Forgiveness Work (Arzoo Osanloo, 2020)

Photo taken from medieval manuscript by Qotbeddin Shirazi (1236–1311), a Persian Astronomer. The image depicts an epicyclic planetary model. In Forgiveness Work, Arzoo Osanloo offers ways of understanding an Islamic notion of justice by looking closer at experiences and infrastructures that illustrate the centrality of compassion and mercy in Iranian criminal law. She argues how the compulsion to… Continue reading Forgiveness Work (Arzoo Osanloo, 2020)

What is Islam (Shahab Ahmed, 2015)

First page of the manuscript of Hafez Shirazi's Divan. Preserved in the Treasury of the National Library and Museum of Malek, Tehran Using encyclopedic historical and theological data, Shahad Ahmed criticizes the unsatisfactory ways Islam has been taken as an object and category, and conceptualized in popular and academic discourses. According to Ahmed, a valid… Continue reading What is Islam (Shahab Ahmed, 2015)

Questioning Secularism (Agrama, 2011)

Hussein Ali Agrama’s Questioning Secularism distills the layers of the modern nation and exposes the entrenchment of a ‘deep-state’ that works for a political elite. He describes how revolutionary legitimacy is often undermined in favor of a liberal secularism, which is both the mode in which the state wields power over belligerent citizens and the… Continue reading Questioning Secularism (Agrama, 2011)

Knot of the Soul (Stefania Pandolfo, 2018)

Madness, Psychoanalysis, Islam The 72nd chapter of the Qur'an entitled Al-Jinn (The Jinn), as well as the heading and introductory bismillah of the next chapter entitled al-Muzzammil (The Enshrouded One). In Knot of the Soul, Pandolfo ties together seemingly disparate areas of study such as madness and cartography to address, among many others, the compatibility of modern psychology and Islamic eschatology. Towards this end, she… Continue reading Knot of the Soul (Stefania Pandolfo, 2018)

Jinnealogy (Anand Vivek Taneja, 2017)

Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi Taneja's plaiting of themes in contemporary Indian politics and vestiges of unsanctioned Islamic practice reveal the multi-layered undercurrents of Islamic sovereignty that shape the present. Her insights into secularism, political ecology, ethics, and religiosity afford us a deeper look of Islamic ethics and its… Continue reading Jinnealogy (Anand Vivek Taneja, 2017)

Poems in the shape of paintings

With a history of cultural iconoclasm, the Arab region has become a fertile ground for abstract art. Yet Arab artists remain marginal in the global conversation of modern abstraction. An ambitious project initiated by the Barjeel Art Foundation seeks to issue a long overdue corrective. Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s, slated to… Continue reading Poems in the shape of paintings