Middle East Studies


In the Beginning was the State: Divine Violence in the Hebrew Bible

In the Beginning was the State: Divine Violence in the Hebrew Bible (Adi Ophir)

This book explores God’s use of violence as depicted in the Hebrew Bible. Focusing on the Pentateuch, it reads biblical narratives and codes of law as documenting formations of theopolitical imagination. Ophir deciphers the logic of divine rule that these documents betray, with special attention to the place of violence within it. 

The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation (Michelle Quay)

The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation offers a detailed overview of the field of Persian literature in translation, discusses the development of the field, gives critical expression to research on Persian literature in translation, and brings together cutting-edge theoretical and practical research. 

Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean (Margaret Graves and Alex Dika Seggerman)

The Islamic world's artistic traditions experienced profound transformation in the 19th century as rapidly developing technologies and globalizing markets ushered in drastic changes in technique, style, and content. Despite the importance and ingenuity of these developments, the 19th century remains a gap in the history of Islamic art. 

Genocide, the Holocaust and Israel-Palestine: First-Person History in Times of Crisis (Omer Bartov)

This book discusses some of the most urgent current debates over the study, commemoration, and politicization of the Holocaust through key critical perspectives. Omer Bartov adeptly assesses the tensions between Holocaust and genocide studies, which have repeatedly both enriched and clashed with each other, whilst convincingly arguing for the importance of local history and individual testimony in grasping the nature of mass murder. 

Reel Gender Book Cover

Reel Gender: Palestinian and Israeli Cinema (Edited by Katharina Galor and Sa'ed Atshan)

Reel Gender is a groundbreaking collection that addresses the collective realities and the filmic representations of Palestinian and Israeli societies. The eight essays, by leading scholars, demonstrate how Palestinian and Israeli film production—despite obvious overlaps and similarities and while keeping in mind the inherent asymmetry of power dynamics—are at the forefront of engaging gender and sexuality. 

Feminism as World Literature Book Cover

“There Are in Persia Many Subjects Not Accessible to Female Inquiry”: Eurocentric and Cross-Cultural Feminist Nomadism in Lady Mary Sheil's Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia (1856) in Feminism as World Literature (Marie Ostby)

This chapter explores the effects of women writers entering the Orientalist tradition of British travel writing from Iran (then Persia), starting with Sheil, and asks what their entrance means for the genre’s strategic deployment as an imperialist tool. 

Migration, Displacement, and Higher Education: Now What? Book Cover

"Refugees and Forced Migration: An Engaged Humanities Course in French and Francophone Studies" in Migration, Displacement, and Higher Education: Now What? (Virginia Krause)

The Brown University Department of French and Francophone Studies developed an engaged scholarship course with meaningful crossover in the Center for Middle East Studies. Offered in French, The Refugee Experience: Migrations, Displacements has a broad humanities frame, with elements drawn from literary studies, history, philosophy, film studies, and anthropology. 

A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures Poster

A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures (Shahzad Bashir)

An interactive, open-access born-digital work, this groundbreaking book decenters Islam from a geographical identification with the Middle East, an articulation through men’s authority alone, and the assumption that premodern expressions are more authentically Islamic than modern ones. 

Tales from the Borderlands: Making and Unmaking the Galician Past Book Cover

Tales from the Borderlands: Making and Unmaking the Galician Past (Omer Bartov)

Focusing on the former province of Galicia, this book tells the story of Europe’s eastern borderlands, stretching from the Baltic to the Balkans, through the eyes of the diverse communities of migrants who settled there for centuries and were murdered or forcibly removed from the borderlands in the course of World War II and its aftermath. 

The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation Book Cover

The Routledge Handbook of Persian Literary Translation (Edited by Michelle Quay)

This book offers a detailed overview of the field of Persian literature in translation, discusses the development of the field, gives critical expression to research on Persian literature in translation, and brings together cutting-edge theoretical and practical research. 

Archaeology, Nation and Race Book Cover

Archaeology, Nation, and Race: Confronting the Past, Decolonizing the Future in Greece and Israel (Yannis Hamilakis and Raphael Greenberg)

Archaeology, Nation, and Race demonstrates how archaeology and concepts of antiquity have shaped, and have been shaped by colonialism, race, and nationalism. Structured as a lucid and lively dialogue between two leading scholars, the volume compares modern Greece and modern Israel—two prototypical and influential cases—where archaeology sits at the very heart of the modern national imagination. 

Israel-Palestine book cover

Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples (Omer Bartov)

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has raised a plethora of unanswered questions, generated seemingly irreconcilable narratives, and profoundly transformed the land’s physical and political geography. This volume seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the links between the region that is now known as Israel and Palestine and its peoples—both those that live there as well as those who relate to it as a mental, mythical, or religious landscape. 

Persian Literature as World Literature Book Cover

Genres without Borders: Reading Modern Iranian Literature beyond "Center" and "Periphery" in Persian Literature as World Literature (Marie Ostby)

Iran’s geopolitical isolation from the West has only grown more entrenched in recent years, with the 2018 nuclear deal cancellation, President Trump’s travel ban, and the “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign. Despite the impact of this political entrenchment and escalation on the creative arts, however, there is a deep and wide network of connections between Persian and Euro-American literary cultures that has only grown richer since the early twentieth century. 

Moral Triangle Book Cover

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Katharina Galor and Sa'ed Atshan)

Sa’ed Atshan and Katharina Galor draw on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews to explore the asymmetric relationships between Germans and Israeli and Palestinian immigrants in the context of official German policies, public discourse, and the private sphere. 

J. M. G. Le Clézio et les miroirs de l'autre book cover

J.M.G. Le Clézio et les miroirs de l'autre (Maan Alsahoui)

J.M.G. Le Clézio et les miroirs de l'autre, or J.M.G, Le Clézio and the Mirrors of the Otheris a study about the cultural and religious influences of the indigenous people in Mexico and Mauritius on the works of JMG Le Clézio, the French author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2008.

Trois Villes Saintes book cover

ثلاث مدن مقدسة or Trois Villes Saintes (JMG Le Clézio, translated into Arabic by Maan Alsahoui)

Chancah, Tixcacal, and Chun Pom are three cities on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico that were of great religious significance during the Caste War, waged by the Mayans against the Spanish colonizers in the late 19th century. In this book, J.M.G. Le Clézio, winner of the Novel Prize in Literature (2008), writes poetically about his experiences in these three cities that were once centers of worship for the "Talking Cross." 

Revolt Against the Sun book cover

Revolt Against the Sun: The Selected Poetry of Nazik al-Mala'ikah (Emily Drumsta)

Best known for the innovative poetic forms she brought to a centuries-old Arabic poetic tradition, the Iraqi writer Nazik al-Mala’ikah was one of the most important Arab poets of the twentieth century. In this first book dedicated entirely to Mala’ikah’s work, Emily Drumsta introduces the pioneering figure of Iraqi modernism to English-language audiences through lyrical translations of her poems and a substantial critical introduction.

'Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism' book cover

Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Ariella Aïsha Azoulay)

A passionately urgent call for all of us to unlearn imperialism and repair the violent world we share

In this theoretical tour-de-force, renowned scholar Ariella Aïsha Azoulay calls on us to recognize the imperial foundations of knowledge and to refuse its strictures and its many violences. Read Ariella Aïsha Azoulay's interview with Jadaliyya on Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism.

'Gender, Governance and Islam' book cover

Gender, Governance and Islam (co-edited by Nadje Al-Ali)

Analyzes the links between gender and governance in contemporary Muslim majority countries and diaspora contexts. Following a period of rapid political change, both globally and in relation to the Middle East and South Asia, this collection sets new terms of reference for an analysis of the intersections between global, state, non-state and popular actors and their contradictory effects on the politics of gender. Edited by Deniz Kandiyoti, Nadje Al-Ali, Kathryn Spellman Poots

The World in a Book: Al-Nuwayri and the Islamic Encyclopedic Tradition (Elias Muhanna)

Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri was a fourteenth-century Egyptian polymath and the author of one of the greatest encyclopedias of the medieval Islamic world—a thirty-one-volume work entitled The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition. In the first study of this landmark work in a European language, Elias Muhanna explores its structure and contents, sources and influences, and reception and impact in the Islamic world and Europe.

Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires (Faiz Ahmed)

Debunking conventional narratives of Afghanistan as a perennial war zone and the rule of law as a secular-liberal monopoly, Faiz Ahmed presents a vibrant account of the first Muslim-majority country to gain independence, codify its own laws, and ratify a constitution after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History (Beshara Doumani)

In writings about Islam, women and modernity in the Middle East, family and religion are frequently invoked but rarely historicized. Based on a wide range of local sources spanning two centuries (1660–1860), Beshara B. Doumani argues that there is no such thing as the Muslim or Arab family type that is so central to Orientalist, nationalist, and Islamist narratives.