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Research Guides

ARAB 491-Dr. Christopher Hemmig (Spring 2021)


Titles of Interests

Rebel Music by Hisham Aidi

Hisham Aidi interviews musicians and activists, and reports from music festivals and concerts in the United States, Europe, North Africa, and South America, to give us an up-close sense of the identities and art forms of urban Muslim youth. Rebel Music takes the pulse of the phenomenon of this new youth culture and reveals not only the rich historical context from which it is drawn but also how it can foretell future social and political


A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone This kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, rather than the advent of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith begins his narrative more than a thousand years before Muhammad and focuses on how Arabic, both spoken and written, has functioned as a vital source of shared cultural identity over the millennia.   Mackintosh-Smith reveals how linguistic developments--from pre-Islamic poetry to the growth of script, Muhammad's use of writing, and the later problems of printing Arabic--have helped and hindered the progress of Arab history, and investigates how, even in today's politically fractured post-Arab Spring environment, Arabic itself is still a source of unity and disunity.

The Crescent Obscured by Robert J. Allison

Looking at the Muslim world in the context of American ideas about freedom and slavery, Robert Allison traces the image of Islam in the American mind in the early years of the republic. Allison examines the literature and histories and considers Americans' visions of Muhammed, as well as the differences in ideas of political power, gender relations, and slavery.

Servants of Allah by Sylviane A. Diouf

Sylviane Diouf shows in this new, meticulously researched volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale. Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslim slaves, following them from Africa to the Americas. Servants of Allah is the first book to examine the role of Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and in the American slave community as a whole, while also shedding light on the legacy of Islam in today's American and Caribbean cultures.

West Africa,Islam and the Arab World by John Hunwick

The language of scholarship and learning has been Arabic since the seventh century, when Arab merchants, soldiers, and missionaries came south and established major trade routes. Ancient Ghana emerged as major regional powers. This study, which provides an overview of the region's history from medieval times to the twentieth century, traces the developments following colonialism; the effects of Arab nationalism on West African politics; the role of the Israelis in helping to develop new states; the politics of OPEC; and the rise of Islamic extremism.

Geographies of Liberation by Alex Lubin

In this absorbing transnational history, Lubin extends the framework of the black freedom struggle beyond the familiar geographies of the Atlantic world and sheds new light on the linked political, social, and intellectual imaginings of African Americans, Palestinians, Arabs, and Israeli Jews. This history of intellectual exchange, Lubin argues, has forged political.

The Cultural Roots of American Islamicism

In this cultural history of Americans' engagement with Islam in the colonial and antebellum period, Timothy Marr analyzes the historical roots of how the Muslim world figured in American prophecy, politics, reform, fiction, art and dress. This history sits as an important background to help understand present conflicts between the Muslim world and the United States.

Euro-Jews and Afro-Arabs by Ali A. Mazrui and Seifudein Adem

The book discusses the three Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that have confronted the racial divide between Caucasian people and people of color. This book also explores the geographical regions of Africa, the Middle East, and the Western world in the context of fragile structures and resilient cultures.

Muslims and American Popular Culture by Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omdvar (eds.)

This accessible two-volume work will help readers to construct an accurate framework for understanding the presence and depictions of Muslims in American society. "Muslims and American Popular Culture" offers more than 40 chapters that serve to debunk the overwhelmingly negative associations of Islam in American popular culture and illustrate the tremendous contributions of Muslims to the United States across an extended historical period. ALSO available online.

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an by Denise A. Spellberg

In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom--a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country's creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.

Rock the Casbah by Robin B. Wright

This book will look at what's happened to the Islamic world in the intervening decade-and where it's headed over the next decade. Wright takes a look at the most important trend since the birth of extremism - the new anti-jihadis who are trying to rescue the faith from extremists, whether the deviant ideologues loyal to Bin Laden or the rigid theocrats in Iran's Islamic republic. She spent a year wandering the region capturing the stories of people willing to defy extremism to create alternatives. They are a critical component in combating the number one national security challenge for the United States as well as their own countries.

The Timbuktu Chronicles, 1493-1599 by Al Hajj Mahmud Kati

Some 500 years ago, Askiya Muhammad founded the Songhay Dynasty of the Askiyas, which flourished for more than a century in Sahelian West Africa. The Timbuktu-based scribe Al Hajj Mahmud Kati was a close friend of Askiya Mohammed - and the Tarikh al fattash gives an eyewitness account of his empire, told from the perspective of a key participant. Long valued as one of the most important historical documents of the African medieval world, Kati's account is also a literary achievement that is comparable to the writings of figures like Chaucer, Rabelais and Montaigne.

The Diary of Malcolm X by Herb Boyd

In 1964, Malcolm X made two trips to Africa and theMiddle East. During those trips, he kept copious notes. This remarkable document, The Diary of Malcolm X El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, 1964, is comprised of those notes, along with editing, annotations, and

Jil Oslo by Sunaina Maira

Based on ethnographic research in Palestine, primarily during the Arab uprisings, this book explores the intersections between new youth cultures and protest politics among Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Israel. It focuses on Palestinian hip hop and the youth movement that emerged in 2011 as overlapping sites where new cultural and political imaginaries are being produced

Black Star, Crescent Moon Sohail Daulatzai

"The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia," Malcolm X declared in a 1962 speech, "is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia."