Insatiable Appetite: Food as Cultural Signifier in the Middle East and Beyond

Insatiable Appetite: Food as Cultural Signifier in the Middle East and Beyond explores the cultural ramifications of food and foodways in the Mediterranean, and Arab-Muslim countries in particular. The volume addresses the cultural meanings of food from a wider chronological scope, from antiquity to present, adopting approaches from various disciplines, including classical Greek philology, Arabic literature, Islamic studies, anthropology, and history. The contributions to the book are structured around six thematic parts, ranging in focus from social status to religious prohibitions, gender issues, intoxicants, vegetarianism, and management of scarcity.

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Biographical Note

Kirill Dmitriev is lecturer in Arabic at the University of St Andrews, UK. His primary research focuses on the study of classical Arabic language and literature, the religious history of the Arab world, and comparative literature. He is the author of Das poetische Werk des Abū Sahr al-Hudalī, Eine literatur-anthropologische Studie (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008), co-editor of the volume Religious Culture in Late Antique Arabia, Selected Studies on the Late Antique Religious Mind (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, Islamic history and thought 6, 2017), and convener of the collaborative research initiative Khamriyya as a World Poetic Genre: Comparative Perspectives on Wine Poetry in Near and Middle Eastern Literatures. Julia Hauser is assistant professor of global history and the history of globalization processes at the University of Kassel. She is currently working on an entangled history of vegetarianism. Her work has been supported by grants from the German Research Association, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Deutsche Morgenländische Gemeinschaft, and the Max Weber Foundation. She is the author of German Religious Women in Late Ottoman Beirut: Competing Missions, Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015, and co-editor, with Christine Lindner and Esther Möller, of Entangled Education: Foreign and Local Schools in Ottoman Syria and Mandate Lebanon (19th-20th centuries), Würzburg: Ergon, 2016. Julia Hauser is a member of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA). Bilal Orfali is associate professor of Arabic Studies at the American University of Beirut. He specializes in Arabic literature, Sufism, and Qurʾanic Studies. He co-edits al-Abhath Journal, and Brill’s book series Texts and Studies on the Qurʾan. He is the author and editor of more than twenty books on a broad range of subjects relevant to Arabic and Islamic Studies.


All interested in global cultural history; Food Studies; Middle Eastern, Arabic and Islamic Studies.

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