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New Books in Islamic Studies

Marshall Poe

157
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706
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New Books in Islamic Studies

New Books in Islamic Studies

Marshall Poe

157
Followers
706
Plays
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Interviews with Scholars of Islam about their New Books

Latest Episodes

Tabassum Fahim Ruby, "Muslim Women's Rights: Contesting Liberal-Secular Sensibilities in Canada" (Routledge, 2019)

Muslim Women’s Rights: Contesting Liberal-Secular Sensibilities in Canada(Routledge 2019) By Tabassum Fahim Ruby follows the legal debates and public discussions that surrounded the proposedshari‘ahtribunals in Canada from 2003 to 2006. In her close readings and discourse analysis of the public and media scrutiny that followed this discussion, Ruby found that these debates existed at the nexus of complex assumptions about human rights discourses, liberal-secular sensibilities, and law, which all hinged on narratives of western modernity and progress and were set against notions of Muslim women’s rights and agency, or lack thereof. By tracing discourses surrounding Islamic family law and practices of faith-based arbitration in Canada, the study problematizes conceptions of multiculturalism, secularism, and human rights discourses, while further contributing to discussion of contemporary Islam and gender by drawing on postcolonial, antiracist, and transnational feminist studies by ...

72 min3 d ago
Comments
Tabassum Fahim Ruby, "Muslim Women's Rights: Contesting Liberal-Secular Sensibilities in Canada" (Routledge, 2019)

David Rundell, "Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads" (I. B. Tauris, 2020)

David Rundell brings to his book,Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads(I. B. Tauris, 2020), a granular analysis and insider’s understanding of the inner workings of the kingdom garnered as a US foreign service officer who served a total of 15 years in the country. Rundell skilfully weaves history into a multi-layered portrait of the transformation for good and bad that Saudi Arabia is experiencing under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The former diplomat illustrates Salman’s long-standing focus on combatting corruption with the picture he paints of his governing of the Saudi capital Riyadh for nearly five decades before ascending to the throne. Anti-corruption has played a dramatic role since Salman became king in solidifying and concentrating power in the kingdom and breaking with a past of slow and gradual change, introducing instead rapid reforms with little consultation. To do so, Salman picked his son, Mohammed, as crown prince because he saw in him a bulldozer with the needed ambition, drive, and ruthlessness to undermine traditional pillars of support of the Saudi system like elite cohesion and the maintenance of rival armed forces. Elite cohesion was disrupted by disenfranchising or subjugating key elements of the Saudi power structure, including included significant segments of the bloated ruling Al Saud family and the religious establishment, who would have likely slowed down or opposed reforms that would enable economic diversification and a reduction of the kingdom’s dependence on oil exports. In doing so, Rundell argues that Salman may have made Saudi Arabia less stable particular in a country in which absolute political and military power has been concentrated in the hands of one man and a population that is in majority young and aspires for greater transparency and accountability. Identifying a defeat in the war in Yemen or a failure to make good on promises of job creation as potential catalysts of resistance to the rule of the Salmans, Rundell warns that any organized opposition would be cloaked in the mantle of religious ultra-conservatism rather than concepts of secularism or democracy. In the ultimate analysis, Rundell has produced one of the most historically grounded and informed evaluations of the significant change Saudi Arabia is experiencing and the prospects and pitfalls of far-reaching of social and economic reforms while severely curtailing political rights. The curtailing, mass arrests of religious and more secular activists, and the killing in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have already cost the kingdom dearly in terms of its reputation, complicating its diplomatic relations with the West at a time of a global economic downturn. Rundell’s book constitutes a major contribution to a mushrooming literature on Saudi Arabia, a country that has long been and in many ways still is cloaked in secrecy. Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist, senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute, and the author of the syndicated column and blog,The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

74 min5 d ago
Comments
David Rundell, "Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads" (I. B. Tauris, 2020)

Antonia Bosanquet, "Minding their Place: Space and Religious Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma" (Brill, 2020)

How was the relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim communities theologically and spatially imagined in the premodern world? How did religious hierarchies map onto notions of place and spatial distinction and hierarchies? In her dazzling new bookMinding their Place: Space and Religious Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Aḥkām ahl al-Dhimma(Brill, 2020),Antonia Bosanquet addresses these questions through a detailed and theoretically charged reading of the famous and crucially important legal text/compendiumAḥkām ahl al-Dhimmaby Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzīyah (d.1350). Bosanquet forcefully argues that one must approach this text not just as a legal compendium, but as a critical repository of premodern Muslim social imaginaries on the question of interreligious difference. In our conversation, we discuss a range of issues including literary precedents forAḥkām ahl al-Dhimma, spatial mappings and religious hierarchies, “relational” space and everyday Muslim-non-Muslim encounters, and the eschatological status of non-Muslim children. This lucidly written and analytically exciting book will spark interest among specialists and non-specialists alike. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His bookDefending Muhammad in Modernity(University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020Book Prize.His other academic publications are availablehere. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

59 min1 w ago
Comments
Antonia Bosanquet, "Minding their Place: Space and Religious Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma" (Brill, 2020)

A. Kanna et al., "Beyond Exception: New Interpretations of the Arabian Peninsula" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Over the nearly two decades that they have each been conducting fieldwork in the Arabian Peninsula, Ahmed Kanna, Amélie Le Renard, and Neha Vora have regularly encountered exoticizing and exceptionalist discourses about the region and its people, political systems, and prevalent cultural practices. These persistent encounters became the springboard for this book, a reflection on conducting fieldwork within a "field" that is marked by such representations. The three focus on deconstructing the exceptionalist representations that circulate about the Arabian Peninsula. They analyze what exceptionalism does, how it is used by various people, and how it helps shape power relations in the societies they study. They propose ways that this analysis of exceptionalism provides tools for rethinking the concepts that have become commonplace, structuring narratives and analytical frameworks within fieldwork in and on the Arabian Peninsula. They ask: What would not only Middle East studies, but studies of postcolonial societies and global capitalism in other parts of the world look like if the Arabian Peninsula was central rather than peripheral or exceptional to ongoing sociohistorical processes and representational practices? The authors explore how the exceptionalizing discourses that permeate Arabian Peninsula studies spring from colonialist discourses still operative in anthropology and sociology more generally, and suggest that de-exceptionalizing the region within their disciplines can offer opportunities for decolonized knowledge production. This interview is part of an NBN special series on “Mobilities and Methods.” Ahmed Kanna is Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of the Pacific. He is author of Dubai: The City as Corporation, and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals includingCultural Anthropology, International Journal of Middle East StudiesandJournal of Urban Affairs. Amélie Le Renard is Sociologist and Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and author ofA Society of Young Women. Neha Vora is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Lafayette College, and is author ofImpossible Citizens and Teach for Arabia. Follow her on Twitter @nativeinformant. Alize Arıcanis a PhD candidate in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey.Her work has been featured onCity & Society,entanglements: experiments in multimodal ethnography, andAnthropology News. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

52 min1 w ago
Comments
A. Kanna et al., "Beyond Exception: New Interpretations of the Arabian Peninsula" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Michel Boivin, "The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India: The Case of Sindh(1851-1929) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) by Michel Boivin maps the construction of a vernacular knowledge (as opposed to colonial knowledge) of a complex Sufi paradigm in Sindh by both British Orientalists, such as Richard Burton, but also Sindhi intelligentsia, like Mirza Qalich Beg. Examining the historical period from 1851-1929 during the British colonial control of the Sindh, the book argues that though the British were not interested directly in Sufism, their investment in learning languages (Sindhi) and culture, for administrative purposes, led to consequential engagement with Sufi literary traditions, especially theShah jo Risaloby the Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abd al-Latif. In tracing the lives of Sufi textual and print materials written by both Orientalists and indigenous Sindhi literati, Boivin captures the complex ways in which a Sindhi Sufi paradigm was constructed but also vernacul...

72 min2 w ago
Comments
Michel Boivin, "The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

Michael M. Knight, "Muhammad's Body: Baraka Networks and the Prophetic Assemblage" (UNC Press, 2020)

Muhammad's Body: Baraka Networks and the Prophetic Assemblageby Michael Muhammad Knight (UNC Press, 2020) joins the emerging subfield of literature in Islamic Studies exploring embodiment and materiality as concepts for making sense of the spatial and temporal developments of Muslim subjectivities. Knight’s monograph is the first to delve into these themes as it concerns the Prophet Muhammad’s body and its functions, relationships, representations, symbolism, and postmortem contestations within Islamic literature. Knight analyzes Sunnihadithandsiratexts from the eighth through the eleventh centuries CE to understand how conceptions of the Prophet’s body—from its physical features to its metaphysical qualities—shaped constructions of masculinity, authority, and power for the Prophet’s Companions as well as for those who followed in the centuries after them. By foregrounding his analysis in the Islamic concept ofbaraka—a kind of beneficent force of divine origin—and drawing from contemporary theoretical insights, Knight illuminates how the Prophetic body functioned as a crucial site of legitimation for his followers from the Prophet’s time until the present day.Muhammad’s Bodyis a welcome addition to the subject of embodiment in Islamic Studies. Asad Dandiais a graduate student of Islamic Studies at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

48 min2 w ago
Comments
Michael M. Knight, "Muhammad's Body: Baraka Networks and the Prophetic Assemblage" (UNC Press, 2020)

Jon Hoover, "Ibn Taymiyya" (Oneworld, 2020)

Ibn Taymiyya is one of the most prolific and influential Islamic thinkers to date, and was even the only pre-modern Muslim author cited in the 9/11 Report. His supporters and detractors alike have engaged his scholarship extensively for hundreds of years, and Hoover’s monograph, Ibn Taymiyya (2020), in English, as part of Oneworld’s “Makers of the Muslim World” series therefore offers an invaluable contribution to existing literature on Ibn Taymiyya. In our interview, Professor Hoover and I discuss the reasons for Ibn Taymiyya’s popularity, including his time in prison and controversial views on marriage, interfaith relations, and mysticism. Hoover’s monograph goes beyond a simple introduction to Ibn Taymiyya’s life and works and instead explores the prolific thinker in great detail, in terms of his own scholarship as well as reception history. Unsurprisingly, Hoover’s previous scholarship on Ibn Taymiyya (including a monograph on theodicy, as well several articles that explore Ibn Taymiyya’s thought broadly) informs the current work by allowing the author to write from an already expert vantage point. The bibliography is extensive and complements Hoover’s extant bibliography of Taymiyyan studies scholarship, hosted on his personal website. The book is sure to appeal to a broad range of audiences, including journalists, political scientists, and religion scholars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57 min3 w ago
Comments
Jon Hoover, "Ibn Taymiyya" (Oneworld, 2020)

John Tolan, "Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today" (Princeton UP, 2019)

John Tolan’s latest bookFaces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today(Princeton UP, 2019) is a fascinating and rich survey of the complex perceptions of Muhammad as understood by Christian Europeans. Using sources that range from art to literature to history to theater to religion, Tolan shows that portrayals of Muhammad are varied and complex – indeed contradictory – and reveal more about the context in which these images appear than about Muhammad or Islam. In other words, the non-Muslim European discourse on Muhammad reflects the writers’ own preoccupations at home. Views about Muhammad are varied and complex, Tolan argues, and not always negative as is often highlighted. Sure, Muhammad is a false prophet, a heretic, a trickster, an idol, in some cases, but he’s also a role model, a hero, a great leader in others, sometimes in the same time period. For instance, while during the Crusades, Muhammad is a false prophet and the primary opponent of the Christian writers, during the Protestant Reformation, the prophet of Islam is received more positively, although not consistently: he is instrumentalized in the polemics between the various Christian groups such that each group – specifically the Protestants, the Catholics, the Unitarians – hold differing views on Muhammad, and parallels are drawn between him and the writer’s contemporary heroes or opponents. In today’s discussion, Tolan shares with us the primary contributions and arguments of the book, including specific depictions of Muhammad and the contexts that shape them, legends associated with Muhammad involving bulls and doves and floating coffins, the Christian doctrine of Immaculate Conception and its relevance to Muhammad, Jewish authors’ perception of and relationship with Muhammad, and more. Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. Her primary research areas include Islam, gender, and interreligious marriage. She has a YouTube channel called What the Patriarchy, where she vlogs about feminism and Islam in an effort to dismantle the patriarchy; the vlog is available athttps://www.youtube.com/whatthepatriarchy. She can be reached athaqqani_s@mercer.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

56 min3 w ago
Comments
John Tolan, "Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today" (Princeton UP, 2019)

Danielle Haque, “Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature” (Syracuse UP, 2019)

In many popular accounts of contemporary “Western” society there is an inherent contradiction between the principles underlying liberal secularism and Islam. This type of binary discourse about “religion” and “secular” naturalizes these differences and promotes the seeming rigidity of the two categories. But secularism is much messier than that. Danielle Haque, Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, questions this simplistic narrative in her new bookInterrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature(Syracuse University Press, 2019). She deconstructs liberal accounts of secularism through an examination of the work of authors and artists from ethnic and religious minorities. The literary and visual economies that inform their art demonstrates that secular values are not always neatly distinguished from religious principles nor are spiritual forms necessarily steeped in tradition. In our conversation we discuss secular ideol...

58 minOCT 30
Comments
Danielle Haque, “Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature” (Syracuse UP, 2019)

Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

In her stunning and conceptually adventurous new book Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford University Press, 2020), Margrit Pernau examines the varied and hugely consequential expressions of and normative investments in emotions in modern South Asian Muslim thought. By considering a wide array of sources including male and female reformist literature, poetry, newspapers, journals, sermons, and much more, Pernau explores the question of how the career of Islam in colonial India saw a paradigmatic shift from emphasis on balance or ‘adl to fervor and ebullience (josh). The intensification rather than the retreat of emotion represents a major feature of South Muslim scholarly thought and culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pernau convincingly demonstrates. Through the specific case study of modern South Asian Islam, she also presents and argues for novel conceptualizations of modernity as a lived and analytical category, marked no...

69 minOCT 23
Comments
Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Latest Episodes

Tabassum Fahim Ruby, "Muslim Women's Rights: Contesting Liberal-Secular Sensibilities in Canada" (Routledge, 2019)

Muslim Women’s Rights: Contesting Liberal-Secular Sensibilities in Canada(Routledge 2019) By Tabassum Fahim Ruby follows the legal debates and public discussions that surrounded the proposedshari‘ahtribunals in Canada from 2003 to 2006. In her close readings and discourse analysis of the public and media scrutiny that followed this discussion, Ruby found that these debates existed at the nexus of complex assumptions about human rights discourses, liberal-secular sensibilities, and law, which all hinged on narratives of western modernity and progress and were set against notions of Muslim women’s rights and agency, or lack thereof. By tracing discourses surrounding Islamic family law and practices of faith-based arbitration in Canada, the study problematizes conceptions of multiculturalism, secularism, and human rights discourses, while further contributing to discussion of contemporary Islam and gender by drawing on postcolonial, antiracist, and transnational feminist studies by ...

72 min3 d ago
Comments
Tabassum Fahim Ruby, "Muslim Women's Rights: Contesting Liberal-Secular Sensibilities in Canada" (Routledge, 2019)

David Rundell, "Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads" (I. B. Tauris, 2020)

David Rundell brings to his book,Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads(I. B. Tauris, 2020), a granular analysis and insider’s understanding of the inner workings of the kingdom garnered as a US foreign service officer who served a total of 15 years in the country. Rundell skilfully weaves history into a multi-layered portrait of the transformation for good and bad that Saudi Arabia is experiencing under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The former diplomat illustrates Salman’s long-standing focus on combatting corruption with the picture he paints of his governing of the Saudi capital Riyadh for nearly five decades before ascending to the throne. Anti-corruption has played a dramatic role since Salman became king in solidifying and concentrating power in the kingdom and breaking with a past of slow and gradual change, introducing instead rapid reforms with little consultation. To do so, Salman picked his son, Mohammed, as crown prince because he saw in him a bulldozer with the needed ambition, drive, and ruthlessness to undermine traditional pillars of support of the Saudi system like elite cohesion and the maintenance of rival armed forces. Elite cohesion was disrupted by disenfranchising or subjugating key elements of the Saudi power structure, including included significant segments of the bloated ruling Al Saud family and the religious establishment, who would have likely slowed down or opposed reforms that would enable economic diversification and a reduction of the kingdom’s dependence on oil exports. In doing so, Rundell argues that Salman may have made Saudi Arabia less stable particular in a country in which absolute political and military power has been concentrated in the hands of one man and a population that is in majority young and aspires for greater transparency and accountability. Identifying a defeat in the war in Yemen or a failure to make good on promises of job creation as potential catalysts of resistance to the rule of the Salmans, Rundell warns that any organized opposition would be cloaked in the mantle of religious ultra-conservatism rather than concepts of secularism or democracy. In the ultimate analysis, Rundell has produced one of the most historically grounded and informed evaluations of the significant change Saudi Arabia is experiencing and the prospects and pitfalls of far-reaching of social and economic reforms while severely curtailing political rights. The curtailing, mass arrests of religious and more secular activists, and the killing in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have already cost the kingdom dearly in terms of its reputation, complicating its diplomatic relations with the West at a time of a global economic downturn. Rundell’s book constitutes a major contribution to a mushrooming literature on Saudi Arabia, a country that has long been and in many ways still is cloaked in secrecy. Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist, senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute, and the author of the syndicated column and blog,The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

74 min5 d ago
Comments
David Rundell, "Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads" (I. B. Tauris, 2020)

Antonia Bosanquet, "Minding their Place: Space and Religious Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma" (Brill, 2020)

How was the relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim communities theologically and spatially imagined in the premodern world? How did religious hierarchies map onto notions of place and spatial distinction and hierarchies? In her dazzling new bookMinding their Place: Space and Religious Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Aḥkām ahl al-Dhimma(Brill, 2020),Antonia Bosanquet addresses these questions through a detailed and theoretically charged reading of the famous and crucially important legal text/compendiumAḥkām ahl al-Dhimmaby Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzīyah (d.1350). Bosanquet forcefully argues that one must approach this text not just as a legal compendium, but as a critical repository of premodern Muslim social imaginaries on the question of interreligious difference. In our conversation, we discuss a range of issues including literary precedents forAḥkām ahl al-Dhimma, spatial mappings and religious hierarchies, “relational” space and everyday Muslim-non-Muslim encounters, and the eschatological status of non-Muslim children. This lucidly written and analytically exciting book will spark interest among specialists and non-specialists alike. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His bookDefending Muhammad in Modernity(University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020Book Prize.His other academic publications are availablehere. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

59 min1 w ago
Comments
Antonia Bosanquet, "Minding their Place: Space and Religious Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma" (Brill, 2020)

A. Kanna et al., "Beyond Exception: New Interpretations of the Arabian Peninsula" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Over the nearly two decades that they have each been conducting fieldwork in the Arabian Peninsula, Ahmed Kanna, Amélie Le Renard, and Neha Vora have regularly encountered exoticizing and exceptionalist discourses about the region and its people, political systems, and prevalent cultural practices. These persistent encounters became the springboard for this book, a reflection on conducting fieldwork within a "field" that is marked by such representations. The three focus on deconstructing the exceptionalist representations that circulate about the Arabian Peninsula. They analyze what exceptionalism does, how it is used by various people, and how it helps shape power relations in the societies they study. They propose ways that this analysis of exceptionalism provides tools for rethinking the concepts that have become commonplace, structuring narratives and analytical frameworks within fieldwork in and on the Arabian Peninsula. They ask: What would not only Middle East studies, but studies of postcolonial societies and global capitalism in other parts of the world look like if the Arabian Peninsula was central rather than peripheral or exceptional to ongoing sociohistorical processes and representational practices? The authors explore how the exceptionalizing discourses that permeate Arabian Peninsula studies spring from colonialist discourses still operative in anthropology and sociology more generally, and suggest that de-exceptionalizing the region within their disciplines can offer opportunities for decolonized knowledge production. This interview is part of an NBN special series on “Mobilities and Methods.” Ahmed Kanna is Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of the Pacific. He is author of Dubai: The City as Corporation, and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals includingCultural Anthropology, International Journal of Middle East StudiesandJournal of Urban Affairs. Amélie Le Renard is Sociologist and Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and author ofA Society of Young Women. Neha Vora is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Lafayette College, and is author ofImpossible Citizens and Teach for Arabia. Follow her on Twitter @nativeinformant. Alize Arıcanis a PhD candidate in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey.Her work has been featured onCity & Society,entanglements: experiments in multimodal ethnography, andAnthropology News. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

52 min1 w ago
Comments
A. Kanna et al., "Beyond Exception: New Interpretations of the Arabian Peninsula" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Michel Boivin, "The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India: The Case of Sindh(1851-1929) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) by Michel Boivin maps the construction of a vernacular knowledge (as opposed to colonial knowledge) of a complex Sufi paradigm in Sindh by both British Orientalists, such as Richard Burton, but also Sindhi intelligentsia, like Mirza Qalich Beg. Examining the historical period from 1851-1929 during the British colonial control of the Sindh, the book argues that though the British were not interested directly in Sufism, their investment in learning languages (Sindhi) and culture, for administrative purposes, led to consequential engagement with Sufi literary traditions, especially theShah jo Risaloby the Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abd al-Latif. In tracing the lives of Sufi textual and print materials written by both Orientalists and indigenous Sindhi literati, Boivin captures the complex ways in which a Sindhi Sufi paradigm was constructed but also vernacul...

72 min2 w ago
Comments
Michel Boivin, "The Sufi Paradigm and the Makings of a Vernacular Knowledge in Colonial India" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

Michael M. Knight, "Muhammad's Body: Baraka Networks and the Prophetic Assemblage" (UNC Press, 2020)

Muhammad's Body: Baraka Networks and the Prophetic Assemblageby Michael Muhammad Knight (UNC Press, 2020) joins the emerging subfield of literature in Islamic Studies exploring embodiment and materiality as concepts for making sense of the spatial and temporal developments of Muslim subjectivities. Knight’s monograph is the first to delve into these themes as it concerns the Prophet Muhammad’s body and its functions, relationships, representations, symbolism, and postmortem contestations within Islamic literature. Knight analyzes Sunnihadithandsiratexts from the eighth through the eleventh centuries CE to understand how conceptions of the Prophet’s body—from its physical features to its metaphysical qualities—shaped constructions of masculinity, authority, and power for the Prophet’s Companions as well as for those who followed in the centuries after them. By foregrounding his analysis in the Islamic concept ofbaraka—a kind of beneficent force of divine origin—and drawing from contemporary theoretical insights, Knight illuminates how the Prophetic body functioned as a crucial site of legitimation for his followers from the Prophet’s time until the present day.Muhammad’s Bodyis a welcome addition to the subject of embodiment in Islamic Studies. Asad Dandiais a graduate student of Islamic Studies at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

48 min2 w ago
Comments
Michael M. Knight, "Muhammad's Body: Baraka Networks and the Prophetic Assemblage" (UNC Press, 2020)

Jon Hoover, "Ibn Taymiyya" (Oneworld, 2020)

Ibn Taymiyya is one of the most prolific and influential Islamic thinkers to date, and was even the only pre-modern Muslim author cited in the 9/11 Report. His supporters and detractors alike have engaged his scholarship extensively for hundreds of years, and Hoover’s monograph, Ibn Taymiyya (2020), in English, as part of Oneworld’s “Makers of the Muslim World” series therefore offers an invaluable contribution to existing literature on Ibn Taymiyya. In our interview, Professor Hoover and I discuss the reasons for Ibn Taymiyya’s popularity, including his time in prison and controversial views on marriage, interfaith relations, and mysticism. Hoover’s monograph goes beyond a simple introduction to Ibn Taymiyya’s life and works and instead explores the prolific thinker in great detail, in terms of his own scholarship as well as reception history. Unsurprisingly, Hoover’s previous scholarship on Ibn Taymiyya (including a monograph on theodicy, as well several articles that explore Ibn Taymiyya’s thought broadly) informs the current work by allowing the author to write from an already expert vantage point. The bibliography is extensive and complements Hoover’s extant bibliography of Taymiyyan studies scholarship, hosted on his personal website. The book is sure to appeal to a broad range of audiences, including journalists, political scientists, and religion scholars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57 min3 w ago
Comments
Jon Hoover, "Ibn Taymiyya" (Oneworld, 2020)

John Tolan, "Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today" (Princeton UP, 2019)

John Tolan’s latest bookFaces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today(Princeton UP, 2019) is a fascinating and rich survey of the complex perceptions of Muhammad as understood by Christian Europeans. Using sources that range from art to literature to history to theater to religion, Tolan shows that portrayals of Muhammad are varied and complex – indeed contradictory – and reveal more about the context in which these images appear than about Muhammad or Islam. In other words, the non-Muslim European discourse on Muhammad reflects the writers’ own preoccupations at home. Views about Muhammad are varied and complex, Tolan argues, and not always negative as is often highlighted. Sure, Muhammad is a false prophet, a heretic, a trickster, an idol, in some cases, but he’s also a role model, a hero, a great leader in others, sometimes in the same time period. For instance, while during the Crusades, Muhammad is a false prophet and the primary opponent of the Christian writers, during the Protestant Reformation, the prophet of Islam is received more positively, although not consistently: he is instrumentalized in the polemics between the various Christian groups such that each group – specifically the Protestants, the Catholics, the Unitarians – hold differing views on Muhammad, and parallels are drawn between him and the writer’s contemporary heroes or opponents. In today’s discussion, Tolan shares with us the primary contributions and arguments of the book, including specific depictions of Muhammad and the contexts that shape them, legends associated with Muhammad involving bulls and doves and floating coffins, the Christian doctrine of Immaculate Conception and its relevance to Muhammad, Jewish authors’ perception of and relationship with Muhammad, and more. Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. Her primary research areas include Islam, gender, and interreligious marriage. She has a YouTube channel called What the Patriarchy, where she vlogs about feminism and Islam in an effort to dismantle the patriarchy; the vlog is available athttps://www.youtube.com/whatthepatriarchy. She can be reached athaqqani_s@mercer.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

56 min3 w ago
Comments
John Tolan, "Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today" (Princeton UP, 2019)

Danielle Haque, “Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature” (Syracuse UP, 2019)

In many popular accounts of contemporary “Western” society there is an inherent contradiction between the principles underlying liberal secularism and Islam. This type of binary discourse about “religion” and “secular” naturalizes these differences and promotes the seeming rigidity of the two categories. But secularism is much messier than that. Danielle Haque, Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, questions this simplistic narrative in her new bookInterrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature(Syracuse University Press, 2019). She deconstructs liberal accounts of secularism through an examination of the work of authors and artists from ethnic and religious minorities. The literary and visual economies that inform their art demonstrates that secular values are not always neatly distinguished from religious principles nor are spiritual forms necessarily steeped in tradition. In our conversation we discuss secular ideol...

58 minOCT 30
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Danielle Haque, “Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature” (Syracuse UP, 2019)

Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

In her stunning and conceptually adventurous new book Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford University Press, 2020), Margrit Pernau examines the varied and hugely consequential expressions of and normative investments in emotions in modern South Asian Muslim thought. By considering a wide array of sources including male and female reformist literature, poetry, newspapers, journals, sermons, and much more, Pernau explores the question of how the career of Islam in colonial India saw a paradigmatic shift from emphasis on balance or ‘adl to fervor and ebullience (josh). The intensification rather than the retreat of emotion represents a major feature of South Muslim scholarly thought and culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pernau convincingly demonstrates. Through the specific case study of modern South Asian Islam, she also presents and argues for novel conceptualizations of modernity as a lived and analytical category, marked no...

69 minOCT 23
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Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)
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