FALL 1999

HISTORY 300-605

T: 6:00-8:30—LT-912




Zouhair Ghazzal



LT-926: T: 5:30-6:00



voice/fax: (312) 803-0532


This course would like to depart from the traditional and officially established view which sees the Arab-Israeli conflict solely in terms of the struggle for land, its resources, and its people. Based on a set of historical, anthropological, and sociological readings, the course is structured on the notion of “territory” as a set of mental and social representations that shape practices of the Self and the Other; and, with a particular focus on Israeli society since 1948, these images are analyzed in the way they shape the Self-Other perceptions in everyday life (role of religion, gender divisions, the different perceptions of Judaism, etc.) on the one hand, and in major political and historical events such as the role of the state and the military, and the various Arab-Israeli wars on the other. The aim is to critically examine the various socio-historical representations of the Self and the Other—which, in the final analysis, form the web of power-relations within these societies and between the parties of the conflict—which have been established since the late nineteenth century and to see how they evolved and affected the conflict until the present day.


The history of the conflict could very roughly be divided into the following time periods.


ottoman period. In the last century, and since 1516, the entity now known as “Palestine” or “Israel” was under Ottoman rule: it was one of the “Provinces” of the Ottoman Empire until its dismantlement after the First World War. “Minorities” of the empire, such as the Armenians, Christians, and Jews, enjoyed a special status under what was known as the millet system. Basically this meant having “minority” groups enjoying their own status with their religious leaders or other notables “representing” them vis-à-vis the Ottoman bureaucracy and in tax-collecting; they were not subject to conscription and could not be recruited to official bureaucratic positions (unless they converted to Islam); they were quite often subjected to special taxes in lieu of their conscription; and they had, within each city of the empire, their own neighborhoods, hâras, which were usually protected by “gates” and closed at night.

               Ottoman Palestine shared the same basic social and economic structures with the rest of the empire’s provinces. This meant that the Jews had their own neighborhoods and even, according to some accounts, their own courts and judicial system as well based on ancient Rabbinic laws. By all accounts, the Jews were only, from a purely statistical perspective, a minority in Ottoman Palestine, and this was probably true until 1914 when they counted no more than 80,000, compared to 555,000 as the lowest estimate usually given for the Palestinian Arab population (Smith, 25).

               The percentage of Jews was even lower by the late nineteenth century. Things started to change, at the benefit of the Jewish population, roughly in the 1880s when small numbers of Jews from the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires began an immigration process to Ottoman Palestine as the result of discriminatory policies in Eastern Europe in particular. By that time also, a Zionist ideology claiming a “Jewish homeland” and crafted on the model of the European nationalist ideologies of the nineteenth century, became quite influential in Jewish circles in Eastern and central Europe. Some dates are quite revealing here. In 1881, the Hibbat Zion, a Jewish “nationalist” group, was founded in Russia. In 1896, Theodor Herzl, an Austrian playwright and Journalist, regarded by many as the founder of the modern Zionist movement, published his notorious Der Judenstaat (The State of the Jews and not The Jewish State as it is often mis-translated) in which the idea of a “Jewish homeland” and “state” was promoted systematically for the first time. It then became an “official” notion, at least in Jewish circles, in 1897, when the World Zionist Organization, founded at the first Zionist Congress in Basle, aimed at the creation “for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law.” (Earlier, an African state, Uganda, was a first possibility for the “Jewish State.”) This unusual location, however, was quickly dropped a few years later. And finally, last but not least, the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 was the first official statement by a key player in the region, the British Empire, in recognizing the rights of the Jews for a “national homeland.” The declaration did not dwell into the complex issue on how this “homeland” would be established.

                The Arab Palestinian population, its notables, politicians, bureaucrats, and representatives, were, to say the least, totally unprepared (at all levels) for such an event, that is, the Jewish immigration to Palestine which became massive after World War I. While the Jews were able to establish their own institutional organizations, thus creating an unprecedented social and intellectual dynamism to their groups, the Arab Palestinian population was still enmeshed in its Ottoman roots with a system of notables as “political representatives.” The Arab population thus lacked the “social dynamism” of Western societies and the Palestinian élite was unprepared for and confused by the Jewish immigration to Palestine. The Zionist national ideology modeled on European political systems was outside the realm of the Palestinian élite still part of the system of Ottoman politics. In short, they missed the boat. (Interestingly, the non-indulgence of some Palestinian intellectuals in supporting the recent peace-process repeats the fear in doing “something wrong” for a second time in a century. What if they’re wrong again?)


british mandate. As a result of the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire and the Sykes-Picot Agreement in May 1916, Palestine and Iraq became, since 1920, part of the British Mandate system, while Lebanon and Syria were under the French Mandate. The British Mandate period in Palestine is characterized by an effort from the Arabs to curb the Jewish immigration to Palestine while the Zionists did their best to go beyond the limits imposed by the British. This led, in May 1939, to the official proclamation known as the White Paper in which the British acknowledged that the Balfour Declaration “could not have intended that Palestine should be converted into a Jewish State against the will of the Arab population of the country.” The Paper also permitted Jewish immigration at a maximum pace of 15,000 yearly for five years (Smith, 104). The Mandate period was also marked by a multitude of riots, terrorist and military acts (especially after the establishment of the underground Zionist military organizations such as the Hagana and Irgun), in addition to direct confrontations (in August 1929, 133 Jews and 116 Arabs were killed as a result of Muslim riots over claims to the Wailing Wall access). All this led to the working out by commissions and later by the United Nations of several partition plans (in July 1937, the Peel Commission recommends partition; follows a U. N. partition plan in November 1947 which the Zionists accept and the Arabs reject) none of which was applied. As a result of all these failures, and the inability of the British to satisfy any of the two sides, the underground military group known as the Hagana took the offensive in April 1948, following the British withdrawal from Palestine.


the proclamation of the state of israel on May 14, 1948 marks a new phase in the conflict. Prior to the proclamation, the conflict was localized between various local Jewish and Arabs groups in Palestine, and military or para-military underground Zionist organizations, on the one hand, and between these groups and British administration on the other. With the proclamation of the Israeli state, the conflict shall be transformed into a regional inter-state conflict with the two super-powers taking sides with the major players in the region (basically, the US shall become Israel’s main arm supplier, especially after the French ceased to do so after the 1967 six-day war, while the USSR shall supply arms to Syria, Egypt, and Libya, among others). The period shall also be marked by five Arab-Israeli wars, the crucial one being, of course, the six-day war in June 1967 when Israel occupied the Syrian Golan Heights, the Jordanian West-Bank, and the Egyptian Sinai Desert, including the Gaza Strip (which, since June 1994, is now under an autonomous Palestinian administration).


the first step towards peace took place in September 1978 with the Camp David Agreements signed in Washington between Egypt, Israel, and the US. Since then, several attempts have been made to include other parties in the conflict in particular the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.), and the Syrian, Lebanese, and Jordanian governments. Fortunately, such efforts contributed in establishing, during the last year of the Bush Administration, of the US sponsored peace-talks, a process that is still at its very beginnings.


the purpose of this course is to cover, during the first three-four weeks of the semester, the historical roots of the conflict as outlined above. The rest of the semester shall be divided into themes, each theme focussing on a particular issue. We shall first explore the origins and causes of the Palestinian refugee problem. On what basis have the policies of pushing the Palestinians out of their own lands been established? What are the ideological foundations of such exclusionist actions? Which groups, institutions, and apparatuses were involved? Besides the historical and political importance of a problem of this magnitude, there is also a moral and ethical dimension attached to it: How justifiable is an exclusionist ideology of the type propagated by the early Zionists? Are “nationalist” ideologies exclusionist by definition? The same set of questions could be applied to the policy of settlers and settlements, in particular in the occupied West Bank.

               We shall also analyze how the Israeli society perceives itself in terms of the ways it deals with problems immediately related to is Arab neighbors, or to the past and present of the Jews (the Holocaust is here of particular interest), as well as to particular issues related to the Israeli society.




There are weekly readings that you’re expected to discuss collectively in class. Your participation is essential for the success of the course. You might be also occasionally requested to prepare a presentation on a chapter or book which are part of the weekly assignments. Class presentations and discussions shall count as one-fifth of the total grade. Presentations should be improvised and 5 to 10 minutes long. Do not prepare a written presentation. The purpose of presentations is to let you check on your readings and give you the opportunity to perform and ask questions publicly. In addition to the routine weekly presentations, students are requested, after submission of a first-draft, to make a short presentation on their papers.

           Besides the two-draft research paper (see below the section on papers), you’re expected to submit three interpretive essays. The final grade will be calculated on the basis of one-fifth for the paper and one-fifth for each interpretive essay. All interpretive essays are take-home. The purpose of the interpretative essays is to give you the opportunity to go “beyond” the literal meaning of the text and adopt interpretive and “textual” techniques. A failing grade in all interpretive essays means also a failing grade for the course, whatever your performance in the paper is. All essays and papers must be submitted on time according to the deadlines set below. If you’re absent from class for a deadline, you may e-mail your essay-paper as an attached file in MS Word format, or fax it to the number above, or drop it in my mailbox (CC-502, LT-910).




Class presentations & discussions, and e-mail discussion list


First Interpretive Essay


Second Interpretive Essay


Final Interpretive Essay


Term Paper





• Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 (August 31, September 7, 14, 21, 28, October 5):


Charles Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (St. Martin’s, 1992);

Laqueur & Rubin, eds., The Israel-Arab Reader (Penguin, 1991).


Tuesday, October 12, 1999: first interpretive essay


• Weeks 7 & 8 (October 12 & 26):


Shlaim, Politics of Partition (Oxford).


Tuesday, October 19: Mid-Semester Break


• Weeks 8 & 10 (November 2 & 9):


Shafir, Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (California).


Tuesday, November 2: first draft deadline


• Weeks 11 & 12 (November 16 & 23):


Rabinowitz, Overlooking Nazareth (Cambridge).


Tuesday, November 16: second interpretive essay

preliminary presentation of first-drafts


• Week 13 (November 30):


Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (Penguin).


• Week 14 (December 7):


Discussion and presentation of term-papers

(if you’re unable to meet for this last session, make an appointment: you’ll not receive a grade unless you’ve completed a presentation of your paper.)


Tuesday, December 7: final draft deadline

Final interpretive essay is take-home



You are requested to write one major research paper to be submitted during the last session, Tuesday, December 7, 1999. You will have to submit, however, a first draft of this paper on Tuesday, November 2, 1999. The first draft should be as complete as possible and follow the same presentation and writing guidelines as your final draft, but it won’t be graded. Only your final draft will count as one-fifth of the total grade. The purpose of the first draft is to let you assess your research and writing skills and improve the final version of your paper. It is advisable that you choose a research topic and start preparing a bibliography as soon as possible. I would strongly recommend that you consult with me before making any final commitment. It would be preferable to keep the same topic for both drafts. You will be allowed, however, after prior consultation, to change your topic if you wish to do so.

               You may choose any topic related to the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Islam, Judaism, and the Middle East. Papers should be analytical and conceptual. Avoid pure narratives and chronologies and construct your paper around a main thesis.


Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 5th ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Intended for students and other writers of papers not written for publication. Useful material on notes and bibliographies.


Keep in mind the following when preparing your preliminary and final drafts:


·        once you’ve decided on a paper-topic and prepared a preliminary bibliography, send an abstract and bibliography of your topic to the class-list <h104h450-l@luc.edu> (see below). Your abstract should include: (i) title; (ii) description; (iii) sources; (iv) methodology (e.g. suggestions on how to read sources).

·        preliminary drafts should be submitted on time, November 2. If you’re unable to attend class that evening, drop your draft in my mailbox (LT-910, CC-502).

·        preliminary drafts should be complete and include footnotes and an annotated bibliography.

·        do not submit an outline as a first draft.

·        incomplete and poorly written first drafts will not be accepted, and you’ll be advised to revise your first draft completely.

·        if you submit a single draft throughout the semester, you’ll receive X as a final grade (WF on your transcript).

·        the oral presentation is an essential aspect of your grade; if you can’t attend the last session, request an appointment.

·        your final draft should take into consideration all relevant comments provided on your earlier draft.

·        if you’re interested in comments on your final paper and interpretive essay, request an appointment by e-mail.


Please use the following guidelines regarding the format of your papers:


·        use 8x10 white paper (the size and color of this paper). Do not use legal size or colored paper.

·        use a typewriter, laser printer or a good inkjet printer and hand in the original.

·        only type on one side of the paper.

·        should be double spaced, with single spaced footnotes at the end of each page and an annotated bibliography at the end. (The bibliography that follows in the next section is annotated.)

·        keep ample left and right margins for comments and corrections of at least 1.25 inches each.

·        all pages should be numbered and stapled.

·        a cover page should include the following: paper’s title, course number and section, your name, address, e-mail, and telephone.




An open e-mail discussion list is available: each message—whether mine or from any student—will reach anyone else on the list, so that every subscriber could directly write to the list.


History 300: <H300-L@luc.edu>


The list includes students from two History 300 courses, one on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the other on the history of legal systems.


The purpose of this electronic listserv is to discuss issues relevant to both courses, and current political and social matters as well. The focus, however, shall be primarily on the readings themselves since they represent our primary source for dealing with the complexities of these civilizations.


To join the list, please send an e-mail message to:




and include as your e-mail message (leaving the Subject: field blank, if possible):


                              subscribe H300-L first-name last-name


e.g., Janine Doe—you would type in:


                              subscribe H300-L Janine Doe



GroupWise Users at Loyola University Chicago: Please preface the 'listproc' address (or subscription address) with 'internet:' in the To: field. For example:


                              To: internet:listproc@luc.edu


Once you’ve successfully subscribed (you’ll receive a confirmation message with instructions), send all messages to the list’s address:




Your message will be automatically forwarded to all the list’s subscribers. You should also receive a duplicate of your own message.


To unsubscribe send an e-mail to listproc@luc.edu with the following message:


                              unsubscribe h300-l first-name last-name


Do not send any mail to my private address <zghazzal@midway.uchicago.edu>, except for appointments or personal problems regarding the course. Suggestions for term-papers topics should be posted directly at the class-list.


Problems in joining the list? Questions? Send an e-mail to Brian Kinne <bkinne@luc.edu>.


notes from it services:


From: "Jack Corliss, Loyola University Chicago" <jcorlis@orion.it.luc.edu>


Please note that about 96% of all registered students have e-mail accounts, on the GroupWise e-mail system (university e-mail system). We no longer encourage students to obtain Orion accounts unless they plan to do personal web page design and development.


Of course, students can use whatever e-mail account they have to subscribe and post to the class discussion list including AOL and Entereact. If you want to send attachments to the students on the list then they should find out their e-mail system handles attachments.


You should also know that as of May 1997, anyone using the computer workstations in any of the University computing centers and public-access labs are required to have university network access account (which we call the UVID). This is required whether the student plans to access the Internet resources, their GroupWise or Orion e-mail, use word-processing to write their papers, whatever.


Therefore, students are assigned these accounts automatically. However, if a student does not remember his or her university network access account/password, and registered late this year, then the student will need to go to the computing center to have the password reassigned or a network access account set up (usually takes 24 hours).


WHAT I HAVE JUST PRESENTED ABOVE IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Please be prepared to direct the student to one of the computing centers if he or she does not know nor remember the network access account or password.


Please note that some students may know this network access account as the GroupWise account and password—an unfortunate nomenclature—but most likely this is one and the same. Previously, we referred to these as GroupWise accounts but now we are calling them university IDs (or UVID), or university network access accounts.


The computing centers have had to deal with this last semester, so please do not hesitate to refer any students to the computing centers for assistance, or they can call the Help Desk at 4-4444 and the Help Desk staff will re-assign a network access password.




The following bibliography is highly selective and only restricted to books and articles which in a way or another are representative of a particular historical or sociological/anthropological trend. Students are thus encouraged, when writing their papers, to use more extensive bibliographies related to the topics they are dealing with. Some of the books for our weekly discussion sessions include such bibliographies. (It would better if you discuss with me your papers’ topics before you start writing.)


1. Islam & The Early Empires—General


The Qur’ân is the holy book of the Muslims (in all their different factions and sects) delivered by God in Arabic to the community of believers (umma) through the “medium” of the Prophet Muhammad in sessions of “revelation” (wahî). Thus Arabic is not only the language of the Qur’ân (and the Sunna), but also a divine language, the language of God. All translations of the Qur’ân are thus considered as illegitimate and inaccurate. There are several such “translations/interpretations” available. A classical one would be that of A.J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (Oxford University Press). For a recent “reading” of the Qur’ân, see Jacques Berque, Relire le Coran (Paris: Albin Michel, 1993).


R. Stephen Humphreys, Islamic History. A Framework for Inquiry (Princeton University Press, 1991), is a long annotated, commented, and thematically organized bibliography. Recommended for those looking at the best in the field for sources available in English, French and German. Some references to primary sources, mainly Arabic medieval sources, are also included. The problem with this “inquiry” is that it excludes from its field of investigation all publications in modern Arabic, Hebrew, as well as Turkish and Persian. In short, this book is an excellent tool for a primary survey of the status of the Middle Eastern studies in Europe and North America.


Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, 3 vols. (Chicago University Press, 1974), is a landmark study on the “origins” of Islam and its historical evolution into empires. Recommended for those interested in Islam within a comparative religious and geographic perspective.


Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988), is a complete fourteen-century history of Islamic societies. Chapters vary in depth and horizon. No particular focus and not much imaginative—tedious to read.


Bernard Lewis (ed.), The World of Islam (London: Thames and Hudson, 1976), is a thematically organized book with chapters on literature, jurisprudence, sufism, the cities, the Ottoman and modern experiences. Includes hundreds of illustrations and maps.


Watt, W. M., Muhammad at Mecca (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953); Muhammad at Medina (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), both are classics describing the life of the Prophet and his first achievements in Mecca and Medina.


Franz Rozenthal, A History of Muslim Historiography (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1952); 2d rev. ed., 1968.


Roy Mottahedeh, Loyalty and Leadership in an Early Islamic Society (Princeton University Press, 1980), an excellent book, based on primary sources from Southern Iraq that describe the process and concept of bay‘a in early Islamic thought.


Hugh Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate: A Political History (London: Croom Helm, 1981).


Jacob Lassner, The Shaping of Abbasid Rule (Princeton University Press, 1980).


Lassner, Jacob, Islamic Revolution and Historical Memory: An Inquiry into the Art of ‘Abbâsid Apologetics  (American Oriental Series, number 66.) New Haven: American Oriental Society. 1986.


The History of al-Tabarî (State University of New York Press, 1989), is a multi-volume series of the translation of the “History” of Tabarî, one of the major historians and interpreters of the Qur’ân of the early Islamic and empire periods.


al-Shâfi‘î, Risâla. Treatise on the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence, translated by Majid Khadduri (Islamic Texts Society, 1987). Shâfi‘î was the founding father of one of the four major schools of Sunni jurisprudence and the Risâla contains some of his major theoretical foundations on the notions analogy, qiyâs, and the ijmâ‘, consensus of the community.


Martin Lings, Muhammad. His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Rochester, 1983).


Newby, Gordon Darnell, The Making of the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction of the Earliest Biography of Muhammad (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989).


Maxime Rodinson, Muhammad (Pantheon, 1971), is an interesting interpretation of the early Islamic period based on a social and economic analysis of the Arabian Peninsula at the dawn of Islam.


M. A. Shaban, Islamic History. A New Interpretation, 2 vol. (Cambridge University Press, 1971), is an attempt towards a new interpretation of the ‘Abbâsid Revolution of the eight century as a movement of assimilation of Arabs and non-Arabs into an “equal rights” Empire.


Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Cambridge, 1991). See also the great classic of Joseph Schacht, The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950).


Ignaz Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law (Princeton University Press, 1981).


Fred Donner, The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton University Press, 1981), reconstructs the early Islamic Conquests (futûhât) from a wealth of Arabic chronicles and literary and ethnographic sources.


Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago University Press, 1988), discusses the notion of “government” and “politics” in Islamic societies.


Patricia Crone, Slaves on Horses. The Evolution of the Islamic Polity (Cambridge University Press, 1980); id., Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (Princeton University Press, 1987), questions the thesis concerning the “trade boom” in seventh-century Arabia.


Mahmood Ibrahim, Merchant Capital and Islam (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990), links the rise of Islam and the Islamic state with the emergence of a mercantile society in Mecca and views the Arab expansion as the means by which merchants consolidated their political ascendancy.


Ann Lambton, Continuity and Change in Medieval Persia. Aspects of Administrative, Economic and Social History, 11th-14th Century (The Persian Heritage Foundation, 1988).


Dominique Urvoy, Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (Routledge, 1991). Henry Corbin, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (Princeton University Press, 1960), is an analysis and interpretation of Hayy ibn Yaqzân.


Salma Khadra Jayyusi, editor, The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Leiden: Brill, 1993). See also L. P. Harvey, Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500 (Chicago University Press, 1990).


2. The Ottoman Empire



For a general social history of The Ottoman Empire, see H.A.R. Gibb and Harold Bowen, Islamic Society and the West, Volume One, 2 parts (London: Oxford University Press, 1950-57).


For a general chronological history of the Ottoman Empire, see Stanford Shaw & Ezel Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, 2 vols., (Cambridge, 1977). See also M. A. Cook (ed.), A History of the Ottoman Empire to 1730 (Cambridge University Press, 1976).


Paul Wittek, The Rise of the Ottoman Empire (London, 1963). A short monograph on the nature of early Ottoman expansion.


For a narrative account of the rise of the Ottoman Empire viewed from the standpoint of historical geography, see Donald Edgar Pitcher, An Historical Geography of the Ottoman Empire. From earliest times to the end of the Sixteenth Century with detailed maps to illustrate the expansion of the Sultanate (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972).


George Young, Corps de droit ottoman, 7 vol. (Oxford, 1905-6) contains  selections from the Ottoman judicial code.


Halil Inalcik & Donald Quataert, eds., An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1994). In four chronological sections, the contributors provide valuable information on land tenure systems, population, trade and commerce and the industrial economy.



Robert Mantran (ed.), Histoire de l’Empire ottoman (Paris: Fayard, 1989).

Barbara Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973).

Halil Inalcik, The Ottoman Empire (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973).

Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition (New York: Knopf, 1972)

Peter Mansfield, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1973).

William Miller, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors, 1801-1927 (New York: Octagon Books, 1966).

Smith William Cooke, The Ottoman Empire and Its Tributary States (Chicago: Argonot, 1968).



Alexander H. de Groot, The Ottoman Empire and the Dutch Republic (Leiden, 1978).

Leopold von Ranke, The Ottoman and the Spanish Empires in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (New York: AMS Press, 1975).

Gustav Bayerle, Ottoman Diplomacy in Hungary (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1972).

J. C. Hurewitz, Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East. A Documentary Record, 2 vol. (Princeton, 1956), contains a selection of administrative documents, edicts,  and treaties since 1535.



There has been numerous studies within the last two decades that describe in economic terms how the Ottoman societies have reacted to what is now known as the process of “incorporation” of the Ottoman Empire in the world-economy. Despite their merits, “world-systems” analyses are weak in understanding and interpreting cultures and social structures. See for example, Immanuel Wallerstein & Resat Kasaba, “Incorporation into the World-Economy: Change in the Structure of the Ottoman Empire,1750-1839,” in J.-L. Bacqué-Grammont & Paul Dumont, eds., Économie et sociétés dans l'Empire ottoman (Paris: CNRS, 1983), 335-54. Some of the most recent titles in “world-systems” include the following:


Huri Islamoglu-Inan, ed., The Ottoman Empire and the World-Economy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988).


Caglar Keyder, ed., Ottoman Empire: Nineteenth-Century Transformations, in Review, 11(1988).


Caglar Keyder, State and Class in Turkey: A Study in Capitalist Development (London & New York: Verso, 1987).


Resat Kasaba, The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy: The 19th Century (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1988).


Pamuk, Sevket, The Ottoman Empire and European Capitalism,1820-1913: Trade, Investment, and Production (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987).



Halil Inalcik, Studies in Ottoman Social and Economic History (London: Variorum Reprints, 1985), is a reproduction of a series of articles on the “beginnings” of the Ottoman Empire, the impact of the Annales school on Ottoman historiography, etc., by a leading figure in the field of Ottoman studies. See also by the same author his collected studies under the title The Ottoman Empire: Conquest, Organization and Economy (London: Variorum Reprints, 1978).


Halil Inalcik, “Military and Fiscal Transformation of the Ottoman Empire, 1600-1700,” Archivum Ottomanicum, 6(1980), 283-337, reproduced in Inalcik (1985), discusses the transformation of the Ottoman tax-farming system from the timâr to the iltizâm. See also Bruce McGowan, Economic Life in Ottoman Europe. Taxation, Trade and the Struggle for Land, 1600-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 1981).


Kemal H. Karpat, Ottoman Population: Demographic and Social Characteristics (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1985). This book attempts, on the basis of original archive materials, to show the demographic dimension of Middle Eastern and Balkan societies under Ottoman rule in the 19th century. See the review of Inalcik in IJMES, 21/3 (1989).


Ömer Lutfi Barkan, “The Price Revolution of the Sixteenth Century: A Turning Point in the Economic History of the Near East,” IJMES, 6(1975), 3-28. A classical article which analyzes the effects of one of the first debasements of the Ottoman currency in the 16th century.


Uriel Heyd, Studies in Old Ottoman Criminal Law, ed. by V. L. Ménage (Oxford, 1973) discusses, among others, the relation between the Islamic sharî‘a and the Ottoman qânûn.


Benjamin Braude & Bernard Lewis (eds.), Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. Volume 1, The Central Lands; Volume 2, The Arabic-Speaking Lands. (New York, 1982), contains a wide range of articles on “minority” groups in the Ottoman Empire.


On women in the Ottoman Empire, see Fanny Davis, The Ottoman Lady. A Social History from 1718 to 1918 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986).


Ehud R. Toledano, The Ottoman Slave Trade and Its Suppression (Princeton University Press, 1982), stresses the key role of the British in the elimination of the trade in black slaves from Africa and the importance of the Ottoman’s own actions in abolishing trade in white slaves from the lands around the Black Sea.


Suraiya Faroqhi, Towns and Townsmen of Ottoman Anatolia. Trade, Crafts and Food Production in an Urban Setting, 1520-1650 (Cambridge University Press, 1984).


Charles Issawi, Economic History of Turkey (Chicago, 1980), is an account, mainly based on the European consular correspondence of the 19th century, of the Turkish economy during the period of Western colonialism and imperialism.


Gabriel Baer, “The Administrative, Economic and Social Functions of Turkish Guilds,” IJMES, 1(1970), 28-50. Haim Gerber, “Guilds in Seventeenth-Century Anatolian Bursa,” Asian and African Studies (AAS), 11(1976), 59-86. Orhan Kurmus, “Some Aspects of Handicraft and Industrial Production in Ottoman Anatolia, 1800-1915,” AAS, 15(1981), 85-101. Edward C. Clark, “The Ottoman Industrial Revolution,” IJMES, 5(1974), 65-76. Bernard Lewis, “The Islamic Guilds,” Economic History Review, 8(1937), 20-37.


Jacques Thobie, Intérêts et impérialisme français dans l'empire Ottoman (Paris, 1977) focuses on the effects of French imperialism on the Ottoman Empire in general and on some Arab Provinces in particular (Syria and Lebanon).


Gilles Veinstein, État et société dans l’empire ottoman, XVIe-XVIIIe siècles (Variorum, 1994).



Serif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought (Princeton University Press,1962) studies the effects of Western “liberal” thought on the Ottoman intelligentsia of the 19th century and the “origins” of the Tanzimât reforms of 1839. See also by the same author, “Ideology and Religion in the Turkish Revolution,” International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), 2(1971), 197-211. See also R. C. Repp, The Müfti of Istanbul: A Study in the Development of the Ottoman Learned Hierarchy (London: Ithaca, 1986) and J. R. Barnes, An Introduction to Religious Foundations in the Ottoman Empire (Leiden: E.J. Brill,1986). Richard L. Chambers, “The Ottoman Ulema and the Tanzimat” in Nikki R. Keddie (ed.), Scholars, Saints, and Sufis: muslim Religious Institutions Since 1500 (Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972).


Cornell H. Fleisher, Bureaucrat and Intellectual in the Ottoman Empire: The Historian Mustafa Ali, 1546-1600 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986). The Ottoman 16th century through the eyes of the historian Mustafa Ali. See the critical review article (especially on the much debated issue of “decline”) by Rhoads Murphey, “Mustafa Ali and the Politics of Cultural Despair,” IJMES, 21(1989), 243-255; idem, Regional Structure in the Ottoman Economy (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1987). A Sultanic memorandum of 1636 A.D. concerning the sources and uses of the tax-farm revenues of Anatolia and the coastal and northern portions of Syria.


Cornell H. Fleisher, “Royal Authority, Dynastic Cyclism, and ‘Ibn Khaldûnism’ in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Letters,” Journal of Asian and African Studies, 18/3-4(1983), 198-220.


Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (Oxford University Press, 1968[1961]) A survey of the first Turkish pan-movements till the proclamation of the Turkish Republic and its aftermath. See also Uriel Heyd, Foundations of Turkish Nationalism (Westport, Conn.: Hyperion Press, 1979).


Kemal H. Karpat, “The Transformations of the Ottoman State, 1789-1908,” IJMES, 3(1972), 243-81.


Carter Findley, Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire. The Sublime Porte, 1789-1922 (Princeton University Press, 1980); idem, Ottoman Civil Officialdom. A Social History (Princeton University Press, 1989) reassesses Ottoman accomplishments and failures in turning an archaic scribal corps into an effective civil service.


For a political anthropology of the Ottoman Empire and the cultural barriers for its development, see Ilkay Sunar, State and Society in the Politics of Turkey’s Development (Ankara, 1974).


3. The Arab Provinces. General.

The work of Charles Issawi gives the best synthesis of the economic development of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt). Among his numerous works, Economic History of the Middle East (Chicago, 1966), Economic History of the Middle East and North Africa (New York, 1982), The Fertile Crescent, 1800-1914, A Documentary Economic History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).


Another excellent work of economic synthesis is Roger Owen’s The Middle East in the World Economy (London: Methuen, 1981).


William Polk & Richard Chambers, eds., Beginnings of Modernization in the Middle East (Chicago, 1968) contains some key articles by Karpat, Chevallier, Berque, Hourani, and others. Highly recommended.


4. Syria & Lebanon

The Lebanese historiography did not progress much beyond the classical works of Chevallier (1971), Harik (1968), and Smilyanskaya (1965), despite a number of interesting recent publications in the field.


Dominique Chevallier, La société du mont Liban à l’époque de la révolution industrielle en Europe (Paris, 1971) is a complete study on the economic, cultural, and political effects of the industrial revolution on Mount Lebanon during the 19th century. See also by the same author, Villes et travail en Syrie, du XIXe au XXe siècle (Paris, 1982).


Iliya Harik, Politics and Change in a Traditional Society, Lebanon, 1711-1845 (Princeton, N. J., 1968), is very powerful in analyzing the cultural transformations of the societies of Mount Lebanon. The chapters on the process of “rationalization” (in the sense of Weber) of the Maronite Church are among the best in the field.


I. M. Smilyanskaya’s thesis, Krestyanskoe dvizhenie v Livane (Moscow,1965), is unfortunately only available in the original Russian with a complete Arabic translation (Beirut, 1971). Some chapters are translated in English in Issawi (1966 & 1988). Smilyanskaya’s thesis is an attempt to explain the peasant’s movements of the 19th century in terms of class struggle rather than inter-confessional struggles.


Boutros Labaki, Introduction à l’histoire économique du Liban (Beirut,1984), focuses mainly on the production of silk in Mount Lebanon during the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Leila Fawaz, Merchants and Migrants in Nineteenth Century Beirut (Cambridge, Mass., 1983), covers the rapid evolution of Beirut during the 19th century from a small provincial town to a key commercial city.


William Polk, The Opening of South Lebanon (Cambridge, Mass., 1963), is another classical study of Mount Lebanon.


Mikhâyil Mishâqa, Murder, Mayhem, Pillage, and Plunder. The History of the Lebanon in the 18th and 19th Centuries, translated from the Arabic by Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press,1988), is a 19th century chronicle by Mishâqa (1800-1888) who among other things served as financial comptroller to the Shihâb emirs of Hâsbayyâ and in his later years was a physician and consul to the United States in Damascus.


Thomas Philipp, The Syrians in Egypt, 1725-1975 (Stuttgart, 1985), discusses the immigration of Syrians (mainly Christians) to Egypt starting with the Ottoman period.


A.L. Tibawi, American Interests in Syria (Oxford, 1961), analyzes the role and function of the Protestant missionaries in Syria from the 1820s till the opening of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut in 1866.


Abraham Marcus, The Middle East on the Eve of Modernity. Aleppo in the Eighteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), would be interesting to compare with Brown, People of Salé concerning the social and economic structures of Arab/Islamic cities. See also Bruce Masters, The Origins of Western Economic Dominance in the Middle East. Mercantilism and the Islamic Economy in Aleppo, 1600-1750 (New York University Press, 1988).


Karl K. Barbir, Ottoman Rule in Damascus, 1708-1758 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), focuses on the politics of the notables during the 18th century, the governorship of the ‘Azm, and the political and economic importance of the pilgrimage for Damascus.


Philip Khouri, Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism (Cambridge, 1983), discusses the formation, during the Tanzimât period and after the Land Code of 1858, of provincial bureaucracies composed mainly of Damascene land-owners belonging to the traditional notable's class.


Linda Schatkowski Schilcher, Families in Politics. Damascene Factions and Estates of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Stuttgart, 1985), is a more complete version of Khouri’s thesis on Damascus. Her division of the city in three “conflicting” parts and the maps provided are the best parts of the book.


William Polk (ed.), “Document: Rural Syria in 1845,” Middle East Journal, 16(1962), 508-14.


Zouhair Ghazzal, L’économie politique de Damas durant le XIXe siècle. Structures traditionnelles et capitalisme (Damascus: Institut Français de Damas, 1993).


Israel & the Palestinians


Charles Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (St. Martin’s, 1992), provides with a clear and detailed overview of the conflict.


Walter Laqueur and Barry Rubin, eds., The Israel-Arab Reader. A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict (Penguin, 1969, 1984), contain many of the key documents on the conflict, but lacks in particular those related to the Arab side during the British Mandate period.


Roger Owen, ed., Studies in the Economic and Social History of Palestine in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Carbondale, Ill., 1982), contains a series of well written articles on the effects of foreign investments in Ottoman and British Palestine.


Neville J. Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), focuses on the Arab and Ottoman reactions (mainly by leading politicians and intellectuals) to Jewish immigration to Palestine during the last four decades of Ottoman rule.


Kenneth Stein, The Land Question in Palestine,1917-1939 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1984), is in some aspects a complementary study to Mandel’s Arabs and Zionism. Highly recommended for those interested in the social and economic dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. See also Gershon Shafir, Land and Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,1882-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1989).


David Kushner (ed.), Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period (Jerusalem-Leiden, 1986), has a number of interesting articles on the economy of Palestine at the turn of this century. Problems related to the demography, the system of iltizâm, and the waqf (Gabriel Baer), are well covered. See also Moshe Ma‘oz (ed.), Studies on Palestine During the Ottoman Period (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1975). On the Jews of the Arab Provinces of the Ottoman Empire, see Norman A. Stillman, The Jews of the Arab Lands. A History and Source Book (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979).


Gabriel Baer, “The Dismemberment of Awqâf in Early 19th Century Jerusalem,” AAS, 13(1979), 220-41. This article, based on the law-court registers of Jerusalem, shows that the process of the “dismemberment” of the waqf is only a judicial device to transform it to the status of a quasi private property.


Philip Matar, The Mufti of Jerusalem. al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement (Studies of the Middle East Institute, 1988), offers a comprehensive biography of Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, the principle leader of Palestinian nationalism during the British Mandate.


Muhammad Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1988).


Justin McCarthy, The Population of Palestine. Population Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1990), shows that Arabs were a large majority in Palestine up to 1947.


Avi Shlaim, The Politics of Partition. King Abdullah, The Zionists, and Palestine, 1912-1951 (Columbia University Press, 1990), focuses on the secret Arab-Zionist agreement to partition Palestine.


Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem (Cambridge University Press, 1987). Morris provides the strongest and most complete documented account of the refugee problem between December 1947 (a month after the UN partition plan) and September 1949 when some 600,000-760,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees. He argues that the bulk of the refugees—roughly 300,000—left between March and May 1948 (date of the proclamation of the state of Israel) without much pressure from the Zionist military groups, such as the Haganah and IDF, and were preceded by the wealthy populations of Haifa and Jaffa. This, argues Morris, came as a great surprise to everyone, including Ben-Gurion and his aides in the Yishuv, who nevertheless decided not to let the refugees come back to their homes. Such unorthodox views, Morris argues in 1948 and After. Israel and the Palestinians (Oxford University Press, 1994), were criticized by orthodox “historians” from both camps—Palestinians and Israelis. See also by the same author, Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956 (Clarendon Press, 1993).


Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement 1918-1929 and The Palestinian Arab National Movement 1929-1939 (London, 1974 and 1979), examines the origins of Palestinian nationalism.


Uri Bar-Joseph’s, The Best of Enemies, Israel and Transjordan in the War of 1948 (London, 1987).


Ilan Pappe, Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-1951 (London, 1988).


Michael Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, 1945-1948 (Princeton University Press, 1982).


Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel (New York, 1987).


Itzhak Galnoor, The Partition of Palestine (SUNY, 1995). Galnoor’s book is constructed on one main thesis: that, inadvertently, the “Arab Revolt” in Palestine, which began in April 1936, openly placed the possibility of establishing a Jewish state on the political agenda. Thus the British Royal Commission, which in light of the “Arab Revolt” was established in 1937 to propose a solution to the conflict, came out with a partition plan. This prompted the various Zionist groups to question themselves on the possibility of a Jewish state in Palestine rather than continue with the euphemism of the “national home,” as proposed by the Balfour declaration in 1917. Even though Galnoor is quite convincing when he describes the various Zionist attitudes (opponents, proponents, and undecided), his terminology is occasionally sloppy and confusing. He thus presents the Zionist groups as working with “Western” concepts of territory, nation, and state, while it is clear that it was their emotional and instrumental representation of territory which shaped their notion of state thus bypassing, in a way strikingly similar to the Nazi notions of Fatherland and Motherland, the Western concepts of “body politic,” “social contract,” and nation-state.


5. Iraq


Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq (Princeton University Press, 1978), covers extensively the rise and fall of the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) in the 1940s in the second part of the book, while the first part is an introduction to Iraqi society based on a profile of its landowning and other social “classes.” Finally, a third part deals, though less extensively than the one devoted to the Communists, with the formation of the Ba‘th and the coming to power of Saddâm Husayn. The three parts seem like three different narratives without a major thread to bring them together. Extensive use of the Foreign Office archives that the British left in Iraq.


Samir al-Khalil, Republic of Fear. The Inside Story of Saddam’s Iraq (Pantheon, 1989), analyses the logic of Iraqi “totalitarianism.” Important insights on the ideology of the Ba‘th party, its organization, and its links with other state organizations such as the army, the mukhâbarât, etc. See also by the same author, The Monument. Art, Vulgarity and Responsibility in Iraq (University of California Press, 1991).


6. Iran


Roy Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet. Religion and Politics in Iran (Pantheon, 1985), is an analysis of some of the main intellectual movements in Iran prior and during the Islamic Revolution in 1978 as seen through the eyes of a “character” under the pseudonym of Ali Hashemi. However, despite this focus on the education and becoming of a single Iranian ‘âlim, the overall point of the book remains unclear.


7. Turkey


Serif Mardin, Religion and Social Change in Modern Turkey. The Case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (SUNY, 1989), raises the question of religious fundamentalism in Turkey through the case of Said Nursi and his movement.


8. Egypt

André Raymond’s seminal work Artisans et commerçants au Caire au 18ème siècle (Damascus, 1973-4) in 2 volumes is a must for the economic history of Egypt during the 18th century. Compare with Marcus (1989) and Brown (1976) on the concept of Arab/Islamic cities.


For the 19th century and in particular the Muhammad Ali experience in “modernization,” a revisionist work is Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali (Cambridge, 1984).


Judith Tucker, Women in Nineteenth Century Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1985), discusses the problems in the historiography of women in Middle Eastern societies.


Bryon Cannon, Politics of Law and the Courts in Nineteenth-Century Egypt (University of Utah Press, 1988), explores the interaction between local and international factors, both political and economic, that affected the establishment of an effective civil and criminal court system in Egypt during the last decades of the nineteenth century.


Timothy Mitchell, Colonising Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1988), examines the peculiar methods of order and truth that characterize the modern West through a re-reading of Europe’s colonial impact on 19th-century Egypt.


Beinin, Joel and Zachary Lockman, Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam, and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987).


Peter Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism. Egypt, 1760-1840 (University of Texas Press, 1979). Gran’s main hypothesis is that the output of the ‘ulamâ’ marked “developments in secular culture and were supportive of capitalism.”


Gabriel Baer, Egyptian Guilds in Modern Times (Jerusalem, 1964).


Juan R.I. Cole, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East. Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt’s ‘Urabi Movement (Princeton University Press, 1993), focuses on the ‘Urâbî movement as a broadly based social revolution hardly underway when it was cut off by the British. A challenge to traditional élite-centered theories.


9. The Maghreb

What is interesting in the Moroccan case is that this society has not been subject to Ottoman rule. Hence it could be used as a background for a comparative analysis with the Ottoman societies.


Abdallah Laroui’s Les origines sociales et culturelles du nationalisme marocain,1830-1912 (Paris: Maspero, 1977), is a monumental study on how the idea of Moroccan “nationalism” evolved through the existence of “internal” institutions (mainly the Makhzen). Highly recommended.


Schroeter, Daniel J., Merchants of Essaouira: Urban Society and Imperialism in Southwestern Morocco, 1844-1886 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988). An account of Essaouira in its heyday, as the city was opening to foreign penetration, sheds light on the problems of traditional societies in the age of European economic imperialism. Compare with the classical study of Kenneth L. Brown, People of Salé. Tradition and Change in a Moroccan City, 1830-1930 (Harvard University Press, 1976).


Edmund Burke III, “The Moroccan Ulama, 1860-1912: An Introduction” in Nikki R. Keddie (ed.), Scholars, Saints, and Sufis: Muslim Religious Institutions Since 1500 (Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972).


Carl L. Brown, The Tunisia of Ahmad Bey, 1837-1855 (Princeton University Press, 1974).


Peter Von Sivers, “The Realm of Justice: Apocaliptic Revolts in Algeria (1849-1879), Humaniora Islamica, 1(1973), 47-60.


10. The Modern Middle East Within an Anthropological & Historical Perspectives


Roger Owen, State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (Routledge, 1992), presents the state, society, religion and the military within a comparative perspective.


Dale F. Eickelman, The Middle East. An Anthropological Approach, 2nd. ed. (Prentice-Hall, 1981, 1989), covers a wide variety of topics from the villages and cities to self, gender and sexuality. Depth of treatment varies from one chapter to another—some chapters, like the one on the cities, are disappointing while others fail to come up with an approach from the multitude of secondary studies that the author relies upon. A crucial book for an overview of the current state of anthropological literature on the Middle East.


Pierre Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice (Stanford University Press, 1990), originally published in Paris as Le sens pratique (1980), is a pioneering study on the social “practices” of the Kabyles in Algeria, based on a field work in the 1950s, and with tremendous philosophical, epistemological and anthropological implications. Recommended for those who would like to take account of the most recent discoveries in the “social sciences,” and most notably anthropology and combine them with their own historical findings.


Dresch, Paul, Tribes, Government and History in Yemen (Oxford University Press, 1990).


Goldberg, Harvey E., Jewish Life in Muslim Libya: Rivals and relatives (Chicago University Press, 1990).


Haeri, Shahla, Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Iran (Tauris, 1990), on the status of women and the types of marriages (in particular the mut‘a, pleasure marriage) in contemporary Iran.


Rosen, Lawrence, The Anthropology of Justice: Law as Culture in Islamic Society (Cambridge UP, 1989), is an important study on the practice of law in Morocco. Rosen starts with the basic assumption that law in every society is part of the cultural system, and then proceeds to show that “bargaining” is an essential “concept” towards an understanding of the “practice” of Islamic law. A breakthrough in the study of law in general.


Brinkley Messick, The Calligraphic State. Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society (California University Press, 1992), discusses the transmission, conservation and interpretation of the fiqh (jurisprudence) literature from one generation to another in the context of an Islamic society like Yemen. Focuses on details that historians usually avoid. Recommended for those interested in history within an anthropological perspective.


Michael Fischer and Mehdi Abedi, Debating Muslims. Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition (Wisconsin University Press, 1990). Written in a post-modernist Derridean style, this book is supposed to show that all kinds of Islamic practices wherever they’re located are always in a permanent process of adaptation and re-adaptation to the social realities of a particular period. This is done through a re-assessment of the old “textual” traditions. Thus, according to our authors, it is the various hermeneutical traditions that saved Islam (or any other religion for that matter) from dogmatism—even though they note a fear of différance in the Islamic traditions. Shortly prior to publication, the authors have added an annex on Salman Rushdi’s The Satanic Verses, which is probably the best thing ever written on this highly controversial book. For one thing, the authors show quite convincingly that Rushdi’s knowledge of his “Islamic material” was very close to the “authoritative sources” of Islam.


Smadar Lavie, The Poetics of Military Occupation. Mzeina Allegories of Bedouin Identity Under Israeli and Egyptian Rule (California University Press, 1990). This book, based on extensive fieldwork in the South Sinai desert, borrows several post-modernist and deconstructionist approaches from literary criticism and creatively applies them to the Mzeina Bedouins. Thus the book is constructed around several “allegorical characters”—the Shaykh, the mad-woman, the old-woman, the ex-smuggler, and the “one who writes about us,” i.e. the author herself who decided at one point to leave the Bedouins and write about them at Berkeley. The “allegorical characters” are supposed to show the Bedouins-in-transition between their old kinship and survival oriented ideology towards “modernity,” i.e. the male Bedouins as part of a cheap and under-paid Israeli labor-force. Her text is juxtaposed with large “dialogues”—or “interviews”—to emphasize the author’s “textual” approach: translate practices into “texts” with meaning.


Lila Abu-Lughod, Veiled Sentiments. Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (University of California Press, 1986), reflects on the politics of sentiment and the relationship between ideology and human experience.


Virginia R. Domínguez, People as Subject, People as Object. Selfhood and Peoplehood in Contemporary Israel (Wisconsin University Press, 1989).


11. Gender, Women, The Family & Sexuality


Lois Beck and Nikki Keddie, eds., Women in the Muslim World (Cambridge University Press, 1978).


Judith Tucker, ed., Arab Women. Old Boundaries, New Frontiers (Indiana University Press, 1993).


Fatima Mernissi, Beyond the Veil. Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society (Indiana University Press, 1987).


Leslie P. Peirce, The Imperial Harem. Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire (Oxford University Press, 1993), examines the sources of the unprecedented political power of the Ottoman imperial harem in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and assesses the reactions of contemporaries, which ranged from loyal devotion to armed opposition.


For the full-text of the Basle Declaration, see Laqueur & Rubin, eds, The Israel-Arab Reader (Penguin, 1984), document 4, 11-12.