Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology invites readers to reconsider the contents and agendas of the art historical and world-culture canons by looking at one of their most historically enduring components: the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Ann Shafer, Amy Rebecca Gansell, and other top researchers in the field examine and critique the formation and historical transformation of the ancient Near Eastern canon of art, architecture, and material culture. Contributors flesh out the current boundaries of regional and typological sub-canons, analyze the technologies of canon production (such as museum practices and classroom pedagogies), and voice first-hand heritage perspectives. Each chapter, thereby, critically engages with the historiography behind our approach to the Near East and proposes alternative constructs. Collectively, the essays confront and critique the ancient Near Eastern canon's present configuration and re-imagine its future role in the canon of world art as a whole. This expansive collection of essays covers the Near East's many regions, eras, and types of visual and archaeological materials, offering specific and actionable proposals for its study. Testing the Canon of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology stands as a vital benchmark and offers a collective path forward for the study and appreciation of Near Eastern cultural heritage. This book acts as a model for similar inquiries across global art historical and archaeological fields and disciplines.
In 1923 the Turkish government, under its new leader Kemal Ataturk, signed a renegotiated Balkan Wars treaty with the major powers of the day and Greece. This treaty provided for the forced exchange of 1.3 million Christians from Anatolia to Greece, in return for 30,000 Greek Muslims. The mass migration that ensued was a humanitarian catastrophe - of the 1.3 million Christians relocated it is estimated only 150,000 were successfully integrated into the Greek state. Furthermore, because the treaty was ethnicity-blind, tens of thousands of Muslim Greeks (ethnically and linguistically) were forced into Turkey against their will. Both the Greek and Turkish leadership saw this exchange as crucial to the state-strengthening projects both powers were engaged in after the First World War. Here, Emine Bedlek approaches this enormous shift in national thinking through literary texts - addressing the themes of loss, identity, memory and trauma which both populations experienced. The result is a new understanding of the tensions between religious and ethnic identity in modern Turkey.
In 1958, Ahmad Chalabi’s wealthy Shiite family was exiled from Iraq after a revolution that ultimately put Saddam Hussein in power. The young Chalabi devoted his life to restoring his family to prominence. His first coup attempt was in 1963 at age nineteen, while on a school break from MIT. His next was aided by Iranian intelligence. But as the years passed and Saddam stayed in power, Chalabi made an audacious decision: he needed the support of both Iran and its powerful archenemy, the United States. Drawing on unparalleled access to Chalabi, Bonin traces the exile’s ingenious efforts to stoke a desire for Iraqi regime change in the U.S. He narrates Chalabi’s ill-fated engagement with the CIA and his later focus on neoconservative policy makers who rose to power under George W. Bush. As a result, from day two of the Bush presidency, the push for a new Iraq was on, with the intent to install Ahmad Chalabi as overseer of U.S. interests in the Middle East. The outcome was perhaps the biggest foreign policy disaster in our history and a triumphant end to Chalabi’s forty-five-year quest. Today, as we prepare to withdraw our troops from Iraq, Arrows of the Night is full of shocking revelations about how we got there, including the true story of Chalabi’s relationship with Iran. This page-turner, with its definitive account of the war, irrevocably alters a story we thought we knew.
Muslim women have been stereotyped by Western academia as oppressed and voiceless. This volume problematizes this Western academic representation. Muslim Women Writers from the Middle East from Out al-Kouloub al-Dimerdashiyyah (1899–1968) and Latifa al-Zayat (1923–1996) from Egypt, to current diasporic writers such as Tamara Chalabi from Iraq, Mohja Kahf from Syria, and even trendy writers such as Alexandra Chreiteh, challenge the received notion of Middle Eastern women as subjugated and secluded. The younger largely Muslim women scholars collected in this book present cutting edge theoretical perspectives on these Muslim women writers. This book includes essays from the conflict-ridden countries such as Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and the resultant diaspora. The strengths of Muslim women writers are captured by the scholars included herein. The approach is feminist, post-colonial, and disruptive of Western stereotypical academic tropes.