributors are: Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano , Zeynep Altok, Walter G. Andrews, Betül Başaran, Cem Behar, Maurits H. van den Boogert, John J. Curry, Linda T. Darling, Suraiya Faroqhi, Emine Fetvacı, Shirine Hamadeh, Cemal Kafadar, Çiğdem Kafescioğlu, Deniz Karakaş, Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik, B. Harun Küçük, Selim S. Kuru, Karen A. Leal, Gülru Necipoğlu, Christoph K. Neumann, Aslı Niyazioğlu, Amanda Phillips, Marinos Sariyannis, Aleksandar Shopov, Lucienne Thys-Şenocak, Nükhet Varlık, N. Zeynep Yelçe, Gülay Yılmaz, and Zeynep Yürekli.
The present edited volume offers a collection of new concepts and approaches to the study of mobility in pre-modern Islamic societies. It includes nine remarkable case studies from different parts of the Islamic world that examine the professional mobility within the literati and, especially, the social-cum-cultural group of Muslim scholars ( ʿulamāʾ) between the eighth and the eighteenth centuries. Based on individual case studies and quantitative mining of biographical dictionaries and other primary sources from Islamic Iberia, North and West Africa, Umayyad Damascus and the Hejaz, Abbasid Baghdad, Ayyubid and Mamluk Syria and Egypt, various parts of the Seljuq Empire, and Hotakid Iran, this edited volume presents professional mobility as a defining characteristic of pre-modern Islamic societies.

Contributors
Mehmetcan Akpinar, Amal Belkamel, Mehdi Berriah, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Adday Hernández López, Konrad Hirschler, Mohamad El-Merheb, Marta G. Novo, M. A. H. Parsa, M. Syifa A. Widigdo.
Editors: Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet
Centred on the socio-economic life of Ottoman Anatolia, this volume examines aspects of production, local and international trade, consumption and the role of the state, both at a local and a central level. Based on a wide array of data and adopting a variety of approaches, chapters range from the macro to the micro, from the overview of Anatolian economic resources to the in-depth examination of the petition language of provincial economic actors. Making a Living in Ottoman Anatolia thus offers the reader an entrée into the rich and varied socio-economic life of a central region of the Ottoman empire.

Contributors are Marc Aymes, Ebru Boyar, Metin Coşgel, Suraiya Faroqhi, Kate Fleet, Elena Frangakis-Syrett, Yonca Köksal, Mehmet Öz, Mehmet Polatel and Sadullah Yıldırım.
Author: Marta G. Novo

Abstract

This chapter addresses the social and geographic mobility of West African ʿulamāʾ in the 10th/16th–11th/17th centuries by analyzing the biographies of sūdānī scholars made by Aḥmad Bābā al-Tinbuktī (d. 1036/1627) and other contemporary sources from premodern bilād al-sūdān. Although all the available textual evidence is clearly self-centered, focusing almost exclusively on Timbuktu, in the case of the Timbuktu Chronicles, and on the author’s own household, in the case of Aḥmad Bābā’s tarājim, it permits to catch a glimpse at both aspects of the intellectual life of the region. Aḥmad Bābā’s household, the Aqīt clan, appears as paradigmatic of social mobility through specialized scholarship. The central role of Egypt (Cairo) as a center of learning for the sūdānī learned elites in this period will also be analyzed, to the detriment of North Africa. Finally, a special remark will be made on the author’s reflections on the political leadership of the ʿulamāʾ, which could be interpreted in terms of the self-consciousness of the Ṣanhāja trading elites in a context of lack of regional authoritative power, that of the decay of the Songhay Empire.

In: Professional Mobility in Islamic Societies (700-1750)

Abstract

Despite his scholarly influence and contribution in the medieval Muslim world and beyond, modern academic studies on the life of Imām al-Ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī (d. 478/1085) are rare. The existing studies mention a brief biography of Imām al-Ḥaramayn as a form of introduction to a larger project, which is essentially inadequate to understand the development of his scholarship and professional career and his role and contribution in the formation of Sunnī orthodoxy in the eleventh century. In order to understand Imām al-Ḥaramayn’s place in the Islamic intellectual history more comprehensively, this article focuses more on how Imām al-Ḥaramayn’s mobility shapes his religious credential, scholarly career, and intellectual reputation in the context of the Saljūq’s political project of Sunnī political unity. By examining biographical dictionaries, secondary literature, and Imām al-Ḥaramayn’s writings, this study argues that his mobility enabled him to gain a well-established credential and authority within Sunnī-minded scholars, scholarly career, and intellectual reputation that makes him able to offer a new understanding of Sunnī orthodoxy in the Saljūq era.

In: Professional Mobility in Islamic Societies (700-1750)
Author: M.A.H. Parsa

Abstract

This chapter examines state literature in Iran during the period of Afghan rule which followed the overthrow of the Ṣafavids in 1135/1722. The new Afghan Hotakid dynasty consolidated their claim on Iran’s imperial throne through a number of civil institutions. Chief among these was the Secretariat, responsible for producing state literature. Through examining the Hotakids’ edicts, seals, diplomatic correspondence, peace treaties, and other state literature produced by the Secretariat, the chapter seeks to identify and analyse the epistolary practices which served to legitimate the Hotakid state. The professionals who staffed the Secretariat, the scribes and secretaries, drew upon a number of concepts and practices from the Ṣafavid era to construct a discourse in which the Afghan ruler emerges as an exemplar of Persianate imperial authority and just rule. Even the reversal in state religious ideology – from Shiʾi to Sunni – was expressed using the epistolary language and motifs of late Ṣafavid state literature. The establishment of a new state religion also led to the introduction of Sunni officials in the Chancellery, altering its denominational composition. All these arguments serve to demonstrate the inter-dynastic professional mobility at play among Chancellery staff.

In: Professional Mobility in Islamic Societies (700-1750)

Abstract

This study examines the interrelatedness between professional mobility and the production of Islamic political thought. It argues that the diverse professional careers of the two Shāfiʿī-Ashʿarī jurists and Sufis, Ibn Ṭalḥa (d. 652/1254) and Ibn Jamāʿa (d. 733/1333), shaped the political ideas and stylistic features of their treatises. The first case study examines Ibn Ṭalḥa’s al-ʿIqd al-farīd li al-malik al-saʿīd (The unique necklace for a content king) and offers clues on the impact of the author’s professional mobility under the Artuqids and late Ayyubids on his original and eclectic style. It shows that Ibn Ṭalḥa’s work was an amalgamation of genres of advice literature that reflected the diversity of his professional background. The second case study relies on Ibn Jamāʿa’s three extant political treatises to study the expansion of the author’s political theory alongside his thriving career and professional mobility under the Mamluks. This examination, which covers Taḥrīr al-aḥkām fī tadbīr ahl al-Islām (Drafting ordinances towards running the affairs of the people of Islam), allows the shift in Ibn Jamāʿa’s postulations on political authority in Islam to be traced.

In: Professional Mobility in Islamic Societies (700-1750)