Desiring Arabs

Author: Joseph A. Massad
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226509605
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Sexual desire has long played a key role in Western judgments about the value of Arab civilization. In the past, Westerners viewed the Arab world as licentious, and Western intolerance of sex led them to brand Arabs as decadent; but as Western society became more sexually open, the supposedly prudish Arabs soon became viewed as backward. Rather than focusing exclusively on how these views developed in the West, in Desiring Arabs Joseph A. Massad reveals the history of how Arabs represented their own sexual desires. To this aim, he assembles a massive and diverse compendium of Arabic writing from the nineteenth century to the present in order to chart the changes in Arab sexual attitudes and their links to Arab notions of cultural heritage and civilization. A work of impressive scope and erudition, Massad’s chronicle of both the history and modern permutations of the debate over representations of sexual desires and practices in the Arab world is a crucial addition to our understanding of a frequently oversimplified and vilified culture. “A pioneering work on a very timely yet frustratingly neglected topic. . . . I know of no other study that can even begin to compare with the detail and scope of [this] work.”—Khaled El-Rouayheb, Middle East Report “In Desiring Arabs, [Edward] Said’s disciple Joseph A. Massad corroborates his mentor’s thesis that orientalist writing was racist and dehumanizing. . . . [Massad] brilliantly goes on to trace the legacy of this racist, internalized, orientalist discourse up to the present.”—Financial Times

Desiring Arabs

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From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay, sexual torture has played a notorious role in the recent history of American interventions into the Arab world. These abhorrent techniques have been officially justified as an effective tool for interrogating Arabs, who are perceived as repressed and especially susceptible to sexual coercion - the result of centuries of racist assumptions about Arab sexuality. In Desiring Arabs, Joseph A. Massad uncovers the roots of these attitudes and analyzes the impact of Western ideas - both about sexuality and about Arabs - on the last two hundred years of Arab intellectual production.

Islam In Liberalism

Author: Joseph A. Massad
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022620636X
Size: 20.76 MB
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In the popular imagination, Islam is often associated with words like oppression, totalitarianism, intolerance, cruelty, misogyny, and homophobia, while its presumed antonyms are Christianity, the West, liberalism, individualism, freedom, citizenship, and democracy. In the most alarmist views, the West’s most cherished values—freedom, equality, and tolerance—are said to be endangered by Islam worldwide. Joseph Massad’s Islam in Liberalism explores what Islam has become in today’s world, with full attention to the multiplication of its meanings and interpretations. He seeks to understand how anxieties about tyranny, intolerance, misogyny, and homophobia, seen in the politics of the Middle East, are projected onto Islam itself. Massad shows that through this projection Europe emerges as democratic and tolerant, feminist, and pro-LGBT rights—or, in short, Islam-free. Massad documents the Christian and liberal idea that we should missionize democracy, women’s rights, sexual rights, tolerance, equality, and even therapies to cure Muslims of their un-European, un-Christian, and illiberal ways. Along the way he sheds light on a variety of controversial topics, including the meanings of democracy—and the ideological assumption that Islam is not compatible with it while Christianity is—women in Islam, sexuality and sexual freedom, and the idea of Abrahamic religions valorizing an interfaith agenda. Islam in Liberalism is an unflinching critique of Western assumptions and of the liberalism that Europe and Euro-America blindly present as a type of salvation to an assumingly unenlightened Islam.

Syria S Democratic Years

Author: Kevin W. Martin
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253018935
Size: 33.31 MB
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The years 1954–1958 in Syria are popularly known as "The Democratic Years," a brief period of civilian government before the consolidation of authoritarian rule. Kevin W. Martin provides a cultural history of the period and argues that the authoritarian outcome was anything but inevitable. Examining the flourishing broadcast and print media of the time, he focuses on three public figures, experts whose professions—law, the military, and medicine—projected modernity and modeled the new Arab citizen. This experiment with democracy, however abortive, offers a model of governance from Syria’s historical experience that could serve as an alternative to dictatorship.

The Arabic Freud

Author: Omnia El Shakry
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691174792
Size: 36.20 MB
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The first in-depth look at how postwar thinkers in Egypt mapped the intersections between Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought In 1945, psychologist Yusuf Murad introduced an Arabic term borrowed from the medieval Sufi philosopher and mystic Ibn ‘Arabi—al-la-shu‘ur—as a translation for Sigmund Freud’s concept of the unconscious. By the late 1950s, Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams had been translated into Arabic for an eager Egyptian public. In The Arabic Freud, Omnia El Shakry challenges the notion of a strict divide between psychoanalysis and Islam by tracing how postwar thinkers in Egypt blended psychoanalytic theories with concepts from classical Islamic thought in a creative encounter of ethical engagement. Drawing on scholarly writings as well as popular literature on self-healing, El Shakry provides the first in-depth examination of psychoanalysis in Egypt and reveals how a new science of psychology—or “science of the soul,” as it came to be called—was inextricably linked to Islam and mysticism. She explores how Freudian ideas of the unconscious were crucial to the formation of modern discourses of subjectivity in areas as diverse as psychology, Islamic philosophy, and the law. Founding figures of Egyptian psychoanalysis, she shows, debated the temporality of the psyche, mystical states, the sexual drive, and the Oedipus complex, while offering startling insights into the nature of psychic life, ethics, and eros. This provocative and insightful book invites us to rethink the relationship between psychoanalysis and religion in the modern era. Mapping the points of intersection between Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought, it illustrates how the Arabic Freud, like psychoanalysis itself, was elaborated across the space of human difference.

Deeper Than Oblivion

Author: Raz Yosef
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1441174974
Size: 13.64 MB
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In this collection, leading scholars in both film studies and Israeli studies show that beyond representing familiar historical accounts or striving to offer a more complete and accurate depiction of the past, Israeli cinema has innovatively used trauma and memory to offer insights about Israeli society and to engage with cinematic experimentation and invention. Tracing a long line of films from the 1940s up to the 2000s, the contributors use close readings of these films not only to reconstruct the past, but also to actively engage with it. Addressing both high-profile and lesser known fiction and non-fiction Israeli films, Deeper than Oblivion underlines the unique aesthetic choices many of these films make in their attempt to confront the difficulties, perhaps even impossibility, of representing trauma. By looking at recent and classic examples of Israeli films that turn to memory and trauma, this book addresses the pressing issues and disputes in the field today.

The Crisis Of Islamic Masculinities

Author: Amanullah De Sondy
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 178093744X
Size: 71.29 MB
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Rigid notions of masculinity are causing crisis in the global Islamic community. These are articulated from the Qur'an, its commentary, historical precedents and societal, religious and familial obligations. Some Muslims who don't agree with narrow constructs of manliness feel forced to consider themselves secular and therefore outside the religious community. In order to evaluate whether there really is only one valid, ideal Islamic masculinity, The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities explores key figures of the Qur'an and Indian-Pakistani Islamic history, and exposes the precariousness of tight constraints on Islamic manhood. By examining Qur'anic arguments and the strict social responsibilities advocated along with narrow Islamic masculinities, Amanullah De Sondy shows that God and women (to whom Muslim men relate but are different from) often act as foils for the construction of masculinity. He argues the constrainers of masculinity have used God and women to think with and to dominate through and that rigid gender roles are the product of a misguided enterprise: the highly personal relationship between humans and God does not lend itself to the organization of society, because that relationship cannot be typified and replicated. Discussions and debates surrounding Islamic masculinities are quickly finding their place in the study of Islam and Muslims, and The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities makes a vital contribution to this emerging field.

The Homoerotics Of Orientalism

Author: Joseph A. Boone
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231521820
Size: 20.59 MB
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One of the largely untold stories of Orientalism is the degree to which the Middle East has been associated with "deviant" male homosexuality by scores of Western travelers, historians, writers, and artists for well over four hundred years. And this story stands to shatter our preconceptions of Orientalism. To illuminate why and how the Islamicate world became the locus for such fantasies and desires, Boone deploys a supple mode of analysis that reveals how the cultural exchanges between Middle East and West have always been reciprocal and often mutual, amatory as well as bellicose. Whether examining European accounts of Istanbul and Egypt as hotbeds of forbidden desire, juxtaposing Ottoman homoerotic genres and their European imitators, or unlocking the homoerotic encoding in Persian miniatures and Orientalist paintings, this remarkable study models an ethics of crosscultural reading that exposes, with nuance and economy, the crucial role played by the homoerotics of Orientalism in shaping the world as we know it today. A contribution to studies in visual culture as well as literary and social history, The Homoerotics of Orientalism draws on primary sources ranging from untranslated Middle Eastern manuscripts and European belles-lettres to miniature paintings and photographic erotica that are presented here for the first time.

New Tunisian Cinema

Author: Robert Lang
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537190
Size: 41.70 MB
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Tunisian cinema is often described as the most daring of all Arab cinemas. For many, Tunisia appeared to be a model of equipoise between "East" and "West," and yet, during Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's presidency, from 1987 to 2011, the country became the most repressive state in the Maghreb. Against considerable odds, a generation of filmmakers emerged in the mid-1980s to make films that are allegories of resistance to the increasingly illiberal trends that were marking their society. In New Tunisian Cinema, Robert Lang focuses on eight films by some of the nation's best-known directors, including Man of Ashes (1986), Bezness (1992) and Making Of (2006) by Nouri Bouzid, Halfaouine (1990) by Férid Boughedir, The Silences of the Palace (1994) by Moufida Tlatli, Essaïda (1997) by Mohamed Zran, Bedwin Hacker (2002) by Nadia El Fani, and The TV Is Coming (2006) by Moncef Dhouib. He explores the political economy and social, historical, and psychoanalytic dimensions of these works and the strategies filmmakers deployed to preserve cinema's ability to shape debates about national identity. These debates, Lang argues, not only helped initiate the 2011 uprising that ousted Ben Ali's regime but also did much to inform and articulate the aspirations of the Tunisian people in the new millennium.

Contemporary Arab Thought

Author: Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231144881
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During the second half of the twentieth century, the Arab intellectual and political scene polarized between a search for totalizing doctrines-nationalist, Marxist, and religious-and radical critique. Arab thinkers were reacting to the disenchanting experience of postindependence Arab states, as well as to authoritarianism, intolerance, and failed development. They were also responding to successive defeats by Israel, humiliation, and injustice. The first book to take stock of these critical responses, this volume illuminates the relationship between cultural and political critique in the work of major Arab thinkers, and it connects Arab debates on cultural malaise, identity, and authenticity to the postcolonial issues of Latin America and Africa, revealing the shared struggles of different regions and various Arab concerns.