Zouhair Ghazzal
Loyola University, Chicago
Department of History
1032 West Sheridan Road
Chicago, Illinois 60660

(773) 508–3493
fax: (312) 256–9128
zghazzal@yahoo.com

zouhairghazzal.com



education

1986: Ph.D. ("Doctorat") in modern and contemporary History of Islamic and Middle Eastern societies, University of Paris–Sorbonne.

1981: Master of Arts (M.A.) in Philosophy, American University of Beirut (A.U.B.).

1978: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry, American University of Beirut.

publications & papers

The Grammars of Adjudication: The economics of judicial decision making in fin-de-siècle Ottoman Beirut and Damascus (ifpo beirut, 2007).

The rarity of crime, the phantom of the victim, and the murder triangle,” Workshop for the study of strategies for reading Ottoman qadi court documents, Harvard University, May 18–20, 2008.

The consecration of norms in Aleppo’s illicit neighborhoods,” Mediterranean Programme at the European University Institute, Florence, March 2008.

From Microstoria to Ethnomethodology: crime-in-action in contemporary Syria,” Law in Action and Context: Historical and Contemporary Practices in the Mediterranean Area, Mediterranean Programme at the European University Institute, Florence, 21–25 March 2007.

"Thomas Edward Wilson," The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, 2nd edition, Macmillan USA, 2004.

"Alawis," The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle east and North Africa, 2nd edition, Macmillan USA, 2004.

"Textile Industry," The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle east and North Africa, 2nd edition, Macmillan USA, 2004.

"The 'Ulama': status and function," The Companion to the History of the Middle East, Youssef Choueiri, ed., Blackwell, 2005.

"Towards an anthropology of the Syrian courts: preliminary methodological observations," La Syrie au présent, Institut Français du Proche-Orient, Damascus, Syria, 10-11 December 2004.

Droit et société,” in Baudouin Dupret and Zouhair Ghazzal, eds., La Syrie au présent, Paris: Actes Sud, 2007.

Zones illicites d'Alep,” in Baudouin Dupret and Zouhair Ghazzal, eds., La Syrie au présent, Paris: Actes Sud, 2007.

The insane shepherd-who-writes: is he competent to stand trial?” in Baudouin Dupret, ed., Narratives of Truth in Islamic Law, London: I.B. Tauris, 2008.

Violence and legal responsibility: the construction of criminal narratives in contemporary Syria,” Concepts of collective and individual legal responsibility in the Islamic world, Danish Institute in Damascus, 5-8 May 2005, collective book forthcoming.

Between avowal and confession: techniques of interrogation and construction of evidence in contemporary Syria,” ACI: Action Concertée Incitative (collective work whose purpose is the praxeology of legal cases within a multi-culturalist perspective), Damascus, 6-8 October 2005.

Reviewed Patricia Crone, God's Rule: Government and Islam (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), The Historian, vol. 67, Winter 2005.

teaching

Sample of courses taught in the last few years includes: social and economic history of early and medieval Islam, and the modern Middle East; kinship in contemporary Middle Eastern societies; the Arab-Israeli conflict; comparative legal systems: Roman law, Continental systems, and Anglo-American common law; history of American law; methodology and the writing of history; modern Europe; totalitarianism in Europe; and Asia and the world.

1992–present: Professor of historical and social sciences, Department of History, Loyola University of Chicago.

1991–1992: Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, Washington University in St. Louis, The Center for the Study of Islamic Societies and Civilizations. Research Project: "The Status of Law vis-à-vis the Power-Relations in the Syrian Cities of the Ottoman Empire."

1990: Adjunct Assistant Professor, American University, Washington, D.C., School of International Service.

1989–1990: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of History, Georgetown University.

1988–1991: Visiting Researcher, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University.

1986–1988: Assistant Professor, Civilization Sequence (C.S.) Program, American University of Beirut.

writing in progress

Currently involved in a project on the "practice of law" in Islamic and Arab societies (based on Ottoman and contemporary case-studies from Lebanon and Syria), which, upon publication, will be in three parts (the second part, thanks to a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant in 1996-97, is currently under consideration for publication).
· The first part deals with a small number of jurisprudence (fiqh) texts from the formative period of Islamic law, such as Abu Yusuf's Kitab al-kharaj, the Umm and Risala of Shafi'i, and Shatibi's al-Muwafaqat fi usul al-shari'a. The purpose here is not a writing of a history of Islamic jurisprudence as such, but an experimentation in the textual strategies of some of the fiqh manuals (in particular those aiming towards the "foundations" of the system), that is, a questioning as to what jurisprudential writing represented at its highest level, that of legal doctrines.
· In contrast to part one, the second part --"the grammars of adjudication"-- focuses on shari'a court-cases, minutes of the regional councils, sultanic legislation, and shuruh manuals from the Ottoman period (Beirut and Damascus in particular), and, as before, the small number of carefully selected cases will be mainly dealt with in terms of judicial writing and decision making, and the specific language of the Ottoman shari'a courts.
· Finally, a third book --"the ideal of punishment"-- focuses on the discourse of crime and punishment; property, contract, and tort, as formulated by police records, memos of judges, lawyers, doctors, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, and based on contemporary cases from the cities of Aleppo, Idlib, and Beirut in the 1980s and 1990s.
The three projects should be looked upon, despite the different periods and nature of the documentation, as a single one with a common line of questioning and reasoning. First, it is the textuality of all the texts which is at issue here, which implies that judicial writing is questioned at several levels, from the legal doctrines to the practice of the courts. Second, while studying the judicial writing of scholars and judges alike, the most important issue will be that of the autonomy of the Islamic legal systems: Did those systems rely upon a purely judicial reasoning or were they part of larger discursive practices such as the religious, political, oracular, and social?

publications & papers

-"Political Representation and Rural Economy: The Majlis of Damascus Towards the Middle of the 19th Century," paper presented at the Civilization Sequence Program Forum, American University of Beirut, February 27, 1985.

-"Le visage urbain de Damas au XIXe siècle," Études Orientales, 1(1987), 13-33.

-"Islamic Resurgence in Contemporary Egypt," paper presented at the workshop on Religion and the Arab World, sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, October 27, 1988.

-"Some Remarks on the Political Economy of Damascus During the 19th Century," paper presented at the History Department of Rutgers University, March 13, 1989.

-"Case Histories from the Sunni Law-Court Registers of Beirut in the Middle of the 19th Century," paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Convention, Toronto, November 18, 1989.

-"An Historical Anthropology of Justice: The Sharî'a Courts of Beirut and Damascus," paper presented at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, February 15, 1990, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of History, February 20, 1990; and Columbia University, Department of History, February 23, 1990. A revised version was presented at the MESA Convention, San Antonio, Texas, November 12, 1990.

-"Power-Relations in Nineteenth-Century Damascus," paper presented at the University of Connecticut, Department of History, November 28, 1990; a revised version was presented at St. Antony's College, Oxford, March 4, 1991; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of History, April 10, 1991.

-"The Status of Law vis-à-vis the Power-Relations in the Syrian Cities of the Ottoman Empire," paper presented at the Colloquia on Law and Society: Historical Perspectives, Washington University in St. Louis, Department of History, November 14, 1991.

-"Proof and Persuasion in the Ottoman Judicial System of the Tanzîmât," paper presented at the MESA convention, Washington, D.C., November 24, 1991.

-"Law and Society in Ottoman Syria," paper presented at Loyola University of Chicago, Department of History, 12 March 1992.

-"The Meaning of 'Customary Law' in the Context of the Ottoman Qânûn," paper presented at the conference on Islamic Law in Praxis, 1500-1900, Center for the Study of Islamic Societies and Civilizations, Washington University in St. Louis, May 1992.

-"Political Economy in the Discourse of the Aleppo Majlis in 1838," paper presented at the MESA convention, Portland, Oregon, October 31, 1992.

-"Textual Analysis of the Sharî'a Court Records in Ottoman Syria," paper presented in Arabic at the University of Chicago, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, April 2, 1993.

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

-"The Transfer of Property to Women: Judicial Decision-Making in a Maronite Estate and Waqf in Nineteenth-Century Mount Lebanon," paper presented at the workshop Women, Family, and the Courts, Cornell University, October 15-16, 1993.

-"The Enterprise of Judging in the Aleppo Majlis in 1838," paper presented at the MESA convention, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, November 14, 1993.

-"The Ethnography of Legal Discourse: The Practice of the Sharî'a Courts in Ottoman Syria and Lebanon," paper delivered at Princeton University, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 18 January 1994.

-"Teaching Non-Western Societies and Civilizations," project presented at the conference Enlarging Our World View: Undergraduate Education and the Middle East, University of Arizona, Tucson, March 10-13, 1994.

-"Introducing a Non-Western Civilization Core Course in History: Subject Matter and Methods of Instruction," paper delivered at Loyola University Chicago, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean's Office, March 18, 1994.

-"Textual Analysis of the Sharî'a Court Documents in Ottoman Syria," paper presented at the conference Ninth Annual Middle East History and Theory, University of Chicago, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, April 29, 1994.

-"The Ethnography of Legal Discourse: A "Textual" Analysis of Two Sharî'a Court Documents in Nineteenth-Century Beirut," paper presented at the Joseph Schacht Conference on the Theory and Practice of Islamic Law, Amsterdam-Leiden, 6-10 October 1994; also presented at the workshop Cases and Contexts in Islamic Law, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 3-4, 1994.

-"The Anthropology of War in Abû Yûsuf's Kitâb al-Kharâj," paper presented at the MESA Convention, Phoenix, Arizona, November 19-22, 1994.

-"The Ethnography of Legal Discourse: Status of a Research in Progress," paper presented at "The Middle East History & Theory Workshop," The University of Chicago, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, February 22, 1995.

-"Lecture d'un waqf maronite du Mont Liban au XIXe siècle," in Le waqf dans l'espace islamique, outil de pouvoir socio-politique, Randi Deguilhem, ed. (Damascus: Institut Français de Damas, 1995), 101-120.

-"A 'Crime of Passion' in Aleppo in 1987: Questions on the 'Autonomy' of the Syrian Legal System," paper presented at the MESA Convention, Washington D.C., December 6-10, 1995.

-"Judicial Writing and Property Transfers in Nineteenth-Century Mount Lebanon," paper presented at the 206th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Philadelphia, March 17-20, 1996.

-"The Practice of Judicial Writing in the Ottoman Religious Courts of Beirut and Damascus," paper presented at the 12th Symposium of the Comité International d'Études Pré-Ottomanes et Ottomanes, Prague, 9-13 September 1996.

-"Honor-Crimes in Syrian Courts: The Art of Finding Good Reasons to Kill Your Wife," paper presented at the MESA Convention, Providence, Rhode Island, November 21-24, 1996.

-"Discursive Formations and the Gap Between Theory and Practice in Ottoman Sharî'a Law," paper presented at the Second Joseph Schacht Conference on Theory and Practice in Islamic Law, Granada, December 16-20, 1997.

-"From Anger on Behalf of God to 'Forbearance' in Medieval Islamic Literature," in Anger's Past: The Social Uses of Anger in the Middle Ages, Barbara Rosenwein, ed. (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1998), 203-230.

-"The contractual basis of crime settlements: cases from Nineteenth-Century Beirut and Damascus sharî'a courts," paper presented at the 13e symposium du Comité international d'études pré-ottomanes et ottomanes, Vienna, 21-25 September 1998.

-"Modes of Adjudication in Ottoman Syria," Scuola di Studi Islamica, Instituto Universitario Orientalo, Napoli, May 8, 2002.

-The Grammars of Adjudication: The economics of judicial decision making in fin-de-siècle Ottoman Beirut and Damascus (beirut ifpo 2007).

-"A History of Islamic Adjudication: Methodology and Practice," al-Baath University (Hims, Syria), 28 April 2004; Tishrine University (Latakia, Syria), 29 April 2004.

-"Thomas Edward Wilson," The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, 2nd edition, Macmillan USA, 2004.

-"Alawis," The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle east and North Africa, 2nd edition, Macmillan USA, 2004.

-"Textile Industry," The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle east and North Africa, 2nd edition, Macmillan USA, 2004.

-"Towards an anthropology of the Syrian courts: preliminary methodological observations," La Syrie au présent, Institut Français du Proche-Orient, Damascus, Syria, 10-11 December 2004.

-"The 'Ulama': status and function," The Companion to the History of the Middle East, Youssef Choueiri, ed., Blackwell, 2005.

-“Droit et société,” in Baudouin Dupret and Zouhair Ghazzal, eds., La Syrie au présent, Paris: Actes Sud, 2007.

-“Zones illicites d'Alep,” in Baudouin Dupret and Zouhair Ghazzal, eds., La Syrie au présent, Paris: Actes Sud, 2007.

-“The insane shepherd-who-writes: is he competent to stand trial?” in Baudouin Dupret, ed., What Happened? Telling stories about law in Muslim societies, London: I.B. Tauris, 2008.

-“Violence and legal responsibility: the construction of criminal narratives in contemporary Syria,” Concepts of collective and individual legal responsibility in the Islamic world, Danish Institute in Damascus, 5-8 May 2005, collective book forthcoming.

-“Between avowal and confession: techniques of interrogation and construction of evidence in contemporary Syria,” ACI: Action Concertée Incitative (collective work whose purpose is the praxeology of legal cases within a multi-culturalist perspective), Damascus, 6-8 October 2005.

-“Documenting monopolistic strategies and capital accumulation in the dissolution of waqfs: cases of executive trials in contemporary Aleppo, Syria,” in Randi Deguilhem, ed., Waqfs in the Muslim World, Institut Français du Proche-Orient & Harvard Center of Islamic Law, in preparation.

-The Ideal of Punishment: narratives and the construction of evidence in the Syrian judiciary, in preparation.

-Topographies of Cities: a photographic portfolio, in preparation.

-Consultant, The World and Its Peoples, 50 vol., Brown Reference Group, London & New York.

book reviews

Reviewed Waddah Sharara, al-Silm al-ahli al-barid. Lubnan al-mujtama' wal-dawla, 1964-1967 [The Cold Civil Peace. Lebanon: Society and the State, 1964-1967], Beirut: Ma'had al-Inma' al-'Arabi, 1980, in Dirasat 'Arabiyya, XVI(12), October 1980, 150-160.

Reviewed Économie et sociétés dans l'Empire ottoman (Fin du XVIIIe-Début du XXe siècle), Actes du colloque de Strasbourg (1er au 5 juillet 1980), published by Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont and Paul Dumont (Paris: CNRS, 1983), in Dirasat Tarikhiyya, 15/16(1984), 207-217.

Reviewed Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East, edited by Tarif Khalidi, Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1984, in An-Nahar, 21 January 1985.

Reviewed Colette Establet & Jean-Paul Pascual, Familles et fortunes à Damas: 450 foyers damascains en 1700, Damascus: Institut Français de Damas, 1994, in International Journal of Middle East Studies, 28/3 (August 1996), 431-32.

Replied to André Raymond's criticisms on the Review of Familles et fortunes à Damas, in International Journal of Middle East Studies, 30/3 (August 1998), 474-75.

Reviewed Amnon Cohen, A World Within: Jewish Life as Reflected in Muslim Court Documents from the Sijill of Jerusalem (XVIth Century), 2 vol., Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Center for Judaic Studies, 1994, in Journal of the American Oriental Society, 116/4 (October-December 1996), 781-82.

Reviewed 'Abdullah Ibrahim Sa'id, Ashkal al-milkiyya wa-anwa' al-aradi fi Mutasarrifiyyat Jabal Lubnan wa-Sahlu-l-Biqa', Beirut: Maktabat Bisan, 1995, in Islamic Law & Society, 4:1 (January 1997), 114-120.

Reviewed Richard van Leeuwen, Notables and Clergy in Mount Lebanon: The Khazin Sheikhs and the Maronite Church (1730-1840), Leiden-New York: E.J. Brill, 1994, in Islamic Law & Society, 4:1 (January 1997), 114-120.

Reviewed Amy Singer and Amnon Cohen, eds., Aspects of Ottoman History, Jerusalem: The Hebrew University, 1994, in Journal of the American Oriental Society, 117.4 (1997), 765-768.

Reviewed Amos Elon, A Blood-Dimmed Tide. Dispatches from the Middle East, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997, H-Net Book Review, May 1998.

Reviewed Yassine Essid, A Critique of the Origins of Islamic Economic Thought, Leiden-New York: E.J. Brill, 1995, in Islamic Law & Society, 5 (3), October 1998, 456-460.

Reviewed Waddah Sharara, al-Umma al-qaliqa, Beirut: Dar al-Nahar, 1996, in Islamic Law & Society, 5 (3), October 1998, 448-456.

Reviewed Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, al-Masa'il al-fiqhiyya, Beirut: Dar al-Malak, 1995, in Islamic Law & Society, 5 (3), October 1998, 448-456.

Reviewed al-'Alaqat al-'Arabiyya al-Turkiyya, Istanbul, 1991, 1993, Turkish Studies Association Bulletin, 24:1 (Spring 2000), 121-28.

Reviewed Barber Johansen, Contingency in a Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Norms in the Muslim Fiqh (Leiden: Brill, 1999), Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, 14 (2), Winter 2000, 193-96.

Reviewed Ussama Makdisi, The Culture of Sectarianism (University of California Press, 2000), Turkish Studies Association Bulletin, 25:1 (spring 2001), 90-7.

Reviewed Richard van Leeuwen, Waqfs and Urban Structures (Brill, 1999), International Journal of Middle East Studies, 33:4 (2001), 618-20.

Reviewed Patricia Crone, God's Rule: Government and Islam (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), The Historian, vol. 67, Winter 2005.


grants

• 1991–1992: Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, Washington University in St. Louis, The Center for the Study of Islamic Societies and Civilizations. Research Project: "The Status of Law vis-à-vis the Power-Relations in the Syrian Cities of the Ottoman Empire."

• Summer 1995: Loyola University of Chicago Summer Stipend. Research Project: "The Ethnography of Court Documents: The Practice of the Sharî'a Courts in Ottoman Beirut and Damascus."

• 1996–1997: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers. Project: "The Ethnography of Court Documents: The Practice of the Sharî'a Courts in Ottoman Beirut and Damascus."

• Paid Leave of Absence, Loyola University Chicago, Fall 1997.

• 2003–2005: Fulbright lecturing-research grant for Syria: "The ideal of punishment: the Syrian judiciary and its procedures."

• 2008–2009: Member, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, Princeton.


books

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

-The Grammars of Adjudication: The economics of judicial decision making in fin-de-siècle Ottoman Beirut and Damascus (Beirut: Presses de l'Ifpo 2007).

-The crime of writing. Shared Meanings and criminal narratives in Baathist Syria (Beirut: Presses de l'Ifpo 2015).

-Topographies of Cities: a photographic portfolio, in preparation.