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Brushing History against the Grain

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965-1976. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. We are left alone with our day, and the time is short, and
 History to the defeated
 May say Alas but cannot help nor pardon. - W.H. Auden, “Spain” It is now trite to say that as long as colonialism has existed, so has resistance to it. Yet the history of colonialism and resistance is still incomplete. This is ...

[Saloua Raouda Choucair,

Saloua Raouda Choucair: Reinventing Abstraction

Saloua Raouda Choucair. Edited by Jessica Morgan. London: Tate Publishing, 2013. One of the many myths of the Western canon is that European modern artists invented abstraction. Despite the known existence of pre-modern non-objective art among a number of non-Western cultures, ...

[Saloua Raouda Choucair,

Ben Affleck's "Argo": A Movie about a Movie

Argo. Directed by Ben Affleck. USA, 2012. 1. Suspense and Espionage for a New Era As the awarding of the Oscars draws near, one is reminded of what is not being said. The kerfuffle around Zero Dark Thirty's representations of torture has been interesting, but no less than the ...

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Between the World and Algeria: International Histories of the Algerian War of Independence

Darcie Fontaine, Decolonizing Christianity: Religion and the End of Empire in France and Algeria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Jennifer Johnson, The Battle of Algeria: Sovereignty, Health Care, and Humanitarianism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Jeffrey James ...  Read More »

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Making History in Iran: Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture

Farzin Vejdani, Making History in Iran: Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014. [This review was first published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Arab Studies Journal. For more information or to subscribe, click here.] Making History in Iran is a much-needed ...  Read More »

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Revisiting ‘Foucault in Iran’: A Response

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is the final installment of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a ...  Read More »

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The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840-1920

Carol Hakim, The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840–1920. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. [This review was orginally published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Against teleological accounts that ...  Read More »

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A Letter to Foucault: Selectively Narrating the Stories of Secular Iranian Feminists

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is part six of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the ...  Read More »

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Foucault, the Iranian Revolution, and the Politics of Collective Action

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is part five of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the ...  Read More »

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Foucault’s Folly: Iran, Political Spirituality, and Counter-Conduct

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is part four of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the ...  Read More »

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Foucault: Against the Ideology of Enlightenment

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is part three of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the ...  Read More »

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Rescuing the Revolution from Its Outcome

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is part two of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the ...  Read More »

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Foucault and Iran

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is part one of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the ...  Read More »

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Straight Lines

Living Cities, Tate Modern. Barjeel Art Foundation Collection: Imperfect Chronology – Mapping the Contemporary II, Whitechapel Gallery, 23 August 2016 – 8 January 2017 Gideon Mendel: Dzhangal, Rivington Palace, 6 January - 11 February 2017   In a corner of the Living Cities display, at Tate Modern’s Switch ...  Read More »

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: Apartheid

Andy Clarno, Neoliberal Apartheid (University of Chicago Press, 2017). In some of the earliest editions of Al-Hadaf, the journal of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, there is explicit mention of the myriad similarities between the “racist, settler colonial regimes” occupying the antipodes of ...  Read More »

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Power, Sect, and State in Syria

A. Maria A. Kastrinou, Power, Sect and State in Syria: The Politics of Marriage and Identity amongst the Druze. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2016. How has Syria, a country that was deemed “stable” by analysts only years ago, become engulfed in an utterly brutal war? Under what circumstances does ...  Read More »

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: Mechanisms of Imperialism

Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik, A Theory of Imperialism (Columbia University Press: 2016). Exactly 70 years ago, Hubert Humphrey stated, “If you are looking for a way to get people to lean on you and to be dependent on you, in terms of their co-operation with you, it seems to me that food dependence would be ...  Read More »

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De l’impuissance des citoyens libanais face au système. "Powerless," les ambiguïtés d'un documentaire

Compte rendu: Powerless ('Indama ya’ti al-zhalam), documentaire réalisé par Cynthia Choucair (2012) (arabe, sous titré en anglais) La fin de l’année 2016 a été porteuse de nombreuses déceptions pour les militants libanais qui luttent pour la préservation du littoral et son accès libre à tous les ...  Read More »

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The Space of Revolt: An Investigation into the Urban Geography of the Arab Spring

Book review: Deen Sharp and Claire Panetta (eds.) Beyond the Square. Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings. New York: Terreform/Urban Research, 2016. Beyond the square. Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings aims to analyze the dialectic relations between political change and urbanization. Based on investigations carried out ...  Read More »

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Of Sand or Soil: Genealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia

Nadav Samin, Of Sand or Soil: Genealogy and Tribal Belinging in Saudi Arabia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015.  [This review was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Is ...  Read More »

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Interview with Taraneh Hemami

Taraneh Hemami is a San Francisco-based artist and arts educator whose work is known internationally. Born in Tehran, Hemami emigrated to the the United States to attend college in 1978. Roula Seikaly spoke with the artist about the publication entitled Bulletin, its relationship to Hemami’s ongoing collaborative ...  Read More »

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L'espace des révoltes: considérer la géographie urbaine des printemps arabes

Book Review: Deen Sharp and Claire Panetta (eds.) Beyond the Square. Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings (New York: Terreform/Urban Research, 2016). Beyond the square, Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings est un ouvrage qui ambitionne d’analyser les liens dialectiques entre changement politique et urbanisation. A partir ...  Read More »

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: De-development

Sara Roy, The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development (Expanded Third Edition), (IPS, 2016).   In this third and last edition of The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development, Sara Roy writes, “de-development is a process, shaped by a vision of denial and renunciation.” Roy has recurrently ...  Read More »

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Five Years After the Arab Uprisings: An Interview with Asef Bayat

This interview was conducted on the occasion of the publication of the Turkish editions of Asef Bayat’s Making Islam Democratic and Life as Politics (Stanford University Press, 2007 and 2013 respectively), and originally appeared in Cumhuriyet Kitap 1366 (21 April 2016): 14–15. It is a follow-up of our first public ...  Read More »

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Un éclairage inédit sur l’histoire moderne de la ville de Bagdad

Caecilia Pieri, Bagdad. La construction d’une capitale moderne (1914-1960) (Beyrouth: Presses de l’Ifpo, 2015) (sur le site de l’éditeur). A travers cet ouvrage Caecilia Pieri apporte un éclairage inédit sur l’histoire urbaine de la ville de Bagdad dans la première moitié du XXe siècle. Ce travail inscrit Bagdad ...  Read More »

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A Different Kind of Future

The United States’ founders were taken with the idea that they were building a New Jerusalem. Rhetoric of a City on the Hill animated the state-building project, particularly during what some historians call the colonial era. Such symbolism, and the shared tropes of settler-colonial land redemption, have ensured for ...  Read More »

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Astro Noise: War on Terror as (Virtual) Reality

Laura Poitras: Astro Noise, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 5 February – 1 May 2016 [This review was first published on Warscapes.] On the eighth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, a large projection brings viewers back to the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001. One side of the screen ...  Read More »

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Third Annual Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon

Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon, Beirut, 9-10 November 2015. Sandwiched between the Beirut International Film Festival and a slew of ongoing fall film offerings, the third annual Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon (CRIFF) concluded in mid-November. This ...  Read More »

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Modernity, Identity, and Technology in Palestine Before the Nakba

Noah Haiduc-Dale, Arab Christians in British Mandate Palestine: Communalism and Nationalism, 1917-1948. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013. Wasif Jawhariyyeh, The Storyteller of Jerusalem: The Life and Times of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, 1904-1948. Edited and introduced by Salim Tamari and Issam Nassar, translated ...  Read More »

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Drifting Away: De-Occupying the Palestinian Self

Speed Sisters, directed by Amber Fares. Palestine, 2015. “If only you’d resist the occupation with something other than sports and fashion,” complained a YouTube user in the comments section of a video about the Speed Sisters—an all-female Palestinian race-car driving team in the West Bank, and the first of its kind ...  Read More »

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Monsoon Revolution

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965-1976. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. [This review was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Abdel ...  Read More »

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Conflicting Narratives: War, Trauma, and Memory in Iraqi Culture

Stephan Milich, Friederike Pannewick, and Leslie Tramontini, editors, Conflicting Narratives: War, Trauma, and Memory in Iraqi Culture. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2012. [This review was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, ...  Read More »

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Saddam Hussein’s Ba’th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime

Joseph Sassoon, Saddam Hussein’s Ba‘th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. [This review was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Despite the attention that Iraq has ...  Read More »

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