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Space and Place
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Urban Violence in the Middle East
Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State
Edited by Ulrike Freitag, Nelida Fuccaro, Claudia Ghrawi, and Nora Lafi
334 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-583-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2015)
ISBN 978-1-78920-829-0 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Not Yet Published (December 2020)
eISBN 978-1-78238-584-4 eBook
“The book is a fascinating enrichment for the historically interested readers who are keen to learn more about the phenomenon of violence in urban spaces. The historical background invites to reconsider contemporary conflicts.” • DAVO
“…the spatial approach of the studies in this volume provides a framework for understanding recent events. For students and researchers examining street politics and urban conflict, in the Middle East or beyond, Urban Violence in the Middle East shows how macro level spatial context can be used to develop deeper and more nuanced understanding of micro level violence and political contestation.” • Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online
“This is a very remarkable collection of chapters... The totality is a lively read, exhibiting an almost universal familiarity with and appreciation of the literature.” • Peter Sluglett, National University of Singapore
“...the book is timely, it is topical and useful for a more historically grounded understanding of the urban unrest in the Middle East during the last years up to the present.” • Christoph Herzog, University of Bamberg
Covering a period from the late eighteenth century to today, this volume explores the phenomenon of urban violence in order to unveil general developments and historical specificities in a variety of Middle Eastern contexts. By situating incidents in particular processes and conflicts, the case studies seek to counter notions of a violent Middle East in order to foster a new understanding of violence beyond that of a meaningless and destructive social and political act. Contributions explore processes sparked by the transition from empires — Ottoman and Qajar, but also European — to the formation of nation states, and the resulting changes in cityscapes throughout the region.
Ulrike Freitag is a historian of the Modern Middle East with a special interest in urban history and the Arabian Peninsula in its global context. She directs Zentrum Moderner Orient and teaches at the Freie Universität. She is author of A History of Jeddah: The Gate to Mecca in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (CUP, 2020) and co-editor (with André Chappatte and Nora Lafi) of Understanding the City through its Margins (Routledge 2018).
Nelida Fuccaro is Reader in Modern Middle Eastern History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the author of Histories of City and State in the Persian Gulf (CUP, 2008) and the editor of “Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East” in CSSAAME (2013).
Claudia Ghrawi holds a Master of Arts degree in history and political science and studied Arabic in Damascus and Berlin. She works as a research fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient and is a Ph.D. student at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Nora Lafi is researcher at Zentrum Moderner Orient and is a historian of the Ottoman Empire with a focus on Urban Studies. She is coeditor of The City in the Ottoman Empire: Migration and the Making of Urban Modernity (Routledge, 2010).
Subject: Urban Studies History (General)
Area: Middle East & Israel
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Urban Violence in the Middle East: Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State
Claudia Ghrawi, Fatemeh Masjedi, Nelida Fuccaro, Ulrike Freitag
Part I: Managing and Employing Violence
Chapter 1. Mapping and Scaling Urban Violence: The 1800 Insurrection in Cairo
Chapter 2. A Capital Challenge: Managing Violence and Disorders in Late Ottoman Istanbul
Chapter 3. Gendered Obscenity: Women’s Tongues, Men’s Phalluses and the State’s Fist in the Making of Urban Norm in Interwar Egypt
Part II: Symbolic Politics of Violence
Chapter 4. Urban Violence, the Muharram Processions and the Transformation of Iranian Urban Society: The Case of Dezful
Reza Masoudi Nejad
Chapter 5. Symbolic Politics and Urban Violence in Late Ottoman Jeddah
Part III: Communal Violence and its Discontents
Chapter 6. The 1850 Uprising in Aleppo: Reconsidering the Explanatory Power of Sectarian Argumentations
Chapter 7. The City as a Stage for a Violent Spectacle: The Massacres of Armenians in Istanbul in 1895-96
Chapter 8. Transforming the Holy City: From Communal Clashes to Urban Violence, the Nebi Musa Riots in 1920
Part IV: Oil Cities: Spatiality and Violence
Chapter 9. On Lines and Fences: Labour, Community and Violence in an Oil City
Rasmus Christian Elling
Chapter 10. Reading Oil as Urban Violence: Kirkuk and its Oil Conurbation, 1927-1958
Chapter 11. Structural and Physical Violence in Saudi Arabian Oil Towns, 1953-1956
Afterword: Urban Injustice, Urban Violence and the Revolution: Reflections on Cairo
Notes on Contributors
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