In the Arabic eleventh-century, scholars were intensely preoccupied with the way that language generated truth and beauty in the space between God and the poets. Alexander Key leads the reader through discussions of language, mind, and reality across multiple genres of scholarship in the work of four of the most famous Classical Arabic scholars. The littérateur ar-Rāġib al-Iṣfahānī, the theologian and legal theorist Ibn Fūrak, the philosopher Ibn Sīnā (known in the west as Avicenna), and the literary critic ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Ǧurǧānī shared a conceptual vocabulary based on the words maʿnā and ḥaqīqah. They built theories that can be used today. We still want to understand how poetry works through syntax to create affect, and we are still interested in the problem of how language, mind, and reality interact. Language Between God and the Poets makes Classical Arabic solutions to these problems available for the first time in twenty-first-century English, and does so within a rigorous and original theoretical framework for the translation of theory.
“Alexander Key takes four major exponents of eleventh-century Arabic lexicography, theology, logic, and poetics and explores the interconnectedness of their thinking on ‘mental content’ and its various ‘accurate’ realizations. This book, brimming with philological insight, crackles with erudition.” JAMES E. MONTGOMERY, Professor of Arabic, University of Cambridge
“This is really an excellent book—well-written, engaging, intellectually exciting, and a great advance in the fi eld. The selection of four scholars, experts in different disciplines, but all talking about language and meaning, is extremely clever. The sophistication and nuance of the argument makes this a work of solid scholarship.” ROBERT GLEAVE, Professor of Arabic Studies, University of Exeter
ALEXANDER KEY is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University.
The colonial experience of the early twentieth century shaped Korea’s culture and identity, leaving a troubling past that was subtly reconstructed in South Korean postcolonial cinema. Relating postcolonial discourses to a reading of Manchurian action films, kisaeng and gangster films, and revenge horror films, Parameters of Disavowal shows how filmmakers reworked, recontextualized, and erased ideas and symbols of colonial power. In particular, Jinsoo An examines how South Korean films privileged certain sites, such as the kisaeng house and the Manchurian frontier, generating unique meanings that challenged the domination of the colonial power, and how horror films indirectly explored both the continuing trauma of colonial violence and lingering emotional ties to the colonial order. Espousing the ideology of nationalism while responding to a new Cold War order that positioned Japan and South Korea as political and economic allies, postcolonial cinema formulated distinctive ways of seeing and imagining the colonial past.
“A groundbreaking work that articulates a new methodology of theorizing and analyzing postcolonial cinema.” HYON JOO YOO, author of Cinema at the Crossroads: Nation and the Subject in East Asian Cinema
“Jinsoo An’s bold commitment to mining the layers and sometimes contradictions of individual films is remarkable. There is no more sustained and erudite examination of colonialism and film in Korea.” STEVEN CHUNG, author of Split Screen Korea: Shin Sang-ok and Postwar Cinema
JINSOO AN is Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.
Sounding Islam provides a provocative account of the sonic dimensions of religion, combining perspectives from the anthropology of media and sound studies, as well as drawing on neo-phenomenological approaches to atmospheres. Using long-term ethnographic research on devotional Islam in Mauritius, Patrick Eisenlohr explores how the voice, as a site of divine manifestation, becomes refracted in media practices that have become integral parts of religious traditions. At the core of Eisenlohr’s concern is the interplay of voice, media, affect, and listeners’ religious experiences. Sounding Islam sheds new light on a key dimension of religion, the sonic incitement of sensations that are often difficult to translate into language.
“Sounding Islam is both a pathbreaking contribution to the anthropological study of sound and media and a convincing engagement with core issues of religious transformation and experience. A sensitively written, insightful, and thought-provoking ethnographic account.” DON BRENNEIS, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
“Eisenlohr’s marvelous Sounding Islam overcomes the dualism between discursive and materialist conceptualizations of voice through exploration of the ‘sonic atmosphere’ of Muslim devotional practice.” DOMINIC BOYER, Professor of Anthropology, Rice University
“Sounding Islam is a tour de force whose ethnographic sensitivity and analytic insights will reconfigure understandings of bodies, voices, mediatization, and religion. The book pinpoints questions that have intrigued scholars of Islam, linguistic anthropology, sound studies, semiotics, and the anthropology of media as it illuminates ways that bodies resonate with sounds that incite experiences of the divine.” CHARLES L. BRIGGS, coauthor of Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine, and Contemporary Life
PATRICK EISENLOHR is Professor of Anthropology and Chair in Society and Culture in Modern India at the University of Göttingen. He is the author of Little India: Diaspora, Time, and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius.
In Forging the Ideal Educated Girl, Shenila Khoja-Moolji traces the figure of the ‘educated girl’ to examine the evolving politics of educational reform and development campaigns in colonial India and Pakistan. She challenges the prevailing common sense associated with calls for women’s and girls’ education and argues that such advocacy is not simply about access to education but, more crucially, concerned with producing ideal Muslim woman-/girl-subjects with specific relationships to the patriarchal family, paid work, Islam, and the nation-state. Thus, discourses on girls’/women’s education are sites for the construction of not only gender but also class relations, religion, and the nation.
“This ambitious and pathbreaking genealogical study of the circulation and political uses of the dense figure of the educated South Asian Muslim woman/girl is brilliantly executed and utterly timely. Khoja-Moolji has written an exemplary book destined to become a classic.” LILA ABU-LUGHOD, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University
“A brilliant and unprecedented study . . . essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Muslims in South Asia and the gendered complexities of education.” JAMAL J. ELIAS, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
“Through careful sifting of archival material and interview data as well as analysis of important Urdu literary works, Khoja-Moolji highlights the historically, sociologically and politically contingent nature of discourses about women/girls education.” ALI S. ASANI, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
“A stunning genealogy of the Pakistani Muslim girl and her connections to educational, social, and national development from the colonial to the neoliberal state.” NANCY LESKO, Maxine Greene Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
SHENILA KHOJA-MOOLJI is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College.
The Eternal Dissident offers rare insight into one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking Reform rabbis of the twentieth century, Leonard Beerman, who was renowned both for his eloquent and challenging sermons and for his unrelenting commitment to social action. Beerman was a man of powerful word and action—a probing intellectual and stirring orator, as well as a nationally known opponent of McCarthyism, racial injustice, and Israeli policy in the occupied territories. The shared source of Beerman’s thought and activism was the moral imperative of the Hebrew prophets, which he believed bestowed upon the Jewish people their role as the “eternal dissident.” This volume brings Beerman to life through a selection of his most powerful writings, followed by commentaries from notable scholars, rabbis, and public personalities that speak to the quality and ongoing relevance of Beerman’s work.
“David Myers is one of the leaders in the field and eminently qualified as editor. His scholarly reputation is stellar, and his own knowledge and work in progressive Jewish political circles puts him on a national stage.” MARC DOLLINGER, author of Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s
“Religion is not in the United States or for that matter elsewhere in the world only or exclusively the domain of the political right. The Eternal Dissident shows us a genealogy, a legacy of alliance politics that is theologically and ethically bound to a shared vision of social justice.” LAURA LEVITT, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender, Temple University, and author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust
The Hegemony of Heritage makes an original and significant contribution to our understanding of how the relationship of architectural objects and societies to the built environment changes over time. Studying two surviving medieval monuments in southern Rajasthan—the Ambikā Temple in Jagat and the Śri Ékliṅgjī Temple Complex in Kailāshpurī—the author looks beyond their divergent sectarian affiliations and patronage structures to underscore many aspects of common practice. This book offers new and extremely valuable insights into these important monuments, illuminating the entangled politics of antiquity and revealing whether a monument’s ritual record is affirmed as continuous and hence hoary or dismissed as discontinuous or reinvented through various strategies. The Hegemony of Heritage enriches theoretical constructs with ethnographic description and asks us to reexamine notions such as archive and text through the filter of sculpture and mantra.
“Makes visible the multiple methodologies that can be mobilized to write nuanced histories of Hindu temple architecture. The author’s approach is both refreshing and new. Skillfully weaving in postcolonial theory, object ontologies, and affect theory, among other approaches, the book opens up an exciting paradigm in the study of South Asian art and architecture.” SUGATA RAY, Assistant Professor of South Asian Art and Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
Unjust Conditions follows the lives and labors of poor mothers in rural Peru, richly documenting the ordeals they face to participate in mainstream poverty alleviation programs. Championed by behavioral economists and the World Bank, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are praised as efficient mechanisms for changing poor people’s behavior. While rooted in good intentions and dripping with the rhetoric of social inclusion, CCT programs’ successes ring hollow, based solely on metrics for children’s attendance at school and health appointments. Looking beyond these statistics reveals a host of hidden costs for the mothers who meet the conditions. With a poignant voice and keen focus on ethnographic research, Tara Patricia Cookson turns the reader’s gaze to women’s care work in landscapes of grossly inadequate state investment, cleverly drawing out the tensions between social inclusion and conditionality.
"This is an outstanding book—a stunning indictment of expert schemes that overlook lived realities in order to conjure the appearance of success. Lucid, incisive, and compelling—bravo!" TANIA LI, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
"Cookson´s Unjust Conditions stands out as a genuine, major contribution addressing important blind spots frequently neglected in this debate. A must-read for scholars, activists and policymakers committed to combating poverty." LENA LAVINAS, Professor of Welfare Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
"If there was a need for demonstrating the value of ‘slow research’ for clear policy thinking and informed practice, Cookson provides a powerful and compelling proof."SHAHRA RAZAVI, Chief of Research and Data, UN Women
"Unjust Conditions is a book written for exactly these times, as we collectively demand an end to violence against women in all its forms. Cookson takes us on a journey to find out the truth about conditional aid, introducing us to women who debunk gendered myths underpinning CCTs." JANE BARRY, activist and author of Rising up in Response: Women's Rights Activism in Conflict
"Cookson’s research gives voice to women living with unjust 'shadow conditions' imposed by CCTs. This book poses compelling questions about identity, power, wealth and justice and challenges us to take the time to listen and identify possibilities for meaningful change." MARTHA CHOE, former Chief Administrative Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“In this much-needed ethnography, Cookson shows the importance of looking beyond the statistics of short-term poverty reduction to shed light on the hidden, unintended effects on people’s lives and how these undermine long-term social change.” JELKE BOESTEN, author of Sexual Violence in War and Peace: Gender and Post-conflict Justice in Peru
“Cookson’s book brings us to the heart of the workings of contemporary social assistance. This major contribution reveals how inequality is reproduced through the web of social relations these programs create.” STÉPHANIE ROUSSEAU, Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
"Through the tripartite lens of care, power, and geography, Unjust Conditions reveals how CCTs consolidate a post-welfare world in which a redistributive politics of unconditional cash transfers is silenced as a viable alternative in global development debates." VICTORIA LAWSON, Professor of Geography, University of Washington
"Delving below rosy outcome data, Cookson convincingly demonstrates how the globally popular CCT relies upon, rather than challenges, deep-seated relations of power" ELISABETH JAY FRIEDMAN, Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies, University of San Francisco
"Cookson’s book is a most welcome contribution to our understanding of CCTs, casting important light on how they work on the ground and what onerous demands they can place on beneficiaries and poorly paid social workers. This book has important lessons for policymakers and scholars alike." MAXINE MOLYNEUX, author of The Social and Political Potential of Cash Transfers
"CCTs have been evaluated by sophisticated statistical methods that ignore moral issues. This book adds to the critique of conditionality and overhyped evaluative methods. It also adds to the demand that the concept of work be radically changed so that care work is given its proper recognition." GUY STANDING, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class
TARA PATRICIA COOKSON is a SSHRC Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia and the founder of Ladysmith, a women’s equality venture. Her research on gender, international development, and social justice has been published in a variety of public and policy outlets as well as in academic journals such as Antipode.
The Erotics of History challenges long-standing notions of sexuality as stable and context-free—as something that individuals discover about themselves. Rather, Donald L. Donham argues that historical circumstance, local social pressure, and the cultural construction of much beyond sex condition the erotic. Donham makes this argument in relation to the centuries-old conversation on the fetish, applied to a highly unusual neighborhood in Atlantic Africa. There, local men, soon to be married to local women, are involved in long-term sexual relationships with European men. On the African side, these couplings are motivated by the pleasures of cosmopolitan connection and foreign commodities. On the other side, Europeans tend to fetishize Africans’ race, while a few search to become slaves in master/ slave relationships. At its most wide ranging, The Erotics of History attempts to show that it is history, both personal and collective, in reversals and reenactments, that finally produces sexual excitement.
“Don Donham’s new book is a stunning achievement—written in a condensed/synoptic/ telescoped form about a daring topic, it achieves its aim and then some. For me, it was a page turner, hard to put down.” CHARLES PIOT, Duke University, author of Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War
“An amazing book that combines detailed and convincing ethnography with wide ranging knowledge and ambitious theoretical analysis. The sophisticated rethinking of representation, exchange, power, and culture is smart and riveting.” CAROLE S. VANCE, Yale University, author of Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality
DONALD L. DONHAM is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. His previous books include Marxist Modern: An Ethnographic History of the Ethiopian Revolution and Violence in a Time of Liberation: Murder and Ethnicity at a South African Gold Mine, 1994.
Virtuous Waters is a pathbreaking and innovative study of bathing, drinking and other everyday engagements with a wide range of waters across five centuries in Mexico. Casey Walsh uses political ecology to bring together an analysis of shifting scientific, religious and political understandings of waters and a material history of social formations, environments, and infrastructures. The book shows that while modern concepts and infrastructures have come to dominate both the hydrosphere and the scholarly literature on water, longstanding popular understandings and engagements with these heterogeneous liquids have been reproduced as part of the same process. Attention to these dynamics can help us comprehend and confront the water crisis that is coming to a head in the twenty-first century.
“Reminds us that, within wider homogenizing discourses, there are multiple unique waters, whose particular ‘virtues’ are central in defining how people have imagined, understood, and interacted with them over time.” VERONICA STRANG, author of Gardening the World: Agency, Identity, and the Ownership of Water
“Plunges readers into seldom explored depths of the cultural world of water in central Mexico, providing a refreshing approach that goes beyond infrastructure to immerse readers in in routine practices of bathing, washing, and drinking water and their links to colonialism, public health, sexuality, tourism, and neoliberalism.” JOHN SOLURI, author of Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States
CASEY WALSH is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara. He is the author of Building the Borderlands: A Transnational History of Irrigated Cotton along the Mexico-Texas Border.
In a time when conservative politicians challenge the irrefutability of scientific findings such as climate change, it is more important than ever to understand the conflict at the heart of the “religion vs. science” debates unfolding in the public sphere. In this groundbreaking work, John H. Evans reveals that, with a few limited exceptions, even the most conservative religious Americans accept science’s ability to make factual claims about the world. However, many religious people take issue with the morality implicitly promoted by some forms of science. Using clear and engaging scholarship, Evans upends the prevailing notion that there is a fundamental conflict over the way that scientists and religious people make claims about nature and argues that only by properly understanding moral conflict between contemporary religion and science will we be able to contribute to a more productive interaction between these two great institutions.
“John H. Evans successfully relocates religious concerns about science from the realm of knowledge to that of moral value. He is by far the most sophisticated of the sociologists.” RONALD L. NUMBERS, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“This is just the kind of volume that academics, journalists, and policymakers who are concerned about the future of science need. The kind of synthetic fi eld-building work that Evans does is necessary in this burgeoning area.” ELAINE HOWARD ECKLUND, Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Rice University
JOHN H. EVANS is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego.
David Atwill transports readers to the heart of the Himalayas as he traces the rise of the Tibetan Muslim community from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Radically altering popular interpretations that have portrayed Tibet as isolated and monolithically Buddhist, Atwill’s vibrant account demonstrates how truly cosmopolitan Tibetan society was by highlighting the hybrid influences and internal diversity of Tibet. In its exploration of the Tibetan Muslim experience, Islamic Shangri-La presents an unparalleled perspective of Tibet’s standing during the rise of post–World War II Asia.
In The Monastery Rules Berthe Jansen discusses the position of the monasteries in pre-modern Tibetan Buddhist societies and how that position was informed by the far-reaching relationship of monastic Buddhism with Tibetan society, economy, law, and culture. Jansen focuses her study on monastic guidelines or bca’ yig. The first study of its kind to examine the genre of bca’ yig in detail, the book contains an exploration of parallels of these texts in other Buddhist cultures, their connection to the Vinaya, and their value as sociohistorical source material. The monastic guidelines are witness to certain socioeconomic changes, but they also indicate that the monastery created rules intended to change the monastery in order to preserve it. Jansen argues that the monastic institutions’ influence on society was maintained not merely due to prevailing power-relations, but also because of certain deep-rooted Buddhist beliefs.
Situated at the intersections of twentieth-century music history, historiography, and aesthetics, Middlebrow Modernism uses Benjamin Britten’s operas to illustrate the ways in which composers, critics, and audiences mediated the “great divide” between modernism and mass culture. Reviving mid-century discussions of the middlebrow, Christopher Chowrimootoo demonstrates how Britten’s works allowed audiences to have their modernist cake and eat it: to revel in the pleasures of consonance, lyricism, and theatrical spectacle even while enjoying the prestige that came from rejecting them. By focusing on moments when reigning aesthetic oppositions and hierarchies threatened to collapse, this study offers a powerful model for recovering shades of grey in the traditionally black-and-white historiographies of twentieth-century music.
Revolutionary Bodies is the first English-language primary source–based history of concert dance in the People’s Republic of China. Combining over a decade of ethnographic and archival research, Emily Wilcox analyzes major dance works by Chinese choreographers staged over an eighty-year period from 1935 to 2015. Using previously unexamined film footage, photographic documentation, performance programs, and other historical and contemporary sources, Wilcox challenges the commonly accepted view that Soviet-inspired revolutionary ballets are the primary legacy of the socialist era in China’s dance field. The digital edition of this title includes nineteen embedded videos of selected dance works discussed by the author.
When China’s War of Resistance against Japan began in July 1937, it sparked an immediate health crisis throughout China. In the end, China not only survived the war but emerged from the trauma with a more cohesive population. Intimate Communities argues that women who worked as military and civilian nurses, doctors, and midwives during this turbulent period built the national community, one relationship at a time. In a country with a majority illiterate, agricultural population that could not relate to urban elites’ conceptualization of nationalism, these women used their work of healing to create emotional bonds with soldiers and civilians from across the country. These bonds transcended the divides of social class, region, gender, and language.
Rules of the House offers a dynamic revisionist account of the Japanese colonial rule of Korea (1910–1945) by examining the roles of women in the civil courts. Challenging the dominant view that women were victimized by the Japanese family laws and its patriarchal biases, Sungyun Lim argues that Korean women had to struggle equally against Korean patriarchal interests. Moreover, women were not passive victims; instead, they proactively struggled to expand their rights by participating in the Japanese colonial legal system. In turn, the Japanese doctrine of promoting progressive legal rights would prove advantageous to them. Following female plaintiffs and their civil disputes from the precolonial Chosŏn dynasty through the colonial period and into the postcolonial era, this book presents a new and groundbreaking story about Korean women’s legal struggles, revealing their surprising collaborative relationship with the colonial state.