Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa

Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa

Into the New Millennium
Edited by Sherine Hafez and Susan Slyomovics
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/05/2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-00753-7
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The waves of change sweeping the MENA compel social scientists and anthropologists in particular to move beyond local specificities and images of ‘untouched’ communities or Middle East exceptionalism to consider wider patterns of social and cultural change.... [The essays in this volume] reflect a commitment to ethnographic research informed by current discussions about the field of Middle East anthropology. All attempt to take stock of what anthropologists have and have not accomplished in their attempt to understand this region.from the foreword

Author Bio

Sherine Hafez is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is author of The Terms of Empowerment: Islamic Women’s Activism in Egypt and An Islam of Her Own: Reconsidering Religion and Secularism in Women's Islamic Movements.

Susan Slyomovics is Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is author of The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village; editor of The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco; Clifford Geertz in Morocco; and (with Barbara Rose Johnston) of Waging War and Making Peace: The Anthropology of Reparations.


“The first attempt in many years to bring together anthropologists working in the Middle East and North Africa, and to publish their work together. The volume is unique and should have a wide readership in MENA anthropology and beyond.”
 — Marcia C. Inhorn, Yale University

Anthropology of the Middle East is a remarkable contribution to the field.”
 —  Anthropology of Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia

“The volume, including its comprehensive bibliography, will benefit students of Middle East studies looking to see how anthropology contributes to the study of the region. Anthropology students will find theoretical topics germane not only to the region but also to broader anthropological conversations. Readers will also enjoy the fine ethnography that drives these major theoretical trajectories in the anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa.”
 — Review of Middle East Studies

“Spanning audiences of undergraduates, graduates and established researchers, this volume will be an extremely useful reference point for scholars of the MENA region, in anthropology and beyond.”
 — African Studies Bulletin

“This volume is a good addition to the anthropological body of work on the region.”
 — Social Anthropology

“[T]his volume is a valuable contribution to the general field of anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa. . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Power and Knowledge in the Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa Sherine Hafez and Susan Slyomovics

Part I. Knowledge Production in Middle East and North Africa Anthropology
1. State of the State of the Art Studies: An Introduction to the Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa Susan Slyomovics
2. Identity and Difference in the Middle East and North Africa: A Review Essay Seteney Shami and Nefissa Naguib
3. Anthropology’s Middle Eastern Prehistory: An Archaeology of Knowledge Jon W. Anderson
4. The Pragmatics and Politics of Anthropological Collaboration on the North African Frontier Paul A. Silverstein
5. Post-Cold War Politics of Middle East Anthropology: Insights from a Transitional Generation Confronting the War on Terror Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar

Part II. Subjectivities: Youth, Gender, Family and Tribe in the Middle East and North African Nation-State
6. Anthropology of the Future: Arab Youth and the State of the State Suad Joseph
7. The Memory Work of Anthropologists: Gendered Studies of Conflicts and the "Heroic Life" in Middle East and North Africa Sondra Hale
8. Rejecting Authenticity in the Desert Landscapes of the Modern Middle East: Development Processes in the Jiddat il-Harasiis, Oman Dawn Chatty
9. Notable Families and Capitalist Parasites in Egypt’s Former Free Zone: Law, Trade, and Uncertainty Christine Hegel-Cantarella

Part III: Anthropology of Religion and Secularism in the Middle East and North Africa
10. Will the Rational Religious Subject Please Stand Up? Muslim Subjects and the Analytics of Religion Sherine Hafez
11. Defining and Enforcing Islam in Secular Turkey Kim Shively
12. Sharia in Diaspora: Displacement, Exclusion and Anthropology of the Displaced Middle East Susanne Dahlgren
13. A Place to Belong: Colonial Pasts, Modern Discourses, and Contraceptive Practices in Morocco Cortney L. Hughes

Part IV: Anthropology and New Media in t

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