696 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of the Middle East about their New Books
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New Books in Middle Eastern Studies Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 24 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of the Middle East about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/middle-eastern-studies

    Sevgi Adak, "Anti-Veiling Campaigns in Turkey: State, Society and Gender in the Early Republic" (I. B. Tauris, 2022)

    Sevgi Adak, "Anti-Veiling Campaigns in Turkey: State, Society and Gender in the Early Republic" (I. B. Tauris, 2022)

    The veiling and unveiling of women have been controversial issues in Turkey since the late-Ottoman period. It was with the advent of local campaigns against certain veils in the 1930s, however, that women's dress turned into an issue of national mobilisation in which gender norms would be redefined. 
    In Anti-Veiling Campaigns in Turkey: State, Society and Gender in the Early Republic (I. B. Tauris, 2022), Sevgi Adak casts light onto the historical context within which the meanings of veiling and unveiling in Turkey were formed. By shifting the focus from the high politics of the elite to the implementation of state policies, the book situates the anti-veiling campaigns as a space where the Kemalist reforms were negotiated, compromised and resisted by societal actors. Using previously unpublished archival material, Adak reveals the intricacies of the Kemalist modernisation process and provides a nuanced reading of the gender order established in the early republic by looking at the various ways women responded to the anti-veiling campaigns. A major contribution to the literature on the social history of modern Turkey, the book provides a complex analysis of these campaigns which goes beyond a simple binary between liberation and oppression.
    Reuben Silverman is a PhD candidate at University of California, San Diego.
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    Helen Pfeifer, "Empire of Salons: Conquest and Community in Early Modern Ottoman Lands" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Helen Pfeifer, "Empire of Salons: Conquest and Community in Early Modern Ottoman Lands" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    It’s the sixteenth century, and the Ottoman Empire has just defeated the Mamluk Sultanate, conquering Damascus and Cairo, important centers of Arab learning and culture. But how did these two groups–Arabs and “Rumis”, a term used to refer to those living in Anatolia, interact? How did Arabs deal with these powerful upstarts–and how did Rumis try to work with their learned, yet defeated, subjects?
    Dr. Helen Pfeifer studies one venue where Arabs and Rumis in the Ottoman Empire interacted, learned from each other, and jockeyed for status: the salon. Empire of Salons: Conquest and Community in Early Modern Ottoman Lands (Princeton University Press: 2022) looks at how gatherings of “gentlemen” helped to build Ottoman culture.
    In this interview, Helen and I talk about the Ottoman Empire, the differences between the Arab and Rumi communities, and what exactly people did in the salon.
    Dr. Helen Pfeifer is the inaugural university lecturer in early Ottoman history at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Christ’s College. She has an interest in understanding the empire within larger Islamic, European, and global contexts. Her research focuses on issues of empire, cultural exchange, and Islamic devotional practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She can be followed on Twitter at @krel7.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Empire of Salons. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 43 min
    Letters from Herzl: Settler Colonialism at work in Palestine

    Letters from Herzl: Settler Colonialism at work in Palestine

    Today’s episode originally aired in May of 2021, while violence was erupting all along the Gaza Strip. Israeli airstrikes had left over 200 Palestinians and a dozen Israelis dead. It was (and is) a continuation of a story of violent settler colonialism. And yet media and academic censorship has consistently silenced or punished those who speak out in support of Palestinians. In the face of that, many radical academics simply remain silent.
    In an age where ‘decolonization’ has become an academic buzzword, we must ask: will we stand by our purported ideals? On this episode, host Gordon Katic says “colonialism is not a metaphor” as he dives into settler colonialism and the costs of resistance, criticizing Israel, and speaking up for Palestine.
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    Kim Haines-Eitzen, "Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Kim Haines-Eitzen, "Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    For the hermits and communal monks of antiquity, the desert was a place to flee the cacophony of ordinary life in order to hear and contemplate the voice of God. But these monks discovered something surprising in their harsh desert surroundings: far from empty and silent, the desert is richly reverberant. Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us (Princeton UP, 2022) shares the stories and sayings of these ancient spiritual seekers, tracing how the ambient sounds of wind, thunder, water, and animals shaped the emergence and development of early Christian monasticism.
    Kim Haines-Eitzen draws on ancient monastic texts from Egypt, Sinai, and Palestine to explore how noise offered desert monks an opportunity to cultivate inner quietude, and shows how the desert quests of ancient monastics offer profound lessons for us about what it means to search for silence. Drawing on her own experiences making field recordings in the deserts of North America and Israel, she reveals how mountains, canyons, caves, rocky escarpments, and lush oases are deeply resonant places. Haines-Eitzen discusses how the desert is a place of paradoxes, both silent and noisy, pulling us toward contemplative isolation yet giving rise to vibrant collectives of fellow seekers.
    Accompanied by Haines-Eitzen’s evocative audio recordings of desert environments, Sonorous Desert reveals how desert sounds taught ancient monks about solitude, silence, and the life of community, and how they can help us understand ourselves if we slow down and listen.
    You can listen to a series of recordings that go with each chapter of the book here. 
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    • 36 min
    Jason A. Staples, "The Idea of 'Israel' in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Jason A. Staples, "The Idea of 'Israel' in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    How did the concept of Israel impact early Jewish apocalyptic hopes of restoration? How diverse was Israelite identity in antiquity? Tune in as we talk with Jason A. Staples about his recent book, The Idea of Israel, in which he proposes a new paradigm for how the biblical concept of Israel developed in Early Judaism.
    Jason A. Staples (Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill) is a historian, author, speaker, journalist, voice actor, and American football coach/analyst. He is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at NC State University and the author of The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and numerous articles in ancient Judaism and Christianity.
    Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus (Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu
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    • 33 min
    Emma Ashford, "Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates" (Georgetown UP, 2022)

    Emma Ashford, "Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates" (Georgetown UP, 2022)

    Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates (Georgetown University Press, 2022) by Dr. Emma Ashford presents a comprehensive challenge to prevailing understanding of international implications of oil wealth that shows why it can create bad actors.
    In a world where oil-rich states are more likely to start war than their oil-dependent counterparts, it's surprising how little attention is still paid to these so-called petrostates. These states' wealth props up the global arms trade, provides diplomatic leverage, and allows them to support violent and nonviolent proxies. In this book, Dr. Ashford explores the many potential links between domestic oil production and foreign policy behavior and how oil production influences global politics.
    Not all petrostates have the same characteristics or capabilities. To help us conceptualize these differences, Dr. Ashford creates an original classification of three types of petrostates: oil-dependent states (those weakened by the resource curse), oil-wealthy states (those made rich by oil exports), and super-producer states (those that form the backbone of the global oil market). Through a combination of case studies and analysis, she illustrates how oil shapes petrostates' behavior, filling a major gap in our understanding of the international implications of oil wealth. Experts have too often treated oil-rich states as passive objects, subject to the energy security needs of Western importing states. Instead, this book highlights the agency and power enjoyed by petrostates.
    As the oil market undergoes a period of rapid change, Oil, the State, and War sheds light on the diversity of petrostates and how they shape international affairs.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 39 min

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