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The queenship of the first European Renaissance queen regnant never ceases to fascinate. Was she a saint or a bigoted zealot? A pious wife or the one wearing the pants? Was she ultimately responsible for genocide? A case has been made to canonize her. Does she deserve to be called Saint Isabel? As different groups from fascists to feminists continue to fight over Isabel as cultural capital, we ask which (if any) of these recyclings are legitimate or appropriate. Or has this figure taken on a life of her own?

Contributors to this volume: Roger Boase, David A. Boruchoff, John Edwards, Emily Francomano, Edward Friedman, Cristina Guardiola-Griffiths, Michelle Hamilton, Elizabeth Teresa Howe, Hilaire Kallendorf, William D. Phillips, Jr., Nuria Silleras-Fernandez, Caroline Travalia, and Jessica Weiss.
Accumulated Meaning and Performative Historiography in the First Muslim Civil War
Author:
In The Echoes of Fitna, Aaron M. Hagler engages in a close reading of the fitna narratives of three related texts: al-Ṭabarī’s Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, Ibn al-Athīr’s al-Kāmil fī al-taʾrīkh, and Ibn Kathīr’s Kitāb al-bidāya wa-l-nihāya. Because the latter two texts’ presentations of the fitna follow al-Ṭabarī’s so closely, moments of divergence in the texts are understood as clear markers of the later historians’ goals, perspectives, and literary-narrative strategies.

The analysis of these changes demonstrates that the desire to reframe the meaning of Karbalāʾ is central to Ibn al-Athīr’s and Ibn Kathīr’s narrative construction, and that—while they left al-Ṭabarī’s versions of key events intact—small, even minute changes to contextual expository moments fundamentally change their meaning.
Volume Editor:
The Hand of Fatima traces the development and symbolism ascribed to the hand motif in the Arab and Islamic world, and beyond. Richly illustrated, it details the many types of khamsas produced historically and today – such as khamsas with swords, and khamsas with eagles – and the many objects on which khamsas appear, such as on amulets and flags. It traces the journey of the khamsa into the contemporary world of social and fine art, including museum highlights. Special sections are dedicated to the khamsa in Algeria; cultural crossover in Spain, Portugal, and Brazil; and the symbol of the hand in Shiʿism.
Volume Editors: and
This book compares the ways in which new powers arose in the shadows of the Roman Empire and its Byzantine and Carolingian successors, of Iran, the Caliphate and China in the first millennium CE. These new powers were often established by external military elites who had served the empire. They remained in an uneasy balance with the remaining empire, could eventually replace it, or be drawn into the imperial sphere again. Some relied on dynastic legitimacy, others on ethnic identification, while most of them sought imperial legitimation. Across Eurasia, their dynamic was similar in many respects; why were the outcomes so different?
Contributors are Alexander Beihammer, Maaike van Berkel, Francesco Borri, Andrew Chittick, Michael R. Drompp, Stefan Esders, Ildar Garipzanov, Jürgen Paul, Walter Pohl, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Helmut Reimitz, Jonathan Shepard, Q. Edward Wang, Veronika Wieser, and Ian N. Wood.