New Books In Islamic Studies

Sinopsis

Interviews with Scholars of Islam about their New Books

Episodios

  • Lara Harb, Arabic Poetics: Aesthetic Experience in Classical Arabic Literature (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Lara Harb, "Arabic Poetics: Aesthetic Experience in Classical Arabic Literature" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    12/06/2020 Duración: 01h05min

    Lara Harb’s Arabic Poetics: Aesthetic Experience in Classical Arabic Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2020) is a delightful and formidable study on the details and development of poetics and aesthetics in medieval Arabic literature. The central theme of this splendid book centers on the emergence of the evocation of wonder as a key aesthetic experience and criterion connected to the beauty and eloquence of speech in medieval Muslim intellectual thought. With breathtaking clarity and painstaking elaboration, Harb charts the key literary tropes, categories, and strategies, as well as the broader intellectual and theological stakes, such as the question of the Qur’an’s inimitability, invested in how poetry was imagined, experienced, and evaluated in this context. The strength of this book lies in the meticulous care with which it walks readers through a complex yet deeply fascinating discursive arcade of thinkers, texts, and poetic registers. While focused on the thought of the preeminent eleventh century

  • Garrett Felber, Those Who Know Dont Say: The Nation of Islam, the Black Freedom Movement, and the Carceral State (UNC Press, 2020)

    Garrett Felber, "Those Who Know Don't Say: The Nation of Islam, the Black Freedom Movement, and the Carceral State" (UNC Press, 2020)

    12/06/2020 Duración: 57min

    Challenging incarceration and policing was central to the post-war Black Freedom Movement. In his new book Those Who Know Don't Say: The Nation of Islam, the Black Freedom Movement, and the Carceral State (UNC Press, 2020), Garrett Felber centers the Nation in the Civil Rights Era and the making of the modern carceral state. In doing so, he reveals a multifaceted freedom struggle that focused as much on policing and prisons as on school desegregation and voting rights. The book examines efforts to build broad-based grassroots coalitions among liberals, radicals, and nationalist to oppose the carceral state and struggle for local Black self-determination. It captures the ambiguous place of the Nation of Islam specifically, and Black nationalist organizing more broadly, during an era which has come to redefined by non-violent resistance, desegregation campaigns, and racial liberalism. By provocatively documenting the interplay between law enforcement and Muslim communities, Felber decisively shows state repress

  • Mauro Nobili, Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Mauro Nobili, "Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    09/06/2020 Duración: 58min

    In the early 19th century, on the floodplain of the Niger river’s inland delta in West Africa (present-day Mali), the Caliphate of Ḥamdallāhi emerged. The new State, locally known as the Maasina Diina, sought to consolidate its dominance over Fulani, Bamanan, and Arma military and political elites, as well as Jenne and Timbuktu’s scholarly establishment. It also attempted to reach a balance of power with neighboring Sokoto. The arsenal of tools the Caliphate deployed to achieve these goals included war, economic expansion, diplomacy, and the crafting of a historical chronicle known as the Tārīkh al-Fattāsh. In two separate strands of historiography, scholars have tackled the genesis and literary construction of the chronicle on the one hand, and the history of the Caliphate on the other. The new book Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith: Ahmad Lobbo, the Tārīkh al-fattāsh and the Making of an Islamic State in West Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2020), brings both together. Mauro Nobili argues tha

  • Gabriel Said Reynolds, Allah: God in the Qur’an (Yale UP, 2020)

    Gabriel Said Reynolds, "Allah: God in the Qur’an" (Yale UP, 2020)

    05/06/2020 Duración: 52min

    In Allah: God in the Qur’an (Yale University Press, 2020), Gabriel Said Reynolds argues that contrary to many scholarly and popular claims about the God of the Qur’an as either merciful or vengeful, God is in fact both. He suggests that God’s nature is a mystery and the descriptions of God, as both merciful and vengeful, are intended to have an impact on the audience of the Qur’an. Through productive comparisons between the Qur’an and the Bible, Reynolds also discusses the common themes and descriptions of God shared by these scriptures, such as the – of course, vengeance and mercy of God, but also divine scheming, God’s derision of unbelievers, and ideas of God as the Father, the Ruler, the Judge, and/or similar characteristics. Other themes covered in the book include heaven and hell, and the fate of sinners and unbelievers in the Qur’an and the exegetical tradition, the idea of humans as having been created in God’s image, and the idea of the Qur’an as a literary truth versus a historical truth, the latter

  • Brian Greene, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Random House, 2020)

    Brian Greene, "Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe" (Random House, 2020)

    02/06/2020 Duración: 02h37s

    Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He is well known for his TV mini-series about string theory and the nature of reality, including the Elegant Universe, which tied in with his best-selling 2000 book of the same name. In this episode, we talk about his latest popular book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Random House, 2020) Until the End of Time gives the reader a theory of everything, both in the sense of a “state of the academic union”, covering cosmology and evolution, consciousness and computation, and art and religion, and in the sense of showing us a way to apprehend the often existentially challenging subject matter. Greene uses evocative autobiographical vignettes in the book to personalize his famously lucid and accessible explanati

  • Chiara Formichi, Islam and Asia: A History (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Chiara Formichi, "Islam and Asia: A History" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    30/05/2020 Duración: 01h09min

    Challenging the geographical narrative of the history of Islam, Chiara Formichi’s new book Islam and Asia: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2020), helps us to rethink how we tell the story of Islam and the lived expressions of Muslims without privileging certain linguistic, cultural, and geographic realities. Focusing on themes of reform, political Islamism, Sufism, gender, as well as a rich array of material culture (such as sacred spaces and art), the book maps the development of Islam in Asia, such as in Kashmir, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China. It considers both transnational and transregional ebbs and flows that have defined the expansion and institutionalization of Islam in Asia, while attending to factors such as ethnicity, linguistic identity and even food cultures as important realities that have informed the translation of Islam into new regions. It is the “convergence and conversation” between the “local” and “foreign” or better yet between the theoretical notions of “centre” and “periphery” o

  • M’hamed Oualdi, A Slave between Empires: A Transimperial History of North Africa (Columbia UP, 2020)

    M’hamed Oualdi, "A Slave between Empires: A Transimperial History of North Africa" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    25/05/2020 Duración: 41min

    In light of the profound physical and mental traumas of colonization endured by North Africans, historians of recent decades have primarily concentrated their studies of North Africa on colonial violence, domination, and shock. The choice is an understandable one. But in his new monograph, A Slave between Empires: A Transimperial History of North Africa (Columbia University Press, 2020), M’hamed Oualdi asks how a history of the modern Maghreb might look if we did not perceive it solely through the prism of European colonization, and argues that widening our gaze might force us to redefine our understanding of colonialism — and its limits. As a sequel of sorts to his first book, Oualdi explores the life and afterlife of one figure, the manumitted slave and Tunisian dignitary Husayn Ibn ‘Abdallah, as an aperture through which to understand the financial, intellectual, and kinship networks that mingled with processes of colonialism and Ottoman governance in unexpected ways to produce the modern Maghreb. A master

  • Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)

    Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)

    22/05/2020 Duración: 01h17min

    Muslims living in locations like Australia, Europe, or North America exist within a context dominated by white racial norms and are forced to grapple with those conventions on a daily basis. If they succeed in meeting the presiding criterion of secular liberalism they can be dubbed a “moderate” Muslim by mainstream society. In Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), Yassir Morsi, Lecturer at La Trobe University, explores these contemporary social dynamics and considers the various ways Muslims don a mask in order to navigate the expectations of the dominant society. Here he offers three paradigms, what he calls the “Fabulous Mask,” the “Militant Mask,” and the “Triumphant Mask,” that represent changing tensions for the “moderate” Muslim. Morsi deconstructs the “radical” vs. “moderate” binary through the forces of racialized structures that shape everyday life and the historical circumstances of Muslims in the “West.” This is ac

  • Jacqueline H. Fewkes, Locating Maldivian Womens Mosques in Global Discourses (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

    Jacqueline H. Fewkes, "Locating Maldivian Women's Mosques in Global Discourses" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

    15/05/2020 Duración: 01h06min

    What is a mosque? What are women's mosques specifically? What historical values do women's mosques offer, and what is the relationship between mosque spaces and women's religious work? How do women leaders themselves identify with and conceptualize their leadership roles? Why are women's mosques around the world, both historical and contemporary, omitted from both popular and scholarly discourses on women's mosques? Jacqueline Fewkes' excellent and theoretically sophisticated book, Locating Maldivian Women's Mosques in Global Discourses (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), offers answers to these questions and more. Complete with images from Fewkes' research, the book is an ethnography of women's mosques in the Maldives, an almost unheard-of phenomenon. It situates women's prayer places, the Nisha Miskiis, the physical buildings in which women lead prayers for other women, as complex sites of sociohistorical and cultural significance. Ultimately, Fewkes explores the ways in which these spaces relate to, contribute to,

  • Caleb Simmons, Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Caleb Simmons, "Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    15/05/2020 Duración: 01h01min

    In his book Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India (Oxford University Press, 2020), Caleb Simmons examines the reigns of Tipu Sultan (r. 1782-1799) and Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (r. 1799-1868) in the South Indian kingdom of Mysore to demonstrate the extent to which both rulers--one Muslim and one Hindu--turned to religion to fortify the royal identity of kings during precarious political times.  Both courts revived pre-modern notions of Indian kingship in reaction to the British, drawing on devotion to Hindu gods, goddesses, and gurus to conceptualize and fortify their reigns. We made mention of images in the interview, and they can be found here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Maria Rashid, Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army (Stanford UP, 2020)

    Maria Rashid, "Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army" (Stanford UP, 2020)

    08/05/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    In her spellbindingly brilliant new book, Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army (Stanford University Press, 2020), Maria Rashid conducts an intimate and layered ethnography of militarism and death in Pakistan, with a focus on the lives, aspirations, and tragedies of soldiers and their families in rural Punjab. How does the Pakistani military’s regulation and management of affect and emotions like grief authorize and sustain the practice of sacrificing the self in service to the nation? Rashid addresses this question through a riveting and at many times hauntingly majestic analysis of a range of themes including carefully choreographed public spectacles of mourning, military regimes of cultivating martial subjects, fissures between official scripts and unofficial unfoldings of grieving, anxieties over the representation of maimed soldiers, and ambiguities surrounding the appropriation of martyrdom (shahādat) for death on the battlefield. Theoretically incisive,

  • Ibrahim Fraihat, Iran and Saudi Arabia: Taming a Chaotic Conflict (Edinburgh UP, 2020)

    Ibrahim Fraihat, "Iran and Saudi Arabia: Taming a Chaotic Conflict" (Edinburgh UP, 2020)

    05/05/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    Ibrahim Fraihat’s latest book, Iran and Saudi Arabia: Taming a Chaotic Conflict (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) is much more than an exploration of the history of animosity between Saudi Arabia and Iran and its debilitating impact on an already volatile Middle East. It is a detailed roadmap for management and resolution of what increasingly looks like an intractable conflict. Based on years of field research, Fraihat builds a framework that initially could help Saudi Arabia and Iran prevent their conflict from spinning out of control, create mechanisms for communication and travel down a road of confidence building that could create building blocks for a resolution. Fraihat’s book could not have been published at a more critical moment. A devastating coronavirus pandemic has hit both Saudi Arabia and Iran hard. So has the associated global economic breakdown and the collapse of oil markets. The double whammies constitute the most existential crisis the kingdom has faced in at least half a century. They hit

  • Julia Stephens, “Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in Modern South Asia” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

    Julia Stephens, “Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in Modern South Asia” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

    05/05/2020 Duración: 01h10min

    As British colonial rulers expanded their control in South Asia legal resolutions were increasingly shaped by the English classification of social life. The definitional divide that structured the role of law in most cases was the line between what was deemed religious versus secular. In Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in Modern South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Julia Stephens, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Rutgers University, examines how Islam and Muslims were regulated within legal domains that managed various spheres of life. British rule determined that religious laws were most effective in governing family affairs but secular laws would govern markets and transactions. What complicated this simple binary was that Islamic “personal law” was very often bound up with economic issues. In our conversation we discuss British notions of “secular governance,” marriage and women’s property, the role of custom in legal reasoning, rulings around ritual and challenges

  • Mallika Kaur, Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

    Mallika Kaur, "Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

    05/05/2020 Duración: 01h01min

    Punjab was the arena of one of the first major armed conflicts of post-colonial India. During its deadliest decade, as many as 250,000 people were killed. This book makes an urgent intervention in the history of the conflict, which to date has been characterized by a fixation on sensational violence—or ignored altogether. In her book Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Mallika Kaur unearths the stories of three people who found themselves at the center of Punjab’s human rights movement: Baljit Kaur, who armed herself with a video camera to record essential evidence of the conflict; Justice Ajit Singh Bains, who became a beloved “people’s judge”; and Inderjit Singh Jaijee, who returned to Punjab to document abuses even as other elites were fleeing. Together, they are credited with saving countless lives. Braiding oral histories, personal snapshots, and primary documents recovered from at-risk archives, Kaur shows that when entire confli

  • Ünver Rüstem, Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul (Princeton UP, 2019)

    Ünver Rüstem, "Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul" (Princeton UP, 2019)

    28/04/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    In Istanbul, there is a mosque on every hill. Cruising along the Bosphorus, either for pleasure, or like the majority of Istanbul’s denizens, for transit, you cannot help but notice that the city’s landscape would be dramatically altered without the mosques of the city. In Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul (Princeton University Press, 2019), Ünver Rüstem takes a stab of a slice of that history, arguing that we should see the eighteenth-century Baroque period in Ottoman mosque architecture as innovative and not derivative in how Ottoman mosque architecture integrated Baroque elements. By doing so, he pushes back effectively against notions of Ottoman decline and demonstrates that such architecture, praised in the contemporary writings of both Ottoman and Western viewers, successfully rebranded the Ottoman capital for a changing world. He also draws our eyes to the complex social process by which mosque design develops, bringing in a cast of characters that includes

  • Leslie M. Harris, Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    28/04/2020 Duración: 59min

    Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as P

  • Danielle Ross, Tatar Empire: Kazans Muslims and the Making of Imperial Russia (Indiana UP, 2020)

    Danielle Ross, "Tatar Empire: Kazan's Muslims and the Making of Imperial Russia" (Indiana UP, 2020)

    27/04/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    In her new book Tatar Empire: Kazan's Muslims and the Making of Imperial Russia (Indiana University Press, 2020), Danielle Ross looks at how the Tatars of Kazan participated in the formation of the Russian empire through their various activities in trade, settlement, clerical work, intellectual culture, and trade. By centering on the Muslims in Kazan, Tatar Empire looks more closely at the role of Tatars in the creation of Russian empire, while simultaneously putting the history of the Volga-Ural Muslims in a broader, more global historical context. Nicholas Seay is a PhD student at The Ohio State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Courtney M. Dorroll, “Teaching Islamic Studies in the Age of ISIS, Islamophobia and the Internet” (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Courtney M. Dorroll, “Teaching Islamic Studies in the Age of ISIS, Islamophobia and the Internet” (Indiana UP, 2019)

    24/04/2020 Duración: 57min

    Islamic Studies classrooms have grown significantly over several generations. While once we could only find courses on the tradition in the most prestigious of institutions now Islam classes are taught at small liberal arts colleges, state schools, private universities, and even programs in Islamic theology and law. Teaching Islamic Studies in the Age of ISIS, Islamophobia and the Internet (Indiana University Press, 2019), edited by Courtney M. Dorroll, Assistant Professor at Wofford College, covers approaches, strategies, and topics important for the study of Islam today. Across several chapters we are introduced to various common dispositions students enter are classes with and how to address them. Many of these opinions are informed by popular stereotypes about Muslims and get reinforced by contemporary events. These moments often require immediate attention in the classroom, a burden most other subjects do not share, and unfortunately much of teaching about Islam is motivated by unlearning these biases. T

  • Eric Dursteler, In the Sultan’s Realm: Two Venetian Reports on the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (CRRS, 2018)

    Eric Dursteler, "In the Sultan’s Realm: Two Venetian Reports on the Early Modern Ottoman Empire" (CRRS, 2018)

    23/04/2020 Duración: 01h10min

    In the Sultan’s Realm: Two Venetian Reports on the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2018) is Professor Eric Dursteler’s translation of two final diplomatic reports (relazione) that Venetian ambassadors delivered upon their return to that Most Serene Republic at the turn of the seventeenth century—Lorenzo Bernardo in 1590 and Ottaviano Bon in 1609. These were polished and summative works performed before the assembled government of Venice detailing the politics and culture of the Ottoman Empire and its dealings with other powers. They offer insight about the work—and sometimes game—of early modern diplomacy; they aspire to a explain the character and spirit of the Sultan and his empire, in the process revealing even more about Venice and her agents. In this discussion, Professor Dursteler describes the early modern Mediterranean world, its arrangement and political issues, and its changes in the wake of the Battle of Lepanto (1571). He also talks about slavery, corsa

  • Christiane Gruber, “The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Christiane Gruber, “The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images" (Indiana UP, 2019)

    17/04/2020 Duración: 01h03min

    In our most recent public memory, images of the Prophet Muhammad have caused a great deal of controversy, such as satirical cartoons of Muhammad in French magazine Charlie Hebdo, or Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The sometimes violent backlash to these images has reinforced the popular narrative that Islam is aniconic and iconoclastic. In The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images (Indiana University Press, 2019), Christiane Gruber, Professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan, demonstrates that there is long rich history of images of Muhammad from within the Islamic tradition. The styles, themes, and strategies used to represent the Prophet have significantly shifted and altered over time. Gruber synthesizes an extensive archive of images and leads the reader through various thematic patterns, cultural specificities, and unique examples. We are presented with a detailed overview of textual and visual representations of Muhammad that is placed within a deep unde

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