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This Sea Is Mine: A Review

Dictaphone Group, This Sea Is Mine. Beirut, Lebanon, 28 August - 8 September 2012. A familiar feature of the Beirut waterfront is the ongoing struggle between Beirutis who want access to the sea and the barriers erected to precisely prevent that on the part of a constellation of powers – private and public. (And who ...  Read More »

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Grappling with Israel: From Sontag to Lacan and the Maoists in Between

Susan Sontag, Promised Lands. Poland/France, 1974. Groupe Cinéma Vincennes, L’Olivier. France/Palestine, 1976. Mike Hoolboom, Lacan Palestine. Canada, 2012. In 1973, Susan Sontag, the visual critic and essayist, traveled to the Middle East to film in Israel, just before the end of the October War that saw Egypt and ...  Read More »

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NEWTONs You Might Have Missed

With a new semester on the horizon, NEWTON is about to kick into high gear once again. Below are a few amazing posts that you might have missed the first time around. If you wish to recommend a book to be reviewed or if you have just published a book or a peer-reviewed article, please email us at ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Jason Brownlee, Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the US-Egyptian Alliance

Jason Brownlee, Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the US-Egyptian Alliance. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jason Brownlee (JB): I had a series of experiences in 2009 that got me thinking about the intersection of US foreign policy and human ...  Read More »

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Aesthetic Politics: Iranian Performance and the Challenge of Modernity

Amir Baradaran, Marry Me to the End of Love. Cite internationale des Artes, Paris, France, 23-30 June 2012. Curated by Feri Daftari.   Not often is a performance as variegated in its political significance or as generous to critical exposition as Amir Baradaran's recent interactive ...  Read More »

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Exile and Memory in Contemporary Western Armenian Literature

A thick stack of black and white photographs flutters to the floor. A man stands over the jumbled pile and, looking past bent corners and nibbled edges, sees dozens of faces staring up at him. These faces are vaguely familiar—an old neighbor, a distant cousin, an aunt who used to spend summers with him. Some photos ...  Read More »

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Cinematic Occupation

Kamal Aljafari, Port of Memory. France/Germany/UAE/Palestine, 2009. In the state of siege, time becomes place Fossilized in its eternity In the state of siege, place becomes time Lagging behind its yesterday and its tomorrow —Mahmoud Darwish, “State of Siege” Kamal Aljafari’s film Port of Memory (2009) opens ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Khaled Furani, Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry

Khaled Furani, Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Khaled Furani (KF): Growing up in thrall to Israeli policies aimed at diluting and obliterating the Palestine that was, I saw in Arabic poetry “what ...  Read More »

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The Magic Of Your Eyes: Rima Khcheich Pays Tribute to Sabah

­­After Warda’s sad passing in May, fans of traditional Arabic music were left counting the few precious giants that remain from the era where Arabic music flourished—around the middle of the previous century. Fortunately, on the Lebanese front, Fairouz and Wadih Al-Safi are still performing, and so is another ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Akram Khater, Embracing the Divine: Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East

Akram Fouad Khater, Embracing the Divine: Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Akram Khater (AK): This book was partly a happenstance, and came partly out of a keen awareness of a gaping hole in Middle ...  Read More »

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NEWTONs You Might Have Missed

After taking a brief summer vacation, New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) will return next week. In the meantime, here are a few great posts that you might have missed from the past few months: Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, editors, Women’s Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent Betty S. Anderson, The ...  Read More »

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Ajamindustry

It is problematic enough that Fouad Ajami repeats much of the reductionist arguments about all things Arab in his new book on Syria's rebellion, but then the New York Times must stumble upon this book, and review it. I will not attempt to review the book itself, for critiquing Mr. Ajami has become like critiquing Fox ...  Read More »

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The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt

Since the overthrow of Tunisia and Egypt’s entrenched dictators, pundits and academics have scrambled to keep up with the surprising and fast-moving events across the region. Much of the journalistic coverage gravitated towards the drama and spectacle of the protests and the immediate concerns and checkered outcomes ...  Read More »

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The Awan Quartet: Forging New Ground in Palestine

Every two years, the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine organizes a nationwide music competition covering many musical categories and age groups. This is the only competition of its kind at the “national” level, and has been attracting new talent and motivating music students since 1999. This ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Hamid Dabashi, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism

Hamid Dabashi, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism. London and New York: Zed Books, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Hamid Dabashi (HD): As you well know, a massive set of revolutionary uprisings are sweeping across North Africa and Western Asia, from Morocco to Syria and from Bahrain to ...  Read More »

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The Space Between

The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey. 27 April – 10 May 2012, Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, NY. Introducing “The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey,” a major retrospective of Turkish cinema featuring twenty-nine films from 1958 to the present recently screened in New York City, ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Maaike Voorhoeve, Family Law in Islam

Maaike Voorhoeve, editor, Family Law in Islam: Divorce, Marriage and Women in the Muslim World. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What led you to edit this book? Maaike Voorhoeve (MV): When I started my PhD on the contemporary application of Tunisian family law by Tunisian judges, my idea was ...  Read More »

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Poetry of the Taliban

Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, editors. Foreword by Faisal Devji. Poetry of the Taliban. London: Hurst & Co. Ltd., 2012. Since there is already a substantial discussion surrounding this compilation of poetry "of" the Taliban, it seems important to review the work within a series of ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Hilal Elver, The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion

Hilal Elver, The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Hilal Elver (HE): My experience in Turkey in relation to the headscarf is the main reason for writing the book. Turkey is very much a ...  Read More »

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The Melancholia of a Generation

Mohammed Achaari, al-Qaws wa-al-farashah. al-Dar al-Bayda’: al-Markaz al-Thaqafi al-ʻArabi, 2010. Mohammed Achaari is not new to Morocco’s literary scene; though The Arch and the Butterfly (al-Qaws wa-al-farashah) is only his second novel, he is the author of nine collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, ...  Read More »

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The Andalus Test: Reflections on the Attempt to Publish Arabic Literature in Hebrew

Should a visitor from another planet happen to arrive here and look around at the reality between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea without the usual lenses of distortion, she would see that in Israel/Palestine—the land stretching from the river to the sea which has been under one rule for over forty ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine

Omar Jabary Salamanca, Mezna Qato, Kareem Rabie, and Sobhi Samour, editors. Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine. Special Issue of Settler Colonial Studies 2.1 (2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue? Editors (E): This open-access (and therefore freely accessible) special ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Amy Motlagh, Burying the Beloved: Marriage, Realism, and Reform in Modern Iran

Amy Motlagh, Burying the Beloved: Marriage, Realism, and Reform in Modern Iran. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Amy Motlagh (AM): Part of the study of literature is obsessive re-reading. In this case, I became preoccupied with what I felt was a narrow ...  Read More »

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Image Fever: Arab Photography Now

Rose Issa and Michket Krifa (eds.), Arab Photography Now. Kehrer: Heidelberg & Berlin, 2011. [This review is forthcoming in Goethe Institut's publication Fikrun Wa Fann.] Rose Issa and Michket Krifa, curators of art from the Arab world, recently published a collection of photographs by Arab artists in a major ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Roger Owen, The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life

Roger Owen, The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Roger Owen (RO): I was intrigued by news reports from Algeria in the spring of 2009 stating that President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika of Algeria was going to amend the ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman, Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb

Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman, “Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012). Jadaliyya (J): What led you to write this article? Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman (MS and RF): The post-revolutionary political scene in Egypt, with at least fourteen Islamist parties ...  Read More »

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Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States

Adam Hanieh, Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. [This review was originally published in the most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] What if capitalists in a particular country could draw on a ...  Read More »

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Urban Space in Contemporary Egyptian Literature

Mara Naaman, Urban Space in Contemporary Egyptian Literature: Portraits of Cairo. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. [This review was originally published in the most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] In January and February of 2011, ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Gilbert Achcar, Eichmann in Cairo: The Eichmann Affair in Nasser's Egypt

Gilbert Achcar, “Eichmann in Cairo: The Eichmann Affair in Nasser's Egypt.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Gilbert Achcar (GA): The story of this article resembles that of my book The Arabs and the Holocaust, of which it can be seen as a sequel. In ...  Read More »

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Outside Looking In

City of Mirages: Baghdad 1952-1982. The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY, 22 February – 5 May 2012. City of Mirages: Baghdad 1952-1982 is an exhibit of design work produced by world-famous architects and firms for the booming Iraqi capital during the mid-twentieth century. Beginning from the ...  Read More »

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