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Edited by Norbert Bachleitner, Achim Hölter and John A. McCarthy

In this 200th volume of Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft the editors Norbert Bachleitner, Achim H. Hölter and John A. McCarthy ‘take stock’ of the discipline. It focuses on recurrent questions in the field of Comparative Literature: What is literature? What is meant by ‘comparative’? Or by ‘world’? What constitute ‘transgressions’ or ‘refractions’? What, ultimately, does being at home in the world imply? When we combine the answers to these individual questions, we might ultimately reach an intriguing proposition: Comparative Literature contributes to a sense of being at home in a world that is heterogeneous and fractured, rather than affirming a monolithic canon marked by territory and homogeneity. The volume unites essays on world literature, literature in the context of the history of ideas, comparative women and gender studies, aesthetics and textual analysis, and literary translation and tradition.

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Jinbo Shi

This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut script and grammar, materials and manuscripts, and the historiography of Western Xia in any language. Five of the fifteen chapters survey the history of the Tangut Empire, the historiography of Tangut Studies, as well as new advancements in the field, notably research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto social, economic and military documents. The other ten chapters formally introduce the Tangut language: its linguistic origins, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers specialists and general audience alike a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’.

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Doreen G. Fernandez

Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture by Doreen G. Fernandez is a groundbreaking work that introduces readers to the wondrous history of Filipino foodways. First published by Anvil in 1994, Tikim explores the local and global nuances of Philippine cuisine through its people, places, feasts, and flavors.

Doreen Gamboa Fernandez (1934–2002) was a cultural historian, professor, author, and columnist. Her food writing educated and inspired generations of chefs and food enthusiasts in the Philippines and throughout the world. This Brill volume honors and preserves Fernandez’s legacy with a reprinting of Tikim, a foreword by chef and educator Aileen Suzara, and an editor’s preface by historian Catherine Ceniza Choy.


First published in 1994 by Anvil Publishing, Pasig City, Philippines.

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Edited by Mirela Ivanova and Hugh Jeffery

Transmitting and Circulating the Late Antique and Byzantine Worlds seeks to be a crucial contribution to the history of medieval connectedness. Using one of the methodological tools associated with the global history movement, this volume aims to use connectedness to revitalise local and regional networks of exchange and movement. Its case studies collectively point caution toward assuming or asserting global-scale transmission of meaning or items unchanged, and show instead how meaning is locally produced and regionally formulated, and how this is no less dynamic than any global-level connectedness. These case studies by early career scholars range from the movement of cotton growing practices to the transmission of information within individual texts. Their wide scope, however, is nonetheless united by their preoccupation with transmission and circulation as categories of analysing or explaining movement and change in history. This volume hopes to be, therefore, a useful contribution to the growing field of a history of connectivity and connectedness.
Contributors are Jovana Andjelkovic, Petér Bara, Mathew Barber, Julia Burdajewicz, Adele Curness, Carl Dixon, Alex MacFarlane, Anna Kelley, Matteo G. Randazzo, Katinka Sewing, and Grace Stafford.

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Edited by Einar Thomassen and Christoph Markschies

Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017

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Edited by Mette Bundvad and Kasper Siegismund

The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.

Visions of Sharīʿa

Contemporary Discussions in Shī ͑ī Legal Theory

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Edited by Ali-reza Bhojani, Laurens de Rooij and Michael Bohlander

In Visions of>/i> Sharīʿa Bhojani, De Rooij and Bohlander present the first broad examination of ways in which legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) within Twelver Shīʿī thought continues to be a forum for vibrant debates regarding the assumptions, epistemology and hermeneutics of Sharīʿa in contemporary Shīʿī thought. Bringing together authoritative voices and emerging scholars, from both ‘traditional’ seminaries and ‘Western’ academies, the distinct critical insider and emic accounts provided develop a novel avenue in Islamic legal studies. Contextualised through reference to the history of Shīʿī legal theory as well as contemporary juristic practice and socio-political considerations, the volume demonstrates how one of the most intellectually vibrant and developed discourses of Islamic thought continues to be a key forum for exploring visions of Sharīʿa.

Waiting for the End of the World

European Dimensions, 950–1200

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Tsvetelin Stepanov

The French president Charles de Gaulle spoke of a Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals”. Europe was spatially formed with these topographic parameters from the late 10th century onwards, with the massive Christianization of its inhabitants. At that time, however, all three monotheistic religions already had a steady presence there. Could such a macro-space be thought-and-narrated from a macro-perspective, in view of its medieval past? This has already been done through common ʻdenominatorsʻ such as the Migration Period, wars, trade, spread of Christianity. Could it also be seen through a common religious-philosophical and spiritual phenomenon – the Anticipation of the End of the world among Christians, Muslims, and Jews? This book gives a positive answer to the last question.

Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes

Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries)

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Buket Kitapçı Bayrı

Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes. Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries) focuses on the perceptions of geopolitical and cultural change, which was triggered by the arrival of Turkish Muslim groups into the territories of the Byzantine Empire at the end of the eleventh century, through intersecting stories transmitted in Turkish Muslim warrior epics and dervish vitas, and late Byzantine martyria. It examines the Byzantines’ encounters with the newcomers in a shared story-world, here called “land of Rome,” as well as its perception, changing geopolitical and cultural frontiers, and in relation to these changes, the shifts in identity of the people inhabiting this space. The study highlights the complex relationship between the character of specific places and the cultural identities of the people who inhabited them.

Weapons of Words: Intertextual Competition in Babylonian Poetry

A study of Anzû, Enūma Eliš, and Erra and Išum

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L.S. Wisnom

In Weapons of Words: Intertextual Competition in Babylonian Poetry L. S. Wisnom offers an in-depth literary study of three poems central to Babylonian culture: Anzû, Enūma eliš, and Erra and Išum. Fundamentally interconnected, each poem strives to out-do its predecessors and competes to establish its protagonist, its ideals, and its poetics as superior to those that came before them.

The first of its kind in Assyriology, Weapons of Words explores the rich nuances of these poems by unravelling complex networks of allusion. Through a sophisticated analysis of literary techniques, L. S. Wisnom traces developments in the Akkadian poetic tradition and demonstrates that intertextual readings are essential for a deeper understanding of Mesopotamian literature.