• The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism — Mayanthi Fernando
    • In 1989 three Muslim schoolgirls from a Paris suburb refused to remove their Islamic headscarves in class. The headscarf crisis signaled an Islamic revival among the children of North African immigrants; it also ignited an ongoing debate about the place of Muslims within the secular nation-state. Based on ten years of ethnographic research, The Republic Unsettled alternates between an analysis of Muslim French religiosity and the contradictions of French secularism that this emergent religiosity precipitated. Mayanthi L. Fernando explores how Muslim French draw on both Islamic and secular-republican traditions to create novel modes of ethical and political life, reconfiguring those traditions to imagine a new future for France. She also examines how the political discourses, institutions, and laws that constitute French secularism regulate Islam, transforming the Islamic tradition and what it means to be Muslim. Fernando traces how long-standing tensions within secularism and republican citizenship are displaced onto France’s Muslims, who, as a result, are rendered illegitimate as political citizens and moral subjects. She argues, ultimately, that the Muslim question is as much about secularism as it is about Islam.
  • Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger — Arjun Appadurai
    • Appadurai analyzes the darker side of globalization: suicide bombings; anti-Americanism; the surplus of rage manifest in televised beheadings; the clash of global ideologies; and the difficulties that flexible, cellular organizations such as Al-Qaeda present to centralized, “vertebrate” structures such as national governments. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Fear of Small Numbers is a thoughtful invitation to rethink what violence is in an age of globalization.
  • Disciplining Terrorism: How Experts Invented ‘Terrorism’ — Lisa Stampnitzky
    • Since 9/11 we have been told that terrorists are pathological evildoers, beyond our comprehension. Before the 1970s, however, hijackings, assassinations, and other acts we now call ‘terrorism’ were considered the work of rational strategic actors. ‘Disciplining Terror’ examines how political violence became ‘terrorism,’ and how this transformation ultimately led to the current ‘war on terror.’ Drawing upon archival research and interviews with terrorism experts, Lisa Stampnitzky traces the political and academic struggles through which experts made terrorism, and terrorism made experts. She argues that the expert discourse on terrorism operates at the boundary – itself increasingly contested – between science and politics, and between academic expertise and the state. Despite terrorism now being central to contemporary political discourse, there have been few empirical studies of terrorism experts. This book investigates how the concept of terrorism has been developed and used over recent decades.
  • Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post-Apartheid — Gabera Baderoon
    • How do Muslims fit into South Africa’s well-known narrative of colonialism, apartheid, and postapartheid? South Africa is known for apartheid, but the country’s foundation was laid by 176 years of slavery from 1658 to 1834, which formed a crucible of war, genocide, and systemic sexual violence that continues to shape the country today. Enslaved people from East Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, many of whom were Muslim, would eventually constitute the majority of the population of the colony. Drawing on an extensive popular and official archive, Regarding Muslims analyzes the role of Muslims from South Africa’s founding moments to the contemporary period and points to the resonance of these discussions elsewhere. It argues that the 350-year archive of images documenting the presence of Muslims in South Africa is central to understanding the formation of concepts of race, sexuality, and belonging. In contrast to the themes of extremism and alienation that dominate Western portrayals of Muslims, Regarding Muslims explores an extensive repertoire of picturesque Muslim figures in South African popular culture, which oscillates with more disquieting images that occasionally burst into prominence during moments of crisis. This pattern is illustrated through analyses of etymology, popular culture, visual art, jokes, bodily practices, oral narratives, and literature. The book ends with the complex vision of Islam conveyed in the postapartheid period.
  • Feminist Edges of the Qur’an — Aysha A. Hidayatullah
    • Aysha Hidayatullah presents the first comprehensive analysis of contemporary feminist interpretations of the Qur’an. Synthesizing prominent feminist readings of the Qur’an in the United States since the late twentieth century, she provides an essential introduction to this nascent field of Qur’anic scholarship and engages in a deep investigation-as well as a radical critique-of its methods and approaches. With a particular focus on feminist “impasses” in the Qur’anic text, she argues that many feminist interpretations rely on claims about feminist justice that are not fully supported by the text, and she proposes a major revision to their exegetical foundations. A provocative work of Muslim feminist theology, Feminist Edges of the Qur’an is a vital intervention in urgent conversations about women and the Qur’an.
  • Understanding Islam in Indonesia — Robert Pringle
    • This is an insightful and authoritative exploration of the history and development of Islam in Indonesia. With nearly 90 per cent of its inhabitants – over 200 million people – identifying themselves as Muslims, Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, but most people outside the region know little about the nation, and much less about the practice of Islam among its diverse peoples or the religion’s influence on the country’s politics. Written by an expert on Islam, “Understanding Islam in Indonesia” provides readers with an insightful and authoritative explanation of the advent of Islam in the region, its developments, and its contemporary circumstances, as well as demystifying the broad spectrum of politically active Muslim groups in Indonesia today.
  • Provincializing Europe — Dipesh Chakrabarty
    • First published in 2000, Dipesh Chakrabarty’s influential Provincializing Europeaddresses the mythical figure of Europe that is often taken to be the original site of modernity in many histories of capitalist transition in non-Western countries. This imaginary Europe, Dipesh Chakrabarty argues, is built into the social sciences. The very idea of historicizing carries with it some peculiarly European assumptions about disenchanted space, secular time, and sovereignty. Measured against such mythical standards, capitalist transition in the third world has often seemed either incomplete or lacking. Provincializing Europe proposes that every case of transition to capitalism is a case of translation as well–a translation of existing worlds and their thought–categories into the categories and self-understandings of capitalist modernity. Now featuring a new preface in which Chakrabarty responds to his critics, this book globalizes European thought by exploring how it may be renewed both for and from the margins.