Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA)
Featured New Books
Iran and the Deccan
Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400–1700
In the early 1400s, Iranian elites began migrating to the Deccan plateau of southern India. Lured to the region for many reasons, these poets, traders, statesmen, and artists of all kinds left an indelible mark on the Islamic sultanates that ruled the Deccan until the late seventeenth century. The result was the creation of a robust transregional Persianate network linking such distant cities as Bidar and Shiraz, Bijapur and Isfahan, and Golconda and Mashhad.
Iran and the Deccan explores the circulation of art, culture, and talent between Iran and the Deccan over a three-hundred-year period. Its interdisciplinary contributions consider the factors that prompted migration, the physical and intellectual poles of connectivity between the two regions, and processes of adaptation and response. Placing the Deccan at the center of Indo-Persian and early modern global history, Iran and the Deccan reveals how mobility, liminality, and cultural translation nuance the traditional methods and boundaries of the humanities.
Muthanna / Mirror Writing in Islamic Calligraphy
History, Theory, and Aesthetics
Muthanna, also known as mirror writing, is a compelling style of Islamic calligraphy composed of a source text and its mirror image placed symmetrically on a horizontal or vertical axis. This style elaborates on various scripts such as Kufic, naskh, and muhaqqaq through compositional arrangements, including doubling, superimposing, and stacking. Muthanna is found in diverse media, ranging from architecture, textiles, and tiles to paper, metalwork, and woodwork. Yet despite its centuries-old history and popularity in countries from Iran to Spain, scholarship on the form has remained limited and flawed. Muthanna / Mirror Writing in Islamic Calligraphy provides a comprehensive study of the text and its forms, beginning with an explanation of the visual principles and techniques used in its creation. Author Esra Akın-Kıvanc explores muthanna's relationship to similar forms of writing in Judaic and Christian contexts, as well as the specifically Islamic contexts within which symmetrically mirrored compositions reached full fruition, were assigned new meanings, and transformed into more complex visual forms. Throughout, Akın-Kıvanc imaginatively plays on the implicit relationship between subject and object in muthanna by examining the point of view of the artist, the viewer, and the work of art. In doing so, this study elaborates on the vital links between outward form and inner meaning in Islamic calligraphy.
Remaking Islam in African Portugal
Published by: Indiana University Press
When Guinean Muslims leave their homeland, they encounter radically new versions of Islam and new approaches to religion more generally. In Remaking Islam in African Portugal, Michelle C. Johnson explores the religious lives of these migrants in the context of diaspora. Since Islam arrived in West Africa centuries ago, Muslims in this region have long conflated ethnicity and Islam, such that to be Mandinga or Fula is also to be Muslim. But as they increasingly encounter Muslims not from Africa, as well as other ways of being Muslim, they must question and revise their understanding of "proper" Muslim belief and practice. Many men, in particular, begin to separate African custom from global Islam. Johnson maintains that this cultural intersection is highly gendered as she shows how Guinean Muslim men in Lisbon—especially those who can read Arabic, have made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and attend Friday prayer at Lisbon's central mosque—aspire to be cosmopolitan Muslims. By contrast, Guinean women—many of whom never studied the Qur'an, do not read Arabic, and feel excluded from the mosque—remain more comfortably rooted in African custom. In response, these women have created a "culture club" as an alternative Muslim space where they can celebrate life course rituals and Muslim holidays on their own terms. Remaking Islam in African Portugal highlights what being Muslim means in urban Europe and how Guinean migrants' relationships to their ritual practices must change as they remake themselves and their religion.
Africa Today publishes peer-reviewed, scholarly articles and book reviews in a broad range of academic disciplines on topics related to contemporary Africa. We seek to be a venue for interdisciplinary approaches, diverse perspectives, and original research in the humanities and social sciences. This includes work on social, cultural, political, historical, and economic subjects. Recent special issues have been on topics such as the future of African artistic practices, the socio-cultural life of bus stations in Africa, and family-based health care in Ghana. Africa Today has been on the forefront of African Studies research since 1954. Please review our submission guidelines and then contact the Managing Editor or any of the editors with any questions you might have about publishing in Africa Today.
ACPR: African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review is an interdisciplinary forum for creative and rigorous studies of conflict and peace in Africa, and for discussions among scholars, practitioners, and public intellectuals in Africa, the United States, and other parts of the world. ACPR provides a wide range of theoretical, methodological, and empirical perspectives on the causes of conflicts and peace processes. These include cultural practices relating to conflict resolution and peacebuilding, legal and political preventative measures, and the intersection of international, regional, and local interests and conceptions with conflict and peace. ACPR: African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review is published in partnership with the West African Research Association.
All manuscripts are subjected to a double-blind peer-review process prior to acceptance and publication.
Black Camera, a journal of Black film studies, is devoted to the study and documentation of the Black cinematic experience and aims to engender and sustain a formal academic discussion of Black film production. We include reviews of historical as well as contemporary books and films, researched critiques of recent scholarship on Black film, interviews with accomplished film professionals, and editorials on the development of Black creative culture. Black Camera challenges received and established views and assumptions about the traditions and practices of filmmaking in the African diaspora, where new and longstanding cinematic formations are in play. Issues and special sections are devoted to national cinemas, as well as independent, marginal, or oppositional films and cinematic formations.
Mande Studies: The Journal of the Mande Studies Association is an interdisciplinary journal publishing original research that focuses on the Mande-speaking peoples of West Africa and the Mande community in diaspora, from slavery to the post-colony. We welcome articles in the social sciences and the humanities including, but not limited to: history, art history, archeology, sociology, and public health. Articles may range from the precolonial period to the present.
Research in African Literatures, founded in 1970, is the premier journal of African literary studies worldwide and provides a forum in English for research on the oral and written literatures of Africa. In addition to thought-provoking essays, reviews of current scholarly books appear in every issue, often presented as critical essays, and a forum offers readers the opportunity to respond to issues raised in articles and book reviews. Thematic clusters of articles and frequent special issues reveal the broad interests of its readership.
Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men is a multidisciplinary research journal whose articles focus on issues related to aspects of Black men’s experiences, including such topics as gender, masculinities, and race/ethnicity. Spectrum examines the social, political, economic, and historical factors that influence the life chances and experiences of African-descended males using disciplinary and interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, empirical methods, theoretical analysis, and literary criticism.
Transition is a unique forum for the freshest, most compelling ideas from and about the black world. Since its founding in Uganda in 1961, the magazine has kept apace of the rapid transformation of the African Diaspora and has remained a leading forum of intellectual debate.
Transition is a publication of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, edited by Alejandro de la Fuente.
Middle East Studies
The Journal of Education in Muslim Societies (JEMS) is a semiannual, peer-reviewed journal published in partnership with the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Indiana University Press. JEMS encourages work on a wide range of topics pertinent to the education sector including but not limited to pedagogies, teacher practices, leadership, and policy as it relates to the conditions and status of education in Muslim societies and communities. The guiding premise of the Journal is that education serves more than just the acquisition of knowledge and skills but the enhancement of the holistic aspects of individuals and societies. JEMS seeks manuscripts in subject areas such as comparative education, youth and youth development, curriculum reform, early childhood education, higher education, as well as others. The journal has no disciplinary or methodological bias.
All manuscripts are subjected to a double-blind peer-review process prior to acceptance and publication.
The Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS) is a double-blind, peer-reviewed multidisciplinary academic journal sponsored by the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS). Published semiannually (May and November), JIMS is dedicated to expanding a repertoire of scholarship on Muslim societies and Islam as a religion and civilization. Its purpose is to forward the field of Islamic and Muslim studies more broadly, and to make contributions to its represented disciplines in advancing theories, epistemologies, pedagogies, and methods. Each issue consists of the following five sections which disseminate knowledge through the interdisciplinary lens of the social sciences and humanities: Articles, Book Reviews, Film Reviews, Discussion and Debate Forum, and Conference Reports.
The Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society is a biannual, peer-reviewed, open access journal that focuses on the broad scope of Muslim philanthropy and civil society. The terms “Muslim” and “philanthropy” are defined broadly to be inclusive of cutting-edge research from across the world and disciplines, and the journal’s editorial focus is to showcase the dynamic practice and understanding of Muslim prosocial action. The journal seeks original academic research examining Muslim nonprofit, philanthropic, and voluntary action and provides a forum for researchers to publish timely articles from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
The Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society is sponsored by the Center on Muslim Philanthropy and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Founded in 1976 (as the Turkish Studies Association Bulletin), each issue of the Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association contains the latest scholarship on the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, and includes state of the field essays, book reviews and review articles that examine the wide-ranging studies that cross-disciplinary, national, ethnic, imperial, periodized, religious, geographic, and linguistic boundaries and take as their focus the diversity of peoples, influences, approaches, times, and regions that make up the Turkish and former Ottoman worlds.
The Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association is published semiannually by the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.
The Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies (PJHS) aims to develop critical ideas on less explored and innovative themes in social, cultural, art, architectural, political, and economic histories. Scholars engaged with current historical debates about any region and period can submit articles on a particular theme thus initiating a dialogue on theoretical and methodological issues. By moving beyond the dualistic discourse on secularism vs theocracy, capitalism vs communism, traditionalism vs modernism, colonialism vs postcolonialism, meta-narrative vs micro-narrative, and so on, each issue aims to promote rigorous scholarship helpful in understanding our past and its contradictions.
PJHS is a peer-reviewed semiannual journal sponsored by the Khaldunia Centre for Historical Research in Lahore, Pakistan.
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