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The Individual in African History

The Importance of Biography in African Historical Studies

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Edited by Klaas van Walraven

This volume investigates the development of biographical study in African history and historiography. Consisting of 10 case studies, it is preceded by an introductory prologue, which deals with the relationship between historiography and different forms of biographical study in the context of Western history-writing but especially African (historical and anthropological) studies. The first three case studies deal with the methodological insights of biographical studies for African history. This is followed by three case studies dealing with personas living through fundamental societal transitions, and four case studies focusing on the discursive dimensions of biographical subjects (including religion, cosmology and ideology). Countries or regions discussed include South Africa, Zambia, Gold Coast, Cameroon, Tanganyika, Congo-Kinshasa and the Central African Republic in colonial times.

Contributors are Lindie Koorts, Elena Moore, Iva Peša, Paul Glen Grant, Jacqueline de Vries, Duncan Money, Morgan Robinson, Eve Wong, Klaas van Walraven, Erik Kennes.

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.

"Wir sind alle Fremdarbeiter!"

Gewerkschaften, migrantische Kämpfe und soziale Bewegungen in Westdeutschland 1960–1980

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Simon Goeke

Die Geschichte der sozialen Bewegungen in der Bundesrepublik kann nicht ohne die Migrationsgeschichte gedacht werden. Denn die Kämpfe von Gewerkschaften, Arbeiterbewegung und ›Achtundsechzigern‹ formten sich zu großen Teilen erst durch die Präsenz und das Engagement von Migrantinnen und Migranten.
In den 1960er und 1970er Jahren sahen sich in der Bundesrepublik sowohl die Gewerkschaften als auch die ›Neue Linke‹ dem traditionellen Internationalismus der Arbeiterbewegung verbunden. Doch während in den Gewerkschaften die Anwerbung von Arbeitskräften im Ausland zunächst mit Besorgnis und Ablehnung betrachtet wurde, sahen die ›Neuen Linken‹ in den Migrantinnen und Migranten eine Chance, ihre Revolte an den Universitäten auch in die Betriebe zu tragen. Tatsächlich führte die Migration schließlich zu neuen kämpferischen Allianzen sowohl innerhalb als auch außerhalb der Industriebetriebe. Die vorliegende Studie untersucht erstmals die Geschichte der sozialen Bewegungen in Verbindung mit der Migrationsgeschichte der Bundesrepublik. Zudem liefert sie einen Einblick in die Frühgeschichte der gegenwärtigen antirassistischen Bewegungen.

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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.