The NYUAD Arts Center Events: Find out more!

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This year the NYUAD Library has been creating research guides to accompany every performance at the NYUAD Arts Center.  These guides are designed to point students towards more resources, both scholarly and popular, about the performances, the performers, and their cultural and intellectual context.  Here are some examples that might be interesting to students studying the Middle East:

The Nile Project

Hekayah the Story-Spoken Word

You can find even more on our Research Guides page.  Let us know what you think!

Core databases: Index Islamicus

2016-01-10_0938The Index Islamicus database indexes literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. It is produced by an editorial team working at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, established to transmit knowledge about Islamic and Middle East studies, which have traditionally been part of the curriculum of SOAS. Records included in the database cover almost 100 years of publications on the world of Islam.

Material cited in the Index Islamicus includes not only work written about the Middle East, but also about the other main Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, plus Muslim minorities elsewhere. Over 3,000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works and book reviews. Journals and books are indexed down to the article and chapter level.

NYUAD students, faculty and staff can access the database here.

U.S. Intelligence on the Middle East, 1945-2009 (Brill)

Brill US intelligence databaseWe recently acquired a new database from Brill entitled U.S. Intelligence on the Middle East, 1945-2009.

According to the publisher:

This comprehensive document set sheds light on the U.S. intelligence community’s spying and analytic efforts in the Middle East and North Africa. It covers the time period from the end of World War II to the present day, up until the 2002-2003 Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) assessments, the Global War on Terror, the Iraq War, and Iran’s nuclear program.

Included in the database are “top secret” declassified primary source documents such as CIA briefings. Each document includes other relevant primary sources, reference works, bibliographies, books, and journal articles. A “background” essay by editor Matthew M. Aid puts the sources in the context of the U.S. Intelligence community’s “misadventures” in the Middle East, including key dates and events in the region. A supplemental bibliography, glossary, and chronology help build an even clearer contextual picture.

This database will be useful for researchers of Middle Eastern history and politics, U.S. foreign policy in the region, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the Syrian civil war, both U.S.-led wars in Iraq, the Iranian revolution and nuclear program, as well as other countries like Lebanon, Libya, and Jordan.

Migration to New Worlds

Given the historical importance of the Gulf Region as a port-of-call for many different migrants, and the continuing interest of many researchers on migration studies, this new database might be of use to NYUAD scholars:

Migration to New Worlds showcases unique primary source material recounting the many and varied personal experiences of 350 years of migration. Explore Colonial Office files on emigration, diaries and travel journals, ship logs and plans, printed literature, objects, watercolours, and oral histories supplemented by carefully selected secondary research aids.

There are some interesting and unique primary sources in this collection.  Please let us know what you think, or if you have any questions about using the database.

Teaching Arabic in the Gulf : opportunities, merits, and challenges

NYUAD at MESAI recently had the pleasure of attending an NYUAD-supported talk at the 2015 MESA (Middle East Scholars Association) conference in Denver, Colorado. The title was Teaching Arabic in the Globalized Arab Societies of the Gulf. Our professors Muhamed Al Khalil, Nasser Isleem, Laila Familiar, and Khulood Kittaneh gave presentations to the group about their activities at NYUAD.

Laila Familiar delivered a presentation entitled Contemporary Gulf Narrative as a Pedagogical Tool to Promote Language and Culture Proficiency. In other words, the talk was about incorporating fiction and other cultural texts in the Arabic language curriculum as she had done with the publication of Hoda Barakat’s Sayyidi wa Habibi: The Authorized Abridged Edition for Students of Arabic.

Nasser Isleem and Khulood Kittaneh reported on the success of their immersion-style j-term course in a presentation entitled Promoting Language Proficiency and Intercultural Competence in Arabic Language Through Short Intensive Immersion Program in the City of Al Ain. This comes on the heels of Nasser’s recently published and popular book Ramsah : an introduction to learning Emirati dialect and culture. Their activities even merited a report in the local Arabic news here (beginning at 11:30 minutes).

Program director Muhamed Al Khalil gave us a big picture view of Arabic language in his case study of U.A.E. policy entitled Linguistic and Extra-Linguistic Influences on Language Policy in Globalized Economies. This comes amid nervous discussion across the Arab-speaking world and elsewhere that Arabic is losing its influence.

There were other great presentations about the Middle East at the MESA conference, including a book and vendor exhibit highlighting the latest scholarly publications in this field.

NYUAD Library has a number of great resources for learning Arabic and researching in Arabic. Check out the Arabic Learning Research Guide for a survey of the types of resources available. And always, you are more than welcome to come into the library for a consultation!

Islamophobia : a challenge for us all

Islamophobia Challenge Pluralism EspositoIslamophobia, or anti-Muslim prejudice, is a major issue in academia, politics, and international relations. In 1997, the Runnymede Trust issued a report entitled Islamophobia : a challenge of us all describing hostility towards Muslims as a set of closed views that can potentially lead to exclusion, discrimination, and even violence.

Ever since Muslims have become more visible in Western counties, academics and journalists have discussed, analyzed, and put forward their views of this social phenomena. Some of them reject the use of the term outright, while others consider it only the latest manifestation of a long tradition of intolerance.

We have a lot of resources in the library if you want to join the discussion, including the latest work by NYU professor Arun Kundnani. Here is a brief bibliography of some resources available in the library:

  • Ansari, Humayun, and Farid Hafez. From the Far Right to the Mainstream: Islamophobia in Party Politics and the Media. Campus, 2012.
  • Carr, James. Experiences of Islamophobia: Living with Racism in the Neoliberal Era. Routledge, 2016.
  • Ernst, Carl W. Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Esposito, John L. Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Green, Todd H. The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West. Fortress Press, 2015.
  • Kumar, Deepa. Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire. Haymarket Books, 2012.
  • Kundnani, Arun. The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror. Verso Press, 2014.
  • Lean, Nathan C, and John L. Esposito. The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims. Pluto Press, 2012.
  • Morgan, George, and Scott Poynting. Global Islamophobia: Muslims and Moral Panic in the West. Ashgate Publishing, 2011.
  • Sheehi, Stephen. Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign against Muslims. Clarity Press, 2011.
  • Taras, Ray. Xenophobia and Islamophobia in Europe. Edinburgh University Press, 2012.
  • Tyrer, David. The Politics of Islamophobia: Race, Power and Fantasy. Pluto Press, 2013.

These works and their citations can lead to other resources and views. When you research, it’s always a good idea to see where these writers are coming from and look into their sources yourself for more information.

As always, come to the library and get help from a librarian if you need more!

Maʻlamat Zāyid encyclopedia of Islamic jurisprudence and law

Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueNYUAD Library was happy to recently acquire Maʻlamat Zāyid : lil-qawāʻid al-fiqhīyah wa al-uṣūlīyah donated to us by the the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation.

This is a 40 volume comprehensive Arabic-language encyclopedia of Islamic jurisprudence and law according to the major and minor schools of thought. It contains detailed discussion of several important topics in Islamic law including maqāṣid al-sharī’a (objectives of the law), uṣūl al-fiqh (foundations of the law), qawāʻid al-fiqhīyah (principles of jurisprudence), and aḥkām (rulings) in ʻibādah (worship) and muʻāmalāt (civil transactions), as well as important legal concepts such as qiyās (legal analogy), istiḥsan (juristic preference), maṣlaḥah (public interest), and sadd al-dharāʾīʿ (blocking the means).

Overall, the work is a great reference resource and we are one of the few American libraries to have it in print.

An excellent overview of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence in English was written by Professor Mohammed Hashim Kamali. Here is the citation:

Kamali, Mohammad H. Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. Cambridge, UK: Islamic Texts Society, 2003.

As always, come into the library and get a librarian if you need more help!

Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī : philosopher, mystic, and theologian

Abu Hamid al-GhazaliRecently the Arab Crossroads department hosted an exciting talk by our professor of philosophy Kalle Taneli Kukkonen about the ethics of Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (1058–1111), arguably the most famous and influential Muslim philosopher, theologian, jurist, and mystic of all time. The library is equipped with numerous scholarly resources for students interested in researching al-Ghazālī’s life and thought.

You can begin your search with the Encyclopedia of Islam and Oxford Islamic Studies.

Next, you can look into al-Ghazālī’s autobiography Al-munqidh min al-ḍalāl (Deliverance from Error), translated and annotated by Richard Jospeh McCarthy.

Maybe you’d like to explore the controversy that erupted between al-Ghazālī and his contemporary Ibn Rushd, known in the West as Averroës. We have the English-Arabc parallel text of Tahāfut al-falāsifah (the Incoherence of the Philosophers).

Or perhaps you’d like to examine al-Ghazālī’s magnum opus, Iḥyāʿ ʿUlūm al-Dīn (Revival of the Religious Sciences). We have the original Arabic as well as many high-quality translations of several of its chapters published by the Islamic Text Society.

As always, let us know if you need any help!

Arab Studies Academic Journals

Pyramids and man on camelNYU has access to a number of prominent academic journals that study the Middle East from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints.  Here are just a few!

Middle Eastern Studies:  “Provides the most up-to-date academic research on the history and politics of the Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa as well as on Turkey, Iran and Israel, particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

Arab Studies Quarterly:  “Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ) was established in 1979 by the late Professors Edward Said and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod. They envisioned the journal to be a platform for academic research to counter anti-Arab propaganda veiled by academic jargon. Since its inception, ASQ has been a refereed academic journal that publishes articles on the Arabs, their history and social and political institutions. The journal continues in the tradition of its founders and is committed to promoting a humanism grounded in research as a counter to the dominant Orientalist discourses in the field of Arab (and Middle East) Studies.”

Arabica: Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies:  “A multidisciplinary academic journal, with an international editorial board representing various fields of research. It is dedicated to the study of the Arab world’s classical and contemporary literatures, languages, history, thought and civilization. From a wider perspective, Arabica is open to the general fields of Islamicate studies and intercultural relations between Arab societies and the other cultural areas throughout history. It actively endeavors to participate in the development of new scholarly approaches and problematics.”

British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies:  “The editors aim to maintain a balance in the journal’s coverage between the modern social sciences and the more traditional disciplines associated with Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. They welcome scholarly contributions on all aspects of the Middle East from the end of classical antiquity and the rise of Islam to the present day. Articles on the language, literature, history, politics, economics, anthropology, sociology, geography, philosophy and the religions and cultures of the region are encouraged.”

International Journal of Middle East Studies:  “Publishes original research on politics, society and culture in the Middle East from the seventh century to the present day. Particular attention to the history, politics, economics, anthropology, sociology, literature, and cultural studies of the area and to comparative religion, theology, law, and philosophy.”

Middle East Quarterly:   “Publishing studies, interviews, commentary, and reviews that tackle wide range of contemporary concerns of the Middle Eastern affairs — from politics to economics to culture, across a region that stretches from Morocco to Afghanistan. Articles should mostly focus on the Middle East itself then (in almost all cases) end with policy recommendations for governments or other institutions”