What are the pleasures of reading translations of South Asian literature, and what does it take to enjoy a translated text? This volume provides opportunities to explore such questions by bringing together a whole set of new translations by David Shulman, noted scholar of South Asia. The translated selections come from a variety of Indian languages, genres, and periods, from the classical to the contemporary. The translations are accompanied by short essays written to help readers engage and enjoy them. Some of these essays provide background to enhance reading of the translation, whereas others model how to expand appreciation in comparative and broader ways. Together, the translations and the accompanying essays form an essential guide for people interested in literature and art from South Asia.
“The scholarly interpretations and commentary in this volume represent some of the most prominent voices in the philological and historical study of South Asia—a galaxy of experts in literary analysis and other subfields of South Asian cultural history. This volume beautifully illuminates the generative possibilities of the intimate, context-sensitive mode of reading that David Shulman has engaged in for decades.” DAVESH SONEJI, Department of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania
YIGAL BRONNER is Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. CHARLES HALLISEY is Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures at Harvard Divinity School. DAVID SHULMAN is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
From drought to deluge, climate extremes are mobilizing humanities scholars to reimagine water discourse, which has until now largely focused on human power over water. This volume unites preeminent and emerging voices across humanistic disciplines to develop a new discourse called the hydrohumanities, dedicated to examining water-human-power relationships.
Organized into three themes in water studies—agency, fluid identities, and cultural currencies—Hydrohumanities exemplifies how interdisciplinary approaches can transform water conversations. Part One explores the properties of water and the ways water challenges human plans for control. Part Two explores how water (or its absence) shapes human collective and individual identities. Part Three engages notions of value and circulation to think about how water has been employed for local, national, and international gains. This volume shows how humanities scholarship has world-changing potential to achieve more just water futures.
“This fascinating essay collection breaks new ground with its interdisciplinary insights into the relations between water and human societies.” MATTHEW GANDY, author of The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination
“Water’s power, purpose, and meaning cannot be contained by any one scholarly discipline. Understanding the value of water in a time of climate catastrophe demands more-than-human humanities, and Hydrohumanities answers this call.” ASTRIDA NIEMANIS, author of Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology
KIM DE WOLFF is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas. RINA C. FALETTI is an exhibition curator and researcher in the Global Arts Studies Program at the University of California, Merced. IGNACIO LÓPEZ-CALVO is UC Merced Presidential Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Latin American Literature.
What is the purpose of a church? Who owns a church? Mary K. Farag persuasively demonstrates that three groups in late antiquity were concerned with these questions: Christian leaders, wealthy laypersons, and lawmakers. Conflicting answers usually coexisted, but from time to time they clashed and caused significant tension. In these disputes, juridical regulations and opinions mattered more than has been traditionally recognized. Considering familiar Christian controversies in novel ways, Farag’s investigation shows that scholarship has misunderstood well-known religious figures by ignoring the legal issues they faced. This seminal text nuances vital aspects of scholarly conversations on sacred space, gift giving, wealth, and poverty in the late antique Mediterranean world, making use not only of Latin and Greek sources but also Coptic and Arabic evidence.
“This is a book I have long been looking for. Meticulously conceived and argued, it provides the first comprehensive survey and analysis of what made a church sacred in late antiquity. It will likely become a standard reference on the topic for decades to come.” WENDY MAYER, Australian Lutheran College, University of Divinity
MARY K. FARAG is Assistant Professor of Early Christian Studies at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
The quest for an inclusive and independent state has been at the center of the Palestinian national struggle for a very long time. This book critically explores the meaning of Palestinian statehood and the challenges that face alternative models to it. Giving prominence to a young set of diverse Palestinian scholars, this groundbreaking book shows how notions of citizenship, sovereignty, and nationhood are being rethought within the broader context of decolonization. Bringing forth critical and multifaceted engagements with what modern Palestinian self-determination entails, Rethinking Statehood sets the terms of debate for the future of Palestine beyond partition.
“At a juncture when independent Palestinian statehood seems unachievable, these astute reflections are particularly welcome. They offer innovative suggestions for how to provide renewed dynamism to the Palestinian struggle, outside the confines of a two-state solution that has been systematically sabotaged by Israel for over fifty years.” RASHID KHALIDI, author of The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine
“Rethinking Statehood in Palestine breaks new analytical ground on urgent issues. It is also theoretically rich for more general explorations of the nation-state, citizenship, justice, and the efficacy (or not) of international legal mechanisms in addressing injustice.” PENNY JOHNSON, coeditor of Seeking Palestine: New Writings on Home and Exile
“This book provides crucial answers to the challenges facing the Palestinians and new insight into the nature of the relationship between national liberation, human liberation, and state-building.” ALAIN GRESH, author of The PLO: The Struggle Within and cofounder of Orient XXI
LEILA H. FARSAKH is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is author of Palestinian Labor Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation and coeditor of The Arab and Jewish Questions: Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond.
Almost 68.5 million refugees in the world today live in a protection gap, the chasm between protections stipulated in the Geneva Convention and the abrogation of those responsibilities by aid agencies. With dwindling humanitarian aid, how do refugee communities solve collective dilemmas?
In Networked Refugees, Nadya Hajj finds that Palestinian refugees utilize information communication technology platforms to motivate reciprocity—a cooperative action marked by the mutual exchange of favors and services—and informally seek aid and connection with their transnational diaspora community. Based on surveys conducted with Palestinians throughout the diaspora, interviews with those inside the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon, and data pulled from online community spaces, these findings pushback against the cynical idea that online organizing is fruitless, emphasizing instead the productivity of these digital networks.
“With nuance, sensitivity, and fascinating connections across diverse social settings, Nadya Hajj offers a blueprint for how transnational networks can motivate reciprocity to solve communal problems.” WENDY PEARLMAN, author of Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement
“In this remarkable book, Hajj deploys her considerable theoretical and empirical gifts. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding refugee experience.” TAREK MASOUD, coauthor of The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform
“Through stunning ethnographic and survey research, Hajj provides enormous insights into the way Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and the diaspora not only resist the destruction of their community but have found new ways of rebuilding it, challenging us to think differently about Palestinian refugees and their reimagined futures.” SARA ROY, Harvard University
NADYA HAJJ is Whitehead Associate Professor of Critical Thought and Associate Professor of Peace and Justice Studies at Wellesley College.
Widely studies and hotly debated, the Silk Road is often viewed as a precursor to contemporary globalization, the merchants traversing it as early agents of cultural exchange. Missing are the lives of the ordinary people who inhabited the route and contributed as much to its development as their itinerant counterparts. In this book, Kate Franklin takes medieval Armenia as a compelling case study for examining how global culture and everyday life intertwined along the Silk Road. Guiding the reader through increasingly intimate scales of evidence, she vividly reconstructs how people living in and passing through the medieval Caucasus understood the world and their place within it. With its innovative focus on the far-reaching implications of local practices, Everyday Cosmopolitanisms brings the study of medieval Eurasia into relation with contemporary investigations of cosmopolitanism and globalization, challenging schisms between modern and medieval, global and quotidian.
“Culminating in a tasty stew shared in a medieval Armenian caravanserai, Kate Franklin’s feminist analysis of different scales of the material culture of hospitality and its powers turns the heroic travel narratives of what we call the Silk Road inside out. A critical tour de force.” FRANCESCA BRAY, author of Technology, Gender and History in Imperial China: Great Transformations Reconsidered
“A delightful and perceptive read. The author traces the threads that are woven throughout the land and sensory ‘scapes’ of a valley in Armenia: its archaeology, architecture, and people’s lives, past and present. She argues that like other places across Afro-Eurasia, this valley and its people reveal their part in the wider ‘scape’ of a cosmopolitan medieval world, the Silk Roads.” SUSAN WHITFIELD, author of Silk, Slaves, and Stupas: Material Culture of the Silk Road
KATE FRANKLIN is Lecturer in Medieval History at Birkbeck, University of London.
This sweeping book details the extent to which the legal revolution emanating from the US has transformed legal hierarchies of power across the globe, while also analyzing the conjoined global histories of law and social change from the Middle Ages to today. It examines the global proliferation of large corporate law firms—a US invention—along with US legal education approaches geared toward those corporate law firms. This neoliberal-inspired revolution attacks complacent legal oligarchies in the name of America-inspired modernism. Drawing on the combined histories of the legal profession, imperial transformations, and the enduring and conservative role of cosmopolitan elites at the top of legal hierarchies, the book details case studies in India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and China to explain how interconnected legal histories are stories of both revolution and reproduction. Theoretically and methodologically ambitious, it offers a wholly new approach to studying interrelated fields across time and geographies.
“A highly original work that develops and merges different scholarly traditions into a unique analytic framework, illustrating how legal fields and fields of state power worldwide have been interwoven in their development from the Middle Ages until today.” OLE HAMMERSLEV, Professor of Sociology of Law, University of Southern Denmark
“Probably the most important work ever done on the global history of the legal profession and its role in constructing the state and capitalism since the Middle Ages. These authors have been honing their theoretical framework for decades and building up an unparalleled comparative knowledge of the global legal profession. This is their master work, the kind of comparative work that rarely comes along and that can be field-redefining.” CAROL JONES, Honorary Professor, University of Birmingham, School of Law
YVES DEZALAY is Emeritus Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. BRYANT G. GARTH is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Jainism, perhaps more so than any other South Asian tradition, focuses strongly on the ethics of birth, life, and death, with regard to both humans and other living beings. Insistent Life is the first full-length interdisciplinary examination of the foundational principles of bioethics within Jain doctrine and the application of those principles in the contemporary sphere. Brianne Donaldson and Ana Bajželj analyze a diverse range of Jain texts and contemporary sources to identify Jain perspectives on bioethical issues while highlighting the complexity of their personal, professional, and public dimensions. The book also features extensive original data based on an international survey the authors conducted with Jain medical professionals in India and diaspora communities of North America, Europe, and Africa.
“Through an analysis of traditional Jain texts and contemporary voices of practicing Jains, Brianne Donaldson and Ana Bajželj provide important insights from within Jainism to bioethical discussions. When read by healthcare professionals, this work can contribute to their understanding of the increasingly diverse patient population within their care.” SWASTI BHATTACHARYYA, author of Magical Progeny, Modern Technology: A Hindu Bioethics of Assisted Reproductive Technology
“Insistent Life fills a scholarly gap by presenting a comprehensive review of the ethical and medical views of Jainism and how they apply to contemporary bioethics. Undoubtedly, this treatment will be welcomed by religious scholars and scholars of Jainism in particular.” DAVID E. GUINN, editor of Handbook of Bioethics and Religion
BRIANNE DONALDSON is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies at University of California, Irvine. ANA BAJŽELJ is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Shrimad Rajchandra Endowed Chair in Jain Studies at University of California, Riverside.
The Endurance of Palestinian Political Factions is an ethnographic study of Palestinian political factions in Lebanon through an immersion in daily home life. Perla Issa asks how political factions remain the center of political life in the Palestinian camps in the face of mounting criticism. Through an examination of the daily, mundane practices of refugees in Nahr el-Bared camp in particular, this book shows how intimate, interpersonal, and kin-based relations are transformed into political networks and offers a fresh analysis of how those networks are in turn metamorphosed into political structures. By providing a detailed and intimate account of this process, this book reveals how factions are produced and reproduced in everyday life despite widespread condemnation.
“Utilizing rich ethnographic fieldwork, Perla Issa provides an engaging analysis of Palestinian factions in the refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared. Her book illuminates the centrality of political factions to quotidian social interactions and the rhythms of everyday life.” Adam Hanieh, author of Money, Markets, and Monarchies: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Political Economy of the Contemporary Middle East
“How do political factions maintain centrality in Palestinian political life even when they are widely unpopular and even delegitimized? How are such factions reproduced in the face of widespread condemnation? The questions that animate this manuscript are vitally important.” Ilana Feldman, author of Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics
Perla Issa is a researcher at the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut, Lebanon.
Up to the twentieth century, Islamic charitable endowments provided the material foundation of the Muslim world. In Lebanon, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the imposition of French colonial rule, many of these endowments reverted to private property circulating in the marketplace. In contemporary Beirut, however, charitable endowments have resurged as mosques, Islamic centers, and nonprofit organizations. A historical anthropology in dialogue with Islamic law, God’s Property demonstrates how these endowments have been drawn into secular logics— no longer the property of God but of the Muslim community—and shaped by the modern state and modern understandings of charity and property. Although these transformations have produced new kinds of loyalties and ways of being in society, Nada Moumtaz’s ethnography reveals the furtive persistence of endowment practices that perpetuate older ways of thinking of one’s self and one’s responsibilities to family and state.
“A brilliant conceptual history and historical anthropology, God’s Property is a genealogy of waqfs (religious endowments) in modern Lebanon. Attentive to both continuities and ruptures, Nada Moumtaz traces the grammar of concepts within this Islamic tradition under regimes of modern governmentality, secularization, and capitalism. A must-read for scholars of anthropology, history, and law.” OMNIA EL SHAKRY, Professor of History, University of California, Davis
“With considerable erudition and a finely tuned ethnographic sensibility, Moumtaz traces subtle and profound historical shifts in Islamic concepts of debt, interest, and motivation, showing how they were shaped into modern notions of self and state. This book will provide provocative, valuable lessons to fields from economic and political anthropology to Islamic and Middle East studies.” HUSSEIN ALI AGRAMA, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago
NADA MOUMTAZ is Assistant Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and in the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto.
The Practice of Texts examines the uses of the Sanskrit medical classics in two educational institutions of India’s classical life science, Ayurveda: the college and the gurukula. In this interdisciplinary study, Anthony Cerulli probes late- and postcolonial reforms in ayurvedic education, the development of the ayurvedic college, and the impacts of the college curriculum on ways that ayurvedic physicians understand and use the Sanskrit classics in their professional work today. His fi eldwork in south India illuminates the nature of philology and ritual in the ayurvedic gurukula and showcases how knowledge is exchanged among students, teachers, and patients. The result, Cerulli shows, is that the Sanskrit classics are presented and applied differently in the college and gurukula, producing a variety of relationships with these texts among practitioners. By interrogating the politics surrounding the place of the Sanskrit classics in ayurvedic curricula, this book reveals a spectrum of views about the history and tradition of Ayurveda in modern India.
This is the first book-length study in English of the Japanese-language literary activities of early Japanese migrants to Brazil. It provides a detailed history of Japanese-language bookstores, serialized newspaper fiction, original creative works, and critical apparatuses that existed in Brazil prior to World War II. This case study of the reading and writing of one diasporic population challenges the dominant mode of literary study, in which texts are often explicitly or implicitly understood through a framework of ethno-nationalism. Self-representations by writers in the diaspora reveal flaws in this prevailing framework through what Edward Mack calls “acquired alterity,” in which expectations about the stability of ethnic identity are subverted in surprising ways. Acquired Alterity encourages a reconsideration of the ramifications (and motivations) of cultural analyses of texts and the constructions of peoplehood that are often the true objects of literary knowledge production.
Yan’an is China’s “revolutionary holy land,” the heart of Mao Zedong’s Communist movement from 1937 to 1947. Based on thirty years of archival and documentary research and numerous field trips to the region, Joseph W. Esherick's book examines the origins of the Communist revolution in northwest China, from the political, social, and demographic changes of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) to the intellectual ferment of the early Republic, the guerrilla movement of the 1930s, and the replacement of the local revolutionary leadership after Mao and the Center arrived in 1935. In Accidental Holy Land, Esherick compels us to consider the Chinese revolution not as some inevitable peasant response to poverty and oppression, but as the contingent product of local, national, and international events in a constantly changing milieu.
Huizhou studies the construction of local identity through kinship in the prefecture of Huizhou, the most prominent merchant stronghold of Ming China. Employing an array of untapped genealogies and other sources, Qitao Guo explores how developments in the sociocultural, religious, and gender realms from the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries intertwined to shape Huizhou identity as a land of “prominent lineages.” This gentrified self-image both sheltered and guided the development of mercantile lineages, which were further bolstered by the gender regime and the local religious order. As Guo demonstrates, the discrepancy between representation and practice helps explain Huizhou’s triumphs. The more active the economy became, the more those central to its commercialization embraced conservative sociocultural norms. Home lineages embraced neo-Confucian orthodoxy even as they provided the financial and logistical support to assure the success of Huizhou merchants. The end result was not “capitalism” but a gentrified mercantile lineage culture with Chinese—or Huizhou—characteristics.
Cinematic Independence traces the emergence, demise, and rebirth of big-screen film exhibition in Nigeria. Film companies flocked to Nigeria in the years following independence, beginning a long history of interventions by Hollywood and corporate America. The 1980s and 1990s saw a shuttering of cinemas, which were almost entirely replaced by television and direct-to-video movies. However, after 1999, the exhibition sector was revitalized with the construction of multiplexes. Cinematic Independence is about the periods that straddle this disappearing act: the immediate decades bracketing independence in 1960, and the years after 1999. At stake is the Nigerian postcolony’s role in global debates about the future of the movie theater. That it was eventually resurrected in the flashy form of the multiplex is not simply an achievement of commercial real estate, but also a testament to cinema’s persistence—its capacity to stave off annihilation or, in this case, come back from the dead.