Monday, April 30, 2012

Praise for Hussein Ali Agrama's “Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt”

“Questioning Secularism is a mind-widening book. It is not simply a contestation or reconstruction of the doctrines of secularism but an enquiry into the ways in which it continually generates questions—about necessary limitations to public expression, about the dangers of religious politics, about the place of the Shari‘a in a liberal state, and so forth. At the center of these questions, says Agrama, is the concern to determine the line between politics and religion. Agrama explores this theme brilliantly in the context of contemporary Egypt by drawing on a rich body of ethnographic and historical data, and presents the reader with valuable insights into the ways sovereignty, public order, and state of exception are implicated (often in contradictory ways) in the question of secularism in that country. The most innovative part of this impressive work is the comparison between the Egyptian family court and the Fatwa Council, both based on understandings of the Shari‘a but each very different in its conditions of existence and its orientation. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in secularism today.”

Questioning Secularism: 
Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt

Hussein Ali Agrama 

University of Chicago Press, 2012

Praise for Nadia Abu El-Haj's “The Genealogical Science”

The Genealogical Science is a wonderful account of how old-fashioned race science has come to be re-defined by resort to the most recent developments in genetics. But this book is not simply another story of the ideological uses to which science may be put. Nadia Abu El-Haj has provided the reader with a very detailed analysis of the historical entanglement between science and politics. Her study should be required reading for anyone interested in the sociology of science—and also for those dealing with Middle Eastern nationalisms. This is a work of outstanding value for scholarship.”

The Genealogical Science: 
The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology 

Nadia Abu El-Haj 

University of Chicago Press, 2012

for more details click here

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Praise for Samera Esmeir's 'Juridical Humanity' (2012)

''Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History is an impressive work of scholarship—original, soundly argued, and thought provoking. Although existing histories of law distinguish between colonial and pre-colonial periods, Esmeir argues persuasively against the distinction, insisting that essential aspects of the latter can only be understood by examining how the former construed and dealt with it. This book helps the reader to formulate questions about the history of law and society in the Middle East that have not been raised in this way before. It deserves to be widely read by everyone interested in the Middle East.''

Publisher's Website

Esmeir teaches at Berkeley Rhetoric

Talal Asad Interview (2011, Minnesota Review)

Janell Watson interviews Talal Asad: 
Modernizing Middle Eastern Studies, Historicizing Religion, Particularizing Human Rights