Featured Research

Decolonial Solidarity in Palestine-Israel: Settler Colonialism and Resistance from Within

Recent years have seen the Israeli state become ever more extreme in its treatment of Palestinians, manifested both in legislation stripping Palestinians of their rights and in the escalating scale and violence of the Israeli occupation. But this hard-line stance has in turn provoked a new spirit of dissent among a growing number of Israeli scholars and civil society activists.

Problematizing Law, Rights, and Childhood in Israel/Palestine

In this book, Hedi Viterbo radically challenges our picture of law, human rights, and childhood, both in and beyond the Israel/Palestine context. He reveals how Israel, rather than disregarding international law and children's rights, has used them to hone and legitimize its violence against Palestinians.

No Bread, No Freedom, No Social Justice: How EU– Egyptian Human Rights Discourse Undermines Democracy

Conventional approaches to democratization in the Middle East take for granted the priority of some civil–political rights (e.g., voting) over others (e.g., rights of association or protest, socioeconomic rights). The discursive structure of these approaches has framed both the promotion of democracy by the European Union and regional governments’ counter-conductive reframing against that effort. But this pas de deux is part of a broader dynamic in which the common ground shared by these two efforts frames democracy so as to deny and delegitimize both the conception of democracy held by Middle Eastern and North African populations themselves and the political and socioeconomic demands of those same populations. Governments, in short, are engaged in “counter-conducting” their own populations. Drawing on critical discourse analysis of key documents, public opinion survey data, and activist interviews, an analysis of the Egyptian case shows that the discursive competition between governments is (also) a dance around democracy which seeks to avoid the more radical, egalitarian demands by populations

Sexuality, nationalism and the other: the Arabic literary canon between Orientalism and the Nahḍa discourse at the fin de siècle

This article examines the dual and paradoxical conception of the Arabic literary canon in Orientalist and Nahḍa discourses in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—an era of great change and closer mutual cultural awareness between Europe and the Arab world. What Arabic literature had long signified to European scholars since Antoine Galland’s eighteenth-century translation of The Arabian Nights (mysticism, Romanticism and a platform to explore sexual taboos) was very different from how the nationalist-minded Nahḍa intellectuals wanted to reconfigure it as the hallmark of the rational “Golden Age” of Arab civilization. Sexuality became a site of contestation between certain Orientalists who praised Arab literary “frankness” and an anxious class of Arab scholars who wanted to “cleanse” the Arabic literary canon and reconfigure it in line with modern, European standards of “respectability” and “politeness.”

Revelation in the Qur’an: A Semantic Study of the Roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y

In Revelation in the Qur’an Simon P. Loynes presents a semantic study of the Arabic roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y in order to elucidate the modalities of revelation in the Qur’an. Through an exhaustive analysis of their occurrences in the Qur’an, and with reference to pre-Islamic poetry, Loynes argues that the two roots represent distinct occurrences, with the former concerned with spatial events and the latter with communicative.

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