Announcing Arab Studies Journal Vol. XXII: Relationship Between Cultural Production and Political Resistance

Posted on June 28, 2014 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Editors’ Note

In “Cultures of Resistance in Palestine and Beyond: The Politics of Art, Aesthetics, and Affect,” Sophie Richter-Devroe and Ruba Salih introduce the imperatives, questions, and ideas that inspired the special issue we are featuring here. Encompassing a broad array of approaches, methodologies, and perspectives, Rania Jawad, Adila Laïdi-Hanieh, Maha Nassar, Helga Tawil-Souri, Miriyam Aouragh, Craig Larkin, Brahim El Guabli, Hanan Toukan, and Yazid Anani each take on the relationship between cultural production and political resistance. For the Arab world and the Middle East more broadly, these questions are as timely today as ever. But beyond the urgencies of the moment, the special issue editors and contributors provide us with a powerful set of empirical research and analytical reflections that thinkers, artists, students, and teachers will be able to refer to, learn form, and build on for years to come.

We are also pleased to be featuring Tamirace Fakhoury’s “Debating Lebanon’s Power-Sharing Model: An Opportunity or an Impasse for Democratization Studies in the Middle East?” Fakhoury highlights the exclusion of research on Lebanon’s political system from broader debates about democracy and democratization. She argues that most analyses ofthe “Lebanese power-sharing system” have been based on the consociational model, which is itself positioned in an isolated and particularly controver- sial niche of the field of democratization studies. Fakhoury alternatively proposes ways of extracting research on Lebanon from the hegemony of consociational theory, with a particular emphasis on viewing the power- sharing system as dynamic rather than fixed.

This issue’s review section features three extended review essays. Arang Keshavarzian examines recent studies of authoritarianism that “contemplate the paths taken and foreclosed by historical legacies, vested interests, and institutional configurations.” Guy Burak’s essay considers how a transimpe- rial approach to Safavid and Bektashi shrines “offers new ways to explore‘local’ questions and new sources with which to explore them.” Anne-Marie McManus reviews four contemporary Syrian novels recently translated into English and reflects on the politics of their reception. “How,” she asks, “can we read translations of the prerevolutionary Syrian novel today, in the years following a national uprising that began far from the circles of elite culture, without reducing these works of literature to prescient foreshadowings of our present day?”

The politics of culture is likewise a theme in three books under review: Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman’s edited volume, Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa; Madawi Al-Rasheed’s A Most Masculine State; and Katarzyna Pieprzak’s Imagined Museums. Another theme in this issue’s review section is the formation of modern power structures andsubjectivities. Whether looking at Mandate Palestine (Colonial Copyright and Land of Progress), Jordan in the late Ottoman and interwar periods (The Social and Economic Origins of Monarchy in Jordan), Ottoman- and Mandate-era Syria (Damascus and The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East), or Upper Egypt across several centuries (Imagined Empires), these works deepen assessments of the past’s persistence in the present. Reviews of Nasser’s Gamble and Shiism and Politics in the Middle East take up the complexities of international political relations in the very different contexts of 1960s Egypt and contemporary Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Iraq, respectively. Finally, a trio of reviews looks at ethnographic and cross-disciplinary studies of Turkey that are particularly pertinent in this historical moment: And Then We Work for God,Technology and National Identity in Turkey, and Refractions of Civil Society in Turkey.

Editorial Review Board:

Lila Abu Lughod, As‘ad AbuKhalil, Nadje al-Ali, Sinan Antoon, Walter Armbrust, Rochelle Davis, Ellen Fleischmann, William Granara, Lisa Hajjar, Rema Hammami, Michael Hudson, Wilson Chacko Jacob, Toby Jones, Zachary Lockman, Timothy Mitchell, Kirsten Scheid, Judith Tucker, Robert Vitalis

Editorial Staff:

Founding Editor

Bassam Haddad 

Sherene Seikaly

Senior Editors
Ziad Abu-Rish
Allison Brown
Dina Ramadan
Nadya Sbaiti

Managing Editor
Lizette Baghdadi

Associate Editors
Steve Gertz
Kate Mottolla
Chris Toensing

Book Review Managing Editor

Allison Brown

Book Review Editors
Charles Anderson
Naira Antoun
Ryvka Barnard
Samuel Dolbee
Anjali Kamat
Amir Moosavi
Ahmad Shokr
Elizabeth Williams 

Business and Circulation Manager
Zack Cuyler

Research and Development Manager
Samantha Brotman

Website Editors
Ziad Abu-Rish
Andrew Gabriel

Bien Concepcion

Graphic Design
Future Anecdotes Istanbul

Arab Studies Journal
Vol. XXII, No. 1
Spring 2014 

Special Issue: Cultures of Resistance

Theme Articles

Cultures of Resistance in Palestine and Beyond: On the Politics of Art, Aesthetics, and Affect
Special Issue Editors Sophie Richter-Devroe and Ruba Salih

“Aren’t We Human?” Normalizing Palestinian Performances
Rania Jawad

Grievability as Political Claim Making: The 100 Shaheed-100 Lives Exhibition
Adila Laïdi-Hanieh

“My Struggle Embraces Every Struggle”: Palestinians in Israel and Solidarity with Afro-Asian Liberation Movements
Maha Nassar

Intifada 3.0? Cyber Colonialism and Palestinian Resistance
Helga Tawil-Souri and Miriyam Aouragh

Jerusalem’s Separation Wall and Global Message Board: Graffiti, Murals, and the Art of Sumud
Craig Larkin

The “Hidden Transcript” of Resistance in Moroccan Tazmamart Prison Writings

Brahim El Guabli


Delusion, Art, and Urban Desires in Palestine Today: An Interview with Yazid Anani

Hanan Toukan 


Debating Lebanon’s Power-Sharing Model: An Opportunity or an Impasse for Democratization Studies in the Middle East?
Tamirace Fakhoury

Book Reviews

Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt, by Zeinab Abul-Magd
Reviewed by Zoe Griffith

The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East: The Politics of Community in French Mandate Syria, by Benjamin Thomas White
Reviewed by Steve Tamari

The Social and Economic Origins of Monarchy in Jordan, by Tariq Moraiwed Tell
Reviewed by Ziad Abu-Rish

Land of Progress: Palestine in the Age of Colonial Development, 1905–1948, by Jacob Norris

Reviewed by Fredrik Meiton

Colonial Copyright: Intellectual Property in Mandate Palestine, by Michael D. Birnhack
Reviewed by Andrea L. Stanton

Damascus: Ottoman Modernity and Urban Transformation, 1808–1918, vols. 1 and 2by Stefan Weber

Reviewed by Benjamin Thomas White

And Then We Work for God: Rural Sunni Islam in Western Turkey, by Kimberly Hart
Reviewed by Timur Hammond

Technology and National Identity in Turkey: Mobile Communications and the Evolution of a Post-Ottoman Nation, by Burçe Çelik
Reviewed by Elizabeth Angell

Refractions of Civil Society in Turkey, by Daniella Kuzmanovic
Reviewed by Josh Carney

Shiism and Politics in the Middle East, by Laurence Louër, translated by John King

Reviewed by Jason Wimberly

Nasser’s Gamble: How Intervention in Yemen Caused the Six-Day War and the Decline of Egyptian Power, by Jesse Ferris
Reviewed by Asher Orkaby

Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook, edited by Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman
Reviewed by Yasmine Ramadan

A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia, by Madawi Al-Rasheed
Reviewed by Mona Kareem

Imagined Museums: Art and Modernity in Postcolonial Morocco, by Katarzyna Pieprzak
Reviewed by Dina A. Ramadan 

Review Essays

The Contemporary Syrian Novel in Translation
Anne-Marie McManus

Shrines in the Early Modern Middle East
Guy Burak

Analyzing Authoritarianism in an Age of Uprisings
Arang Keshavarzian

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