University of Bergen

Publications 1993-- by scholars at Bergen, or visitors while resident in Bergen.


  • Leif O. Manger, From the Mountains to the Plains. The Integration of the Lafofa Nuba into the Sudanese Society, Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet 1993, pp. 173.

    This study of the Lafofa Nuba in the Sudan is the first comprehensive analysis of a matrilineal Nuba group. Through a detailed analysis of local processes of interaction between Nuba and Arab groups, the books throws new light on concepts such as Islamization and Arabization. It is the revised version of the author's Ph.D. thesis from 1991.


  • Rex Seán O'Fahey et alii, Arabic Literature of Africa vol. 1, Eastern Sudanic Africa to c. 1900, Leiden: E.J.Brill 1993, xv + 438 pp.

    Eventually to be completed in six volumes, this work will provide a survey of Muslim authors writing in Arabic in Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa, and a bibliography of their works. It will thus attempt to provide an outline of the intellectual history of Muslim societies in the areas it covers. The first volume covers Eastern Sudanic Africa (mainly the modern Sudan) until approximately 1900. It comprises twelve chapters, organized by time or period. Among the chapter authors are, M.I. Abu Salim, Albrecht Hofheinz, Yahya M. Ibrahim, Bernd Radtke and Knut S. Vikør.


  • Einar Thomassen and Bernd Radtke (eds.), The Letters of Ahmad Ibn Idris. London: Chr. Hurst & Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1993.

    This collection of letters between the 19th century mystic and teacher Ahmad ibn Idris and his students is the result of joint research carried out in Bergen. It provides primary material to illustrate the theme of Islamic Sufism and reform in the early nineteenth century, and of Africa's Islamic history. The edited Arabic text of the collected letters is printed alongside English translations. Besides the general editors, Albrecht Hofheinz, Ali Salih Karrar, R.S. O'Fahey have taken part in editing, translating and annotating the texts.


  • Terje Tvedt (ed.), Conflicts in the Horn of Africa: human and ecological consequences of warfare, Uppsala: EPOS 1993, pp. 205.

    The volume analyses and documents some collective consequences of different wars in Africa; thus the immediate national and regional effects of large-scale regional wars in Ethiopia/Eritrea and the Sudan, tribal warfare in southwestern Ethiopia, and indirect and long-term effects of World War I in the Blue Nile basin, as well as the destruction caused by the warring clans and gorups in Somalia. The authors examine issues leading to conflicts and consquences of them on a human and ecological level.


  • Knut S. Vikør, Ei verd bygd på islam. Oversikt over Midtaustens historie [A World built on Islam. Overview of the history of the Middle East], Oslo: Det norske samlaget 1993, pp. 280.

    This is the first general history of the Middle East to be published by a Norwegian author. It focuses primarily on the political and intellectual history of the Middle East, trying to explain how the ideas and the actions of the people were interdependent. Emphasis is placed both on the genesis of the Islamic religion and its view of society in the formative period until about 1000, and on the nature of the political structures in the Middle Ages and modern periods. The tenth and sixteenth centuries are thus seen as the crucial periods of change in the history of the Middle East. Shorter essays on the wider Islamic world are also included.


  • Knut S. Vikør and Heikki Palva (eds.), The Middle East - Unity and Diversity. Papers from the Second Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, Copenhagen: NIAS Books 1993, pp. 247.

    A volume of papers from the second of the triennial Nordic Middle East conferences (held in Copenhagen 1992), this book is centered around the themes of 'The political faces of Islam', 'Christians in the Middle East', 'Sufism and society', 'Studies in Arabic literature' and 'Nomadic, tribal and urban groups and identities'; each representing a workshop at the conference. It contains 24 papers, as well as other surveys of research. While introductory papers by professor John Voll and others address the general theme of 'unity and diversity', the volume as a whole also represents an overview of Middle Eastern research interest in the Nordic countries today. [*]



  • T. Eide, T. Hägg, R.H. Pierce and László Török (eds.), Fontes Historiae Nubiorum: Textual Sources for the History of the Middle Nile Region between the Eighth Century BC and the Sixth Century AD, Bergen: University of Bergen, Dept of Greek, Latin and Egyptology. 4 vols, 1375 pp: I: From the eighth to the mid-fifth century BC, 1994. ISBN 82-991411-6-8. II: From the mid-fifth to the first century BC, 1996. ISBN 82-91626-01-4. III: From the first to the sixth century ad, 1998. ISBN 82-91626-07-3. IV: Addenda et corrigenda. Indices 2000. ISBN 82-91626-15-4. This four volume-series makes available the textual sources& - both literary and documentary - for the history of the Middle Nile Region between the eighth century BC and the sixth century AD. The texts are presented in their respective original languages (Egyptian, Greek, Latin) as well as in new English translations, and each is accompanied by an historical commentary. The translations are framed by philological introductions and notes intended to place the individual texts into their wider literary context and to substantiate the translators' interpretation of difficult passages. The commentary following the translations presents historical analyses and provides information about the historical context. Ample space has been given to bibliographical references.


  • Alf Grannes and Daniel Heradstveit, Etnisk nasjonalisme: Folkegrupper og konflikter i Kaukasia og Sentral-Asia [Ethnic nationalism: Peoples and conflicts in Caucasia and Central Asia, Oslo: Tano 1994, pp. 312.

    A comprehensive account of the Caucasian and Central Asian peoples, as well as immigrants to the region, in light of 'ethnic markers', i.e., language and religion. By ranking the various ethnic and national identity factors, it is possible to arrive at Caucasian and Central Asian identity hierarchies consisting of supranational, national and subnational factors. The second section focuses primarily on ethnic nationalism in the region, and the mobilizing rhetoric of ethnic nationalism based on a semiotic approach to political communication.


  • Sharif Harir and Terje Tvedt (eds.), Short-cut to Decay: The Case of the Sudan, Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet 1994.

    The Sudan can demonstrate that while there is no short-cut to progress, there is one to decay and misery. After eleven years of peace, the second civil war has now lasted more than ten years. Regional, ethnic and religious conflicts are intensifying all over the country. This book brings together analytical perspectives, data and approaches in order to enhance the understanding of what seems like a 'permanent' catastrophy in the Sudan.



  • Dag Jørund Lønning, Bridge over troubled water. Inter-ethnic dialogue in Israel-Palestine, Bergen: Norse Publications 1995.

    After the Palestinian uprising - the Intifada - broke out, small groups of Israelis and Palestinians decided to open a new bridge to peace based on the idea that if established enemies were able to meet and discuss their problems openly, enemy-images, stereotypes and misconceptions would gradually vanish. This book is a study of such dialogue and co-operation groups. A central focus is put on the individual, and how she interprets the conflict, the prospects for peace, and the dialogue process. In her own ethnic community, the individual dialogue participant faces strong hostility towards 'the other'. Thus conflicts of loyalty may develop and become excruciating. Through a wide focus on symbols and rhetoric used to communicate and produce intra-ethnic unity on both sides, the book (based on the author's Hovudfag thesis) is a contribution to the anthropological debate about ethnicity and ethnic conflict.


  • John O. Hunwick et alii, Arabic Literature of Africa, vol. 2, The Writings of Central Sudanic Africa, Leiden: E.J.Brill 1995, pp. xxvi + 732

    This is the second in a series of six volumes that will provide a survey of Muslim authors writing in Arabic in Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa, and a bibliography of their works. It will thus attempt to provide an outline of the intellectual history of Muslim societies in the areas it covers. The first volume on Eastern Sudanic Africa (by R.S. O'Fahey), appeared in 1993. This second volume concentrates mainly on writings from Nigeria. Professor Hunwick (of Northwestern University, USA) prepared and completed it during his periods as guest professor at Bergen in 1993-95. Among the chapter authors are, Razaq Abubakre, Hamidu Bobboyi, Roman Loimeier, Stefan Reichmuth and Muhammad Sani Umar.


  • Knut S. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar on the Desert Edge. Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Sanusi and his Brotherhood London: Chr. Hurst & Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP 1995, pp. x, 310.

    This study of the founder of the nineteenth-century Sanusiya Sufi order focuses on the scholarly tradition that formed him. The Sanusiya are best known for its military exploits in the anti-colonial struggles of the Sahara, but its background was wholly religious, not militant or political. The founder came from a tradition of Islamic learning and reform that spanned the Islamic world from Morocco to Mecca and beyond. The book discusses al-Sanusi's role in the Sufi network created by his teacher, Ahmad b. Idris, and in the scholarly milieu of the Qarawiyin in Fez. This dovetails with the on-going research in Bergen on the tradition after Ibn Idris, and this book (based on the author's Dr. Philos. thesis) is the fourth in the series of studies on this tradition from the Bergen group.


  • Randi Håland and Anwar Abdul Magid (eds.), Aqualithic sites among the rivers Nile and Atbara, Sudan. Bergen: Alma Mater 1995 (c. 200 pp)

    This book contains the result of ten years of archaeological work in the Atbara Region, Central Sudan. The rich archaeological material uncovered, spans a period of two thousand years, from the 9th to the 10th millennium BP. The adaptation of the people inhabiting the area during this period, was based on a broad spectrum of resources, big game like elephants and giraffe was caught in addition to smaller game. Aquatic resource exploitation seems however to have been most important. Plant utilisation is documented with remains of sorghum recovered, a plant which was later cultivated in Central Sudan. The focus of the research has been on the preconditions and consequences of sedentism.



  • Anders Bjørkelo and Ahmad Ibrahim Abu Shouk (eds. and trans.), The Public Treasure of the Muslims. Monthly Budgets of the Mahdist State in the Sudan, 1897. The Ottoman Empire and its Heritage: Politics, Society and Economy, V. Leiden: E.J. Brill 1996, pp. xl, 336 (large format.).

    This is an edition and translation of financial records of a period when the 'modern' Sudan was ruled by its first indigenous ruler, the religious and political leader known as the Mahdi. Although his rule was based on eschatological expectations, his state left behind an extraordinarly rich administrative archive, the organization and presentation of which has been a central theme in the Bergen-Kharoum history cooperation. The present volume is an example of this cooperation, one of the authors is a førsteamanuensis in (African) history in Bergen, the other an archivist at the National Records Office, Khartoum, currently working for a Ph.D. in Bergen.


  • Tone Bringa, Being Muslim the Bosnian way: identity and community in a central Bosnian village, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1996, pp. 288.

    Although they represent a plurality of the population in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Muslims are still members of a minority culture in the region that was once Yugoslavia. The question of ethno-national identity has become paramount in this society, and the author focuses on religion as the defining characteristic of identity. Bringa pays particular attention to the roles that women play in defining Muslim identities, and she examines the importance of the household as a Muslim identity sphere. In so doing, she illuminates larger issues of what constitutes 'nationality.' This is a gripping and heartfelt account of a community that has been torn apart by ethnopolitical conflict. It will attract readers of all backgrounds who want to learn more about one of the most intractable wars of the late twentieth century and the people who have been so tragically affected.


  • Leif O. Manger, with Hassan Abd el Ati, Sharif Harir, Knut Krzywinski, Ole Reidar Vetaas, Survival on meagre resources: Hadendowa pastoralism in the Red Sea Hills. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet (Almqvist & Wiksell) 1996, pp. 244. ISBN: 91-7106-386-2

    This is the first comprehensive study of pastoralism in the Sinkat provice of eastern Sudan. The chapters discuss the effects of the drought and of human activities, and the effects of the pastoral patterns of migration. One author cliams that the recurring catastrophes cannot be caused just by the village inhabitants and their activities, but must be seen in an wider economic and political perspective, where the villages have become more and more marginalized. The books is based on the Red Sea Area Program, see under 'Research: Centre for Development Studies' above. (Previously published as 'Final Report, the Red Sea Area Programme, CDS, Bergen' c. 1994).


  • Alf Grannes, Turco-Bulgarica: Articles in English and French concerning Turkish influence on Bulgarian. Turcologica, 20. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1996, pp. ix, 320.

    This is a revised collection of articles published over the years 1969-90 on the issue, both through lexical studies and on particular authors (Vazov, Vojnikov). Most of the articles focus on the Bulgarian language of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, particularly in Eastern Bulgaria, the influence from Turkish was strong, as it was in literature. This influence has diminished in this century. However, it is still stronger in dialects, slang and similar language variants than normally admitted. This may even have become more noticeable through the greater openness towards such variants in the written language after the fall of communism.


  • Joseph N. Bell, trans. of Abdel-Hakim Kassem, The Seven Days of Man. Evanston, il: Northwestern University Press 1996, pp. xxi, 218.

    This novel is considered to be one of the finest works of the Arabic novel tradition as well as an invaluable social document. Its framework is the seven days it takes a group of Sufi brothers in a village of the Egyptian delta to prepare for their annual visit to Tanta and the mawlid of their saint, Sayyid al-Badawi. The seven days, being the same seven as that of God's creation of the world, makes the village a microcosm of the universe. The translation of this 'anthropological novel' is the result of years of careful study and revision, in collaboration with the author of the novel, who died in 1990.


  • Anne K. Bang, The Idrisi state in 'Asir, 1906-1934: Politics, religion and personal prestige as statebuilding factors in early twentieth-century Arabia. Bergen Studies on the Middle East and Africa, 1. Bergen: SMI 1996, pp. viii, 203.

    In 1906, a new state was created in the region of 'Asir on the border between Yemen and the Hijaz. Its founder was Muhammad al-Yamani al-Idrisi, a member of a respected religious family. He led a rising against the Ottoman for the application of the shari'a, while at the same time making alliances with the various great powers, before the state was eventually integrated in Saudi Arabia. This study traces the rise and fall of the Idrisi state, and searches for its basis between great power politics and the personal and religious prestige of its founder. [*]


  • Knut S. Vikør, Sources for Sanusi Studies. Sudanic Africa Texts and sources, 1. Bergen 1996, pp. ix, 247.

    A companion volume to Sufi and Scholar (1995) on the Sanusiya Sufi brotherhood of nineteenth-century Sahara and its founder, Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Sanusi, this source book contains biographical detail of all known teachers of the founder, including the most important scholars of Fez at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and of his students in Mecca and in Cyrenaica. Further are details of his intellectual activity, as well as of the organization of the order. The volume also includes the Arabic text of his grandson Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi's al-Fuyudat al-Rabbaniya and of the text of an opponent, Risala fi 'l-ijtihad of Hasan al-'Attar. [*]



  • Camilla T. Nereid, In the Light of Said Nursi: Turkish Nationalism and the Religious Alternative. Bergen Studies on the Middle East and Africa, 4. Bergen: SMI 1997. x, 121 pp. ISBN 1-85065-309-7.

    This is a study of Said Nursi (1873-1960), the founder of one of the most important religious movements of modern Turkey. He was throughout his life faced with opposition and distrust from the Kemalist state. He was presented as a madman, a Muslim fanatic and a Kurdish nationalist. Yet Said Nursi, an early supporter of Mustafa Kemal, had come to accept many of the tenets of the new state. He did, however, reject the concept of nationalism, both in its Kurdish and Turkish form. This was his main intellectual challenge to the new state, and the reason his movement was targeted for harassment more than the Naksibendis and other religious groups who accepted the idea of a Turkish nation. [*]


  • Knut S. Vikør & M'hammed Sabour (eds.), Ethnic Encounter and Culture Change: Papers from the 3rd Nordic conference on Middle Eastern Studies, Joensuu 1995. Nordic Research on the Middle East 3. Bergen: SMI 1997. viii, 270 pp. ISBN 1-85065-311-9.

    The Middle East, far from being a static and isolated region, has always been a cross-roads of influences from east, north and south. Rather than seeing 'culture' in the Middle East and North Africa as an eternal, autochthonous and frozen totality that dominates the other aspects of life and society, it should be regarded as an area which, ever changing, is formed by and reciprocates influences from within and without. This volume of papers from the third Middle East congress of the Nordic countries, focuses on the encounter between the native Middle Eastern and the Other, in terms of the 'borderland' between the Middle Eastern and the outside culture, power relationships in the meeting, and the transformation of social and cultural values in many forms. [*]


  • Anh Nga Longva, Walls built on sand: migration, exclusion, and society in Kuwait. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997. xiv, 206 pp. ISBN 0-8133-2758-X.

    When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the sight of tens of thousands of non-Kuwaiti Arabs, Indians, East Asians, and Westerners fleeing or trapped under occupation made the outside world suddenly aware of a singular fact of Kuwaiti society that Kuwaitis are an absolute minority in their own country. Basing her analysis on extensive fieldwork, the author examines the social dimension of labor migration to Kuwait since independence, looking at the relations between two sharply differentiated social categories and the politics of exclusion that have allowed Kuwaitis to protect their rights and privileges as citizens against infringement by the huge influx of expatriates.


  • Terje Tvedt, 'En reise i vannets historie. Fra Regnkysten til Muscat [A journey in the history of water, from the Rain coast to Muscat], Oslo: Cappelen 1997. 165 pp. ISBN 82-02-16404-4.

    This book is based on the author's very well received televison series on 'the history of water', tracing the importance of water in social, political and economic context throughout the world.


  • Ingvild Gilhus, Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins: Laughter in the History of Religion, London: Routledge, 1997

    In this book, Ingvild Gilhus argues that laughter is a central human phenomenon. Humans use laughter as a means to experience the world, categorise its forms and judge its values. But, laughter also transcends language, and is frequently used as a characteristic of the divine. The Mesopotamian Anu, the Israelite Jahweh, the Greek Dionysos, the Gnostic Christ and the late modern Jesus were all laughing gods. Through their laughter, gods prove both their superiority and their proximity to humans. In this comprehensive study, Gilhus examines the relationship between corporeal human laughter and spiritual divine laughter from Classical antiquity, to the Christian West and the modern era. The volume contains sections on the Ancient Near East, Greece, Rome and early Christianity, medieval, and on modernity and the remytologization of laughter, finaly on the religion of jokes.


  • Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Shouk, El Sadig A. Mahdi, Makrum Siddig El Obeid, Wafaa M. Osman and Rupert Hastertok, The Public Records of Kassala Province, Sudan (1898-1966), Cairo: CEDEJ 1997. xii, 475 pp.

    Following an agreement between the DSRC (Development Studies Research Centre, University of Khartoum), and the CEDEJ (Centre d'Études et de Documentations Juridiques, Économiques et Sociales, Cairo), a joint research program on the Kassala-Godaref states of the Sudan was launched in March 1994. It undertook the indexing and cataloguing of all the Sudan National Records Offices (NRO) Kassala Files.
    The NRO Kassala files include 2,884 items and covers all the condominium period including the years 1956-1966. Most of the information in the files is general correspondence relating to tribal questions, general administrative policy, local government councils and town councils, boundaries, agricultural schemes, lands and registration of lands, sagias, warrants, ordinances and minutes of meetings.




  • Dag Jørund Lønning and George Giacaman (eds.), After Oslo: New realities, old problems. London: Pluto Press 1998. x, 241 pp. ISBN 0-7453-1243-8.

    How successful has the Oslo peace process been? This volume critically assesses the effectiveness of the accords, the consequences for Israel/Palestine in general and for the Palestinian society specificially. It demonstrates that the effects of the process, in terms of creating peace, has been meagre. By scrutinizing its framework, the contributors expose the limitations of the process and seriously question whether it can ever lead to a lasting peace in the Middle East. This collections represents the first in-depth critical and analytical assessment of the Oslo process, including its impact on Palestinian society which was affected most by the process.


  • Herbjørn Jenssen: The Subtleties and Secrets of the Arabic Language. Preliminary Investigations into al-Qazwini's Talkhis al-Miftah. Bergen Studies on the Middle East and Africa, 2. Bergen: SMI 1998. x, 146 pp. ISBN 1-85065-307-0.

    Modern studies of classical Arabic rhetoric ('ilm al-balagha) has mainly focused on only one of the three disciplines that make up this field, the science of metaphors ('ilm al-bayan). However, to the Arab theoreticians, it was rather the science of meanings, the 'ilm al-ma'ani that was the most important science of balagha. The changed emphasis of the modern conception is probably a result of their focusing on rhetoric as part of poetics and literary criticism rather than of grammar and logic.
    This book turns the spotlight back to the 'ilm al-ma'ani. It is an introduction to the work of the qadi and grammarian Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Qazwini, known as khatib Dimashq (d. 1338). It presents his terminology and conceptual apparatus as it was laid out particularly in his main work, Talkhis al-Miftah, and presents his scholarly background and position in the madrasa system of the early fourteenth century. [*]


  • Terje Tvedt, Angels of mercy or development diplomats? NGOs and foreign aid. London: James Currey & Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press 1998. ix, 246 pp. ISBN 0-86543-675-4.

    This book analyses and questions the centrality of Non-governmental organizations that have arisen in the last two decades. Do they provide excuses for spending cuts, or are they better at spending resources? Is the relationship between state and society changed? These and other questions are studied from the cases of Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Bangladesh and Nicaragua.


  • Zahra Kamalkhani, Women's Islam. Religious practice among women in today's Iran. London: Kegan Paul 1998. vii, 203 pp. ISBN 0-7103-0599-0.

    This books book goes on to consider the concept of martyrs: The political nature of Islamic rituals, female mortuary rites, women making the pilgrimage, reproduction of the Islamic social order and disorder, Islamic modesty and veiling, modernisation and revolution, and family management in the context of change. The study shows that there is an increasing number of women embracing Islamic orthodoxy and intellectualism, and that contemporary Iranian women's orthodoxy is not a reaction against the social and moral order, but is a part of a new religious practise and the recreation of a new identity model among women.


  • Karin Ask and Marit Tjomsland (eds.), Women and Islamization: Contemporary Dimensions of Discourse on Gender Relations. Oxford: Berg 1998. xi, 199 pp. ISBN 1-85973-255-0.

    The current Islamic revival is frequently associated with fundamentalism aand radical politics. This reinforces Western perceptions of Islamic women as victims of sexisist and reactionary rule. What many outsiders fail to realize is that quite a number of Muslim women are ardently embracing their religion as a means through which they can express gender identity, power and creativity. In overturning ingrained notions of Muslim women's subjugation, this book situates Islam as a religion undergoing reinterpretation and change - especially in relation to gender identities - rather than as a monolithic movement reacting against westernization and modernization. Through their political, educational and recreational activities, more and more Muslim women are setting agendas of their own and are actively redifining the role of women in Muslim society.


  • Frode F. Jacobsen, Exploring theories of sickness and misfortune among the Hadandowa: Narratives as points of entry into Beja cultural knowledge. London: Kegan Paul 1998. 300 pp. ISBN 0-7103-0591-5.

    In a world constantly mourning the loss of unique cultures to the spread of homogeneity, the Muslim Beja of the Red Sea Hills in North-Eastern Africa [the Sudan]-have been able to maintain their culture through social, economic, and environmental changes. In this book, the author argues that the telling of mythical narratives among the Beja is at least partly accountable for this remarkable persistence.
    Specifically, the book explores the way in which Muslim Hadandowa Beja pastoralists of North-Eastern Africa reason about health, sickness, and misfortune. But the guiding question of the book - What must one know to understand a Beja personal or mythical narrative? - echoes the questions of social anthropologists everywhere. Through line-by-line analysis and examination of 'implicit' knowledge within stories, this study of a people with an unusually rich and varied oral tradition becomes an archetype of the process of understanding the foreign while providing insight into the preservation of the familiar.



  • Knut S. Vikør, The oasis of salt: The history of Kawar, a Saharan centre of salt production. Bergen Studies on the Middle East and Africa, 3. Bergen: SMI 1999. xii, 342 s. ISBN 1-85065-308-9.

    Right in the middle of the Sahara desert, near Niger's borders with Libya and Chad, lies a small string of oases called Kawar. Their position is about as isolated as can be imagined, surrounded by some of the world's most hostile desert areas. And yet the economy of Kawar and its main town Bilma is completely based on external trade, the oasis being one of West Africa's major producers of salt. Thus its history can only be understood as a part of a wider regional development, as a southwards extension of Maghrebi Islamic civilization as well as the northern frontier of 'sub-Saharan Africa'.
    This study of Kawar's history is therefore also a history of the central Sahara. It first describes the economic foundation of the oasis and the salt trade. Following this is a survey of its place in central Saharan history, from the first Greek and Roman travellers, through Fezzani, Bornu and Tuareg rule until it was incorporated in the French colonial empire in 1906. [*]


  • Leif O. Manger (ed), Muslim diversity: Local Islam in global contexts. NIAS Studies in Asian Topics. 26. Richmond 1999. viii, 260 pp. ISBN 0-7007-1104-X.

    The papers in this book (anthroplogists and historians) discuss what is termed as 'local Islam' in cases from West Africa to China. All convey a feeling of dissatisfaction with the term, relating to conceptual problems of seeing Islam as either local or global. Rather, they argue for a focus not on 'Islam' but on the lives of Muslims, in the context of complex historical developments. The issue of how classify combinations of so-called Muslim beliefs, customs and identities is thus wrongly put. The understanding of Muslim communities comes not from classification, but from understanding the content of the discourse itself. The task is to move beyond the Orientalist notions of an unchanging world of Islam and to focus on the diversity of Muslim experiences.


  • Ahmad I. Abu Shouk, Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Salim: muhaqqiqan wa-mu'arrikhan, Omdurman: Markaz 'Abd al-Karim Mirghani al-thaqafi 1999. 63 pp.


    This is a study of the former director of the National Records Office, the national archives, of the Sudan, written by an historian who formerly worked there (later research fellow at the University of Bergen). Professor Abu Salim is a prolific writer, not least known for his monumental 8-volume collection of documents from the Sudanese Mahdi (al-Athar al-kamila), but also for varied studies as on the saqiya irrigations system, land property conflicts and many other. This book studies his activities as director of the archives, and as editor and author of historical works.



  • Bjørn Olav Utvik and Knut S. Vikør (eds.), The Middle East in a Globalized World. Nordic Research on the Middle East, 6. Bergen: Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies 2000, xi, 269 pp. ISBN 1-85065-579-0.

    Is globalization an inevitable development that the Middle East must only adapt to, for better or for worse? An opportunity to join the global village? Or is it an imperialist strategy that denies the peoples of the developing world a chance to realize their potentials? Is the cultural influence of globalization only one-way, from the North to the South, or is the Middle East also a producer of a globalizing discourse? These are the kinds of questions that the articles in this collection raise. The answers do not speak with one voice, but their concern is the same, to place a critical focus on the process of globalization in the Middle East, but also to see the Middle Easterners as actors and not just as victims in the process. This book is a selection of papers from the Fourth Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern studies, with the same theme as the book title, held in Oslo in August 1998. [*]


  • Bernd Radtke, John O'Kane, Knut S. Vikør and R.S. O'Fahey, The Exoteric Ahmad Ibn Idris. A Sufi's Critique of the Madhahib and the Wahhabis: Four Arabic texts with translation and commentary. Islamic History and Civilization: Studies and Texts, 31. Leiden: E.J. Brill 2000, x, 225 s. ISBN 90-04-11375-4.

    The Moroccan mystic and theologian Ahmad Ibn Idris (1749-1837) was one of the most dynamic personalities in the Islamic world of the nineteenth century. Through his teachings and the activity of his students important Sufi orders were founded which exerted wideranging social and political influence, orders such as the Sanusiyya in Libya and the Khatmiyya in the Sudan.
    The present work contains an Arabic edition and translation with commentary of two texts which throw light on Ibn Idris' attitude towards the religious-dogmatic questions of his day. The first text, Risalat al-Radd 'ala ahl al-ra'y, provides information about Ibn ldris' relation to the Islamic schools of law, in particular his position regarding the ijtihad-taqlid debate.
    The second is a vivid report of a debate that Ibn Idris entered into with Wahhabi theologians in the Yemeni city of Sabya in 1832. The introduction of the present book examines the tumultuous circumstances in which the texts were composed and sketches the larger cultural and intellectual context which shaped Ibn Idris'world of ideas.


  • Ahmad I. Abu Shouk (ed.), Ta`rikh Harakat al-Islah wa-Irshad, wa-shaykh al-Irshadiyin Ahmad Muhammad al-Surkitti fi Indunisiya, Kuala Lumpur: Dar al-Fajr 2000. xxvi, 586 pp. ISBN 983-9470-33-7.

    This book presents the life and work of Ahmad Surkitti (1876-1943), a Sudanese scholar who emigrated to Indonesia in the early years of the twentieth century and became the leader of an important movement of Islamic reform, the Irshad movement. The work presents a number of documents from the history of the movement and its leader, presenting the series of intellectual and political struggles that it was involved in, involving both local Muslims and immigrant Yemeni sada Arabs. It also follows the international ramification of this struggle for reform, both in South East Asia, and to the Middle East, as well as the impact of British and Dutch colonialism on the issues at hand.

    This major source for the study of South East Asian Islam is edited with commentary and introduction, and was prepared by Dr. Abu Shouk during his time as research fellow in Bergen.


  • Terje Tvedt, An annotated bibliography on the Southern Sudan, 1850-2000. With team: Kjell Hødnebø, Anne Marie Groth, Tom Johnsen, Eirik Østgaard, Yosa H. Wawa. University of Bergen: Centre for Development Studies 2000. 2 volumes, xviii+1091 pp. $ 195 / NOK 1750. ISBN 82-7453-018-7. Order from: post@sfu.uib.no

    This book contains bibliographical references to:
    - 6234 books, articles and reports about the region registered
    - 3218 annotated titles. All disciplines/all topics are covered
    - A chronology of events 1956-2000
    - an inventory of NGOS/UN-organisations with description of activities and addresses.

    The aim of this work is to be more useful for future research, policy and development interventions than just another study of "development constraints" or "development opportunities", which due to the security and logistical situation would unavoidably be a superficial study. We also wanted to "protest" against a dominant culture within development-oriented research and practice - the fetishism of the present and the lack of institutional memory. By publishing an overview of what has been written about development, culture, health problems, agricultural potential etc. in the Southern Sudan, the intention was to make it more difficult for aid organisations, aid consultants and development planners in the future to operate as if the area was a "tabula rasa" as far as research was concerned, by making it more easy to access existing knowledge and thus indirectly help to improve the quality of development efforts.

    But even more important; this bibliography should serve the intellectual debate and discourse among the southerners and among the Sudanese. It aims at giving both a comprehensive picture of how the southerners and their environment have been represented to the world at large and of how their societies and nature have been and become changed during the centuries. Since ignorance about the southern Sudan must be one reason why, since independence, the Sudanese have been waging bloody wars against each other and millions of people have lost their lives due to destruction and starvation, this bibliography may prove useful in contributing to a Sudanese discourse based on balanced, rational arguments. I also hope that this bibliography will be useful for scholars dealing with the Sudan especially and Africa and the Middle East in general. [*]


  • Terje Tvedt, The River Nile and its economic, political, social and cultural role. An annotated bibliography. University of Bergen: Centre for Development Studies 2000. xiii+541 pp. $ 120 / NOK 1100 ISBN 82-7453-017-9. Order from: post@sfu.uib.no

    This book contains bibliographical references to 3486 books, articles and reports about the region.
    1532 of the entries are with annnotations in order to help and guide the user of the bibliography. All disciplines and topics are covered

    It is more important than ever to understand the economic, political and cultural role of the River Nile. This book has been written in the belief that such a mighty river, running from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean and crossing the borders of ten countries comprising more than 300 million people, deserves an extensive, multidisciplinary bibliography, presenting in one book, what has been said about her.

    The Nile has intrigued people, historians and poets since the days of Cheops up to the present day and will continue to be at the heart of regional economy, politics and culture in the decades and centuries ahead. This most famous of all famous rivers has been described in the ancient stories of Herodotus and in the travel notes of Arab scholars and European explorers, and in the many modern books about Nile geology, Nile hydrology, Nile dams and Nile politics. The present bibliography demonstrates the enormous scope and the usefulness of this literature and of the research that has been carried out in the past. Such a broad bibliography may help overcome some unhelpful perspectives that have been nurtured by narrower national, social or disciplinary concerns, and by neglect of past experiences.

    - all types of literature (books, theses, articles in scientific journals, consultancy reports and government reports). Only published or generally available literature is listed, not ordinary archival material and secret diplomatic documents etc.
    - literature within all scientific disciplines, from geology and geography, history and anthropology, to medicine and zoology, as well as botany and hydrology.
    - travel literature.
    - planning- and project literature, produced both by government bodies, international agencies and consultancy firms.
    - literature on basin wide planning, water agreements, water need assessments for sectors and countries etc. The focus of this bibliography is the River Nile as an international and transboundary river. [*]



  • Knut Krzywinski and Richard Holton Pierce (eds.), Deserting the Desert - a Threatened Cultural Landscape between the Nile and the Sea. Bergen: Alvheim & Eide 2001. 179 pp.

    The book looks at central problems when the area between the Nile and the Red Sea is seen as a cultural landscape. One third of land mass of this earth, the territories of of half of the world's countries and the residence of a large part of the world's populations are in barren areas. In many cases this is due to human activities.

    The desert is normally seen as a barren landscape not fit for habitation. But the contributors wish to show the diversity of people actually living in this territory. There are thousands of inhabitants, there are trees and pasture sufficient to satisfy the demands of those willing to adapt. For ages, access to water and vegetation has created a basis of life for inhabitants, and on this basis they have constructed a nomadic lifestyle based on animal husbandry. The book puts the native population in focus, together with the material and social factors that has taken part in forming their lives.

    The contributors have a background in different fields, such as Botany, Geography, Egyptology, History and Hydrology, and the individual contributors also contain personal perspectives on their discoveries.


  • Einar Thomassen (ed.), Apokryfe evangelier [Apocryphical gospels], Oslo: De norske bokklubbene 2001. 271 pp. ISBN 82-525-4105-4.

    In this book are collected thirteen texts, complete or fragmentary, of gospels that were not included into the Bible. Among them are The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Secret Gospel of Mark, the infancy gospels of James and Thomas, and the Gospel of Nicodemus. This is the first direct translation of these texts from their original languages into Norwegian. The book includes an introductory essay written by Halvor Moxnes.



  • Einar Thomassen and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus (eds.), Gnostiske skrifter [Gnostic writings], Oslo: De norske bokklubbene 2002. 267 pp. ISBN 82-525-4108-9.

    This book contains translations of some of the most known gnostic documents. Among them are The Secret Book of John, The Nature of the Archons, texts about Simon Magus, Thunder (Bronte), The Gospel of Truth, Ptolemaeus's letter to Flora, The Tripartite Tractate, The Gospel of Philip, Poimandres, and the Song of the Pearl. Ingvild Sælid Gilhus and Einar Thomassen have translated the texts directly from Coptic, Greek, Latin, and Syriac, together with an introductory essay on gnosticism.


  • Tarald Rasmussen og Einar Thomassen, Kristendommen. En historisk innføring [Christianity: An historical introduction], Oslo: Universitetsforlaget 2002, ISBN 82-15-00292-7.

    Second edition of the book first published in 2000.


  • Anne K. Bang and Kirsten Kjerland (eds.), Nordmenn i Afrika/Afrikanere i Norge [Norwegians in Africa / Africans in Noway], Bergen 2002.

    The contact between Norway and Africa goes back to the Viking age. The topic of this book is Norwegians who traveled to Africa between 1650 and 1950, and Africans who for various reasons ended up in Norway.

    A large number of Norwegian missionaries went to Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to convert the heathen. Others left Norway with dreams of riches and a fresh start. The motives were much the same as those that made people go to America. Some found success, others did not. Africans came to Norway for a variety of reasons. Some were shipwrecked, others came as slaves, or as entertainers and simply as items for exhibit.

    The twenty-two contributions present images of adventurism, ingenuity and daring, and show that it was often coincidences that let people to go to far shores.


  • Knut S. Vikør, Islam: ei faktabok [Islam: A fact book]. Oslo: Spartacus 2002. 154 s. ISBN 82-430-0223-5

    This book presents the background for today's discussions on the role of Islam in modern society. It describes the basic features of Islam, from the question: "What does Islam mean for Muslims today?"

    One cannot comprehend the world-view of Muslims only by studying religion. No-one is "only a Muslim"; everyone base their actions from the totality of the society they live in and the roles they play in it. But the faith and history of Islam does also help to form those who consider themselves as Muslims, and thus form our contemporary world.

    This books presents in an introductory fashions the basics of Islam's laws and regulations, as well as Islamic mysticism and the different currents of Islam.


  • T.H. Aase (ed): Tournaments of Power. Honor and Revenge in the Contemporary World, Aldershot 2002. 193 pp. ISBN 0-7546-3181-8

    In the 1970s, 'modernization theory' contended that notions of honour would become obsolete in modern democracies. Being an archaic remnant of our pre-modern past, honour would be substituted by dignity under modern conditions. When honour does emerge as a valid social theme in modern society, as it sometimes does during court hearings, in gang fights, and in violent reactions to insult, it is often ascribed to immigration from pre-modern cultures where honour still matters in social life. Thus honour becomes part of the cultural baggage that is transferred to the host country through migration. However, the fact that highly modern social formations like MC gangs are also obsessed with honour seriously questions the validity of classical modernization theories. It seems that honour is not just a pre-modern weed in a modern garden of dignity, but an integral part of modernity.

    Since honour emerges under pre-modern as well as under modern conditions, it is relevant to ask under which circumstances it becomes a theme in interaction. Blurring the distinction between the modern and the pre-modern in this manner allows us to ask what honour is really all about. Containing international contributions from Scandinavia, USA, Mexico, Kurdistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Japan, this volume provides first-hand ethnographic accounts and important answers to these vital questions.




  • Anne K. Bang, Sufis and scholars of the sea. Family networks in East Africa, 1860-1925. London: Routledge Curzon (Indian Ocean Series) 2003. xii, 260 pp. ISBN 0-415-31763-0.

    This book focuses on the ways in which a particular Islamic brotherhood, or 'tariqa', the 'Alawiyya, spread maintained and propagated its particular brand of the Islamic faith. Originating in the South-Yemeni region of Hadramawt, the 'Alawi tariqa mainly spread along the coast of the Indian Ocean. The book discusses the renowned scholar, Ahmad b. Sumayt. The 'Alawis are here portrayed as one of the many cultural mediators in the multi-ethnic, multi-religious Indian Ocean world in the era of European colonialism.


  • Kjersti G. Berg: Fredsbygging i krigstid: Palestinarane og det norske People-to-People-programmet, 1995-2002 [Building peace at a time of war: The Palestinians and the Norwegian People-to-People program]. Bergen: Senter for Midtausten- og islamske studiar (Bergen-skrifter i Midtausten- og Afrikaforsking 5), 2003. 165 pp. ISBN 82-996577-0-9.

    The signing of the Oslo agreement between Israel and the PLO in 1993 was considered a high point of Norwegian diplomacy. Following this, the peace process became one of the main focuses of Norwegian development aid. This aid had clear political aims in Palestine. Rapid and visible improvements in the conditions of life for the Palestinians should create support for the negotiations among the people. Other elements of the aid was closely linked to the process of negotiations. A particular effort was put in the so-called "People-to-People" program (P2P), a program for dialogue and co-operation between Palestinians and Israelis, as stated in the Oslo II agreement of 1995. Norway, and the FAFO research institute, was given the role of organizer of the program, with the aim of gathering thousands of Israelis and Palestinians in projects of co-operation and dialogue in order to change the stereotypes of enmity and conflict. But it did not work as planned.

    This study looks at the Palestinian experiences with P2P. How it was started, what the experiences were, levels of participation and the political level and in civil society. Why did the Norwegian peace efforts become so problematical?


    Knut S. Vikør, Mellom gud og stat: Ei historie om islamsk lov og rettsvesen [Between God and state: A history of Islamic law and courts]. Oslo: Spartacus 2003. 396 pp. ISBN 82-430-0287-1.

    The law of Islam has always been suspended between, on one side, God, and on the other, the state; between its religious basis and society's needs for the organization of its material aspects.

    The Sharia is God's law. But it is not clear what the Sharia should contain. There is even disagreements about whether there is any actual Sharia law in our mundane society or whether it is only an ethical ideal or a divine will that only God can fully know.

    This book describes how the theory and method if the Islamic law developed, and how it was practised in courts from the days of the Prophet until today. It shows how this tension between its being God's law and the society's law has influenced both its theory and its practice in the Sharia courts, and tries to demonstrate what is meant when it is said that something, or the opposite, or both at the same time, is "what the Sharia says" and God's law.

    T. Hagg, B. Utas & U.A. al-Qasim Hasan, The Virgin and her Lover: Fragments of an Ancient Greek Novel and a Persian Epic Poem, Leiden, Boston: Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures 30 2003. 278 pp. ISBN 90-04-13260-0.
    Starting from the authors’ discovery that the Persian epic poem V_miq and _Adhr_ by _Un_ur_ (11th century AD) derives from the ancient Greek novel of M_tiokhos and Parthenop_, the book contains critical editions of the Greek and Persian fragments and testimonia, with English translation and comments. The exciting story of the modern recovery of the two texts is told, and the transformations of the productive theme of The ardent lover and the virgin are traced from Greek novel to Persian poem, and through later Persian and Turkish literature. Of particular importance is the authors’ attempt to reconstruct the common plot and individual variations, adding a new work to the limited corpus of ancient novels and shedding new light on the genre of Persian epic poetry.


    A. Haugen, The Establishment of National Republics in Soviet Central Asia, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2003. 276 pp. ISBN 1-4039-1571-7.
    After almost four centuries of expansion the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century covered vast territories on the Eurasian continent and included an immensely diverse population. How was the new Russian regime to deal with the complexity of its population? This book examines the role of nation and nationality in the Soviet Union and analyzes the establishment of national republics in Soviet Central Asia. It argues that the originally nationally minded Soviet communists with their anti-nationalist attitudes came to view nation and national identity as valuable and constructive tools in state constructions.


    J.O. Hunwick and R.S. O’Fahey, The Writings of the Muslim Peoples of Northeastern Africa, vol. IIIA of Arabic Literature of Africa, Leiden: Brill 2003. 174 pp. ISBN-10: 90 04 10938 2.
    The present volume is fascicle A of volume III of Arabic Literature of Africa, edited by J.O. Hunwick and R.S. O'Fahey. The fascicle, compiled by O'Fahey and several collaborators, covers the Islamic writings of Northeastern Africa in Arabic and in several local languages, including Amharic, Tigrinya, Harari and Somali. _Geographically, the fascicle covers the modern states of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Although the Islamic literature of the region is limited, it includes an important poetic tradition in Somali and Harari and the writings of a major scholar of the colonial period in Eritrea. The volume is divided into four chapters and follows the usual ALA format. It will be followed by fascicle B, which will cover East Africa, especially Kenya and Tanzania.

    N. Naguib, Knowing water: Palestinian women between the spring and faucet, Oslo: Oslo University College, HiO-rapport 21, 2003. 298 pp. ISBN: 82-579-4254-5.
    This study is concerned with the marginal tales of village women and their experiences with fetching water. This study revolves around issues lacking in the “Big stories”– peasant agency and women and water, embedded in the realities of local village life. The study is based on women’s narratives, and it moves beyond the generalised story about women in Palestine as specific types that can be reduced to more or les essentialised characteristics such as ‘opressed’, and ‘domesticated’, ‘living in a Muslim male dominated world’ or ‘being carriers of national Palestinian heritage’ etc. “Knowing water” contains women’s reflections about water, through their narratives. Water is at the core, yet other themes themes come up in their stories of happenings and doings. While talking about fetching water they speak about what they know about life.

    K. Uichol, H.S. Aasen & S. Ebadi (eds.), Democracy, Human Rights, and Islam in Modern Iran: Psychological, Social and Cultural Perspectives, Fagbokforlaget 2003. 550 pp. ISBN: 82-7674-922-4.
    The Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 has been awarded to Shirin Ebadi for her efforts for democracy and human rights. In 2001 The Rafto Prize for Human Rights was awarded to Shirin Ebadi for her lifelong struggle for democracy, peace and human rights in Iran and for her work on the protection and rights of women and children.
    This book brings together leading scholars to provide an in-depth analysis of family, education, economy, democracy, human rights and Islam in Iran. This volume provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of the current situation in Iran both by Iranian and international scholars. The goal of this volume is to provide an in-depth understanding of various facets of Iranian society that could serve as a basis for promoting democracy, human rights and peace in Iran and beyond its borders.


    • Knut S. Vikør, Ei verd bygd på islam. Oversikt over Midtaustens historie [A World built on Islam. Overview of the history of the Middle East]. 2. utgåve, Oslo: Det norske samlaget 2004, pp. 301. ISBN: 82-521-6327-0.

      Second revised edition of the book first published in 1993.


    • Anders Bjørkelo and Ahmad Ibrahim Abushouk: The principles of native administration in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898-1956 (2004; 278 pp.)(/b)

      in the Nile game, this work should stand as a case study of a much more general and acute question: the political ecology of trans-national river basins.

      in the Nile game, this work should stand as a case study of a much more general and acute question: the political ecology of trans-national river basins.

    • Terje Tvedt:The River Nile in the Age of the British. Political Ecology & and the Qest for Economic Power. London/New York: IB Tauris, 2004

      This book deals with the history of the Nile river which today plays a crucial role in the economics, politics and cultural life of ten countries and their more than 300 million inhabitants. No other international river basin has a longer, more complex and eventful history than the Nile. In telling the detailed story of the hydropolitics of the Nile valley in a period during which the conceptualization, use and planning of the waters were revolutionized, and many of the most famous politicians of the 20th century - Churchill, Mussolini, Eisenhower, Eden, Nasser and Haile Selassie - played active parts in the Nile game, this work should stand as a case study of a much more general and acute question: the political ecology of trans-national river basins.

    • A.A.M. Assal, Sticky labels of rich ambiguities?: diaspora and challenges of homemaking for Somalis and Sudanese in Norway, Bergen BRIC, University of Bergen 2004. 229 pp.
      Sticky Labels or Rich Ambiguities: diaspora and challenges of homemaking for Somalis and Sudanese in Norway tackles some of the salient experiences Somalis and Sudanese go through both during their movements and after reaching Norway.
      The book is a critical contribution to the local Norwegian debates on the issue of integrating refugees and immigrants, and it also relates to the more general and wider anthropological debates on forced movements and the creation of transnational connections and subjectivities by people who are forced to flee their homelands. While emphasizing the hardships and difficulties refugees pass through, the book cautiously adopts the view that it is time to move beyond a paradigm that sees refugees as either vulnerable victims or cunning crooks.
      The author is particularly critical about legal and demographic labels that stick and advocates for an approach that explores some of the rich ambiguities of lives on the move. The kinds of connections Somalis and Sudanese maintain go far beyond the borders of Norway, and also include other places than Somalia and the Sudan.
      This calls for going beyond labels that glue these people to Norway. Looking into Processes of homemaking, transnational connections, and the various types of links people maintain with their original countries, surrogate home, and other diasporic formations are some of the rich themes that scholars in social anthropology and other disciplines need to look into.

    • N. Anfinset, T. Østigård & N.T. Sætersdal (eds.), Combining the Past and the Present: Archaeological perspectives on society Proceedings from the conference “Pre-history in a global perspective” held in Bergen, August 31 - September 2 2001, in Honour of Professor Randi Haaland’s 60th anniversary, Oxford: BAR International Series 1210 2004. 216 pp. ISBN 1-84171-573-5.
      This conference in honor of Randi Haaland was held in Bergen in September 2001. Although the title of the conference was ambitious, the aim was to highlight current research problems in fields where Randi Halaand has been particularly active. The current volume contains the proceedings of the conference, thus fulfilling its aims. The largest session was reserved for “Approaches in African Archaeology” since Africa is the continent where the majority of Randi Halaand’s work has been conducted.

    • J. B. Bøe, “Farming will always remain the best job, it was the first love” A social anthropological comparison of irrigation societies at the West Bank, The Lower Jordan River Basin Programme Publications, Bergen/Birzeit: University of Bergen/BRIC and Birzeit University 2004. 159 pp.
      Palestinians living in the rural parts of the West Bank are leaving farming as a primary industry in increasing numbers. They are no longer able to survive on farming alone and alternative adaptations have become customary choice of action. This study investigates why this has happened, and what factors have been influential in directing this development. Implications of this trend for the Palestinian sence of social identity are investigated. These processes are analyzed in an ecological approach, and a comparative perspective to adaptions found within two localities of the West Bank, the village of Dura al Qar and Jericho. Focusing on irrigation, these two localities are compared over time to discuss why young people no longer choose farming as their way of living as opposed to what their parents and grandparents did.



      I.B. Mæle & I.M. Okkenhaug, Gender, Religion and Social Change in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Oslo: Unipub forlag 2004. 170 pp. ISBN 82-7477-158-3.
      The essays in this anthology all address two central questions: Is religion the sacred justification of oppressive patriarchal societies? Or does religion provide a possibility for independent action, an arena for autonomous female activities?


      Gunnar Sørbø and Sigfried Pausevang, Prospects for Peace,
      Security and Human Rights in Africa's Horn, Bergen: Fagbokforlaget 2004. 168 pp. ISBN 82-450-0265-8.
      This volume deals with the prospects for peaceful change, human rights and state-building in the Horn of Africa. There are few regions in the world that are more in need of peace and human security, yet prospects are threatened by numerous sources of conflict: the incomplete Sudan peace process; the still unresolved dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea; the lack of a state in Somalia; and the ongoing conflict between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. The authors try to address root causes to internal and regional conflicts in the Horn and assess prospects for peace and human security against the backdrop of monumental development challenges. Most of the contributions are based on a symposium held in Bergen at the occasion of the annual Thorolf Rafto Prize for Human Rights on 30 October, 2003.


      T. Tvedt (et al), Southern Sudan: An Annotated Bibliography, vol 1, 2nd edition. London: IB Tauris 2004. 572 pp. ISBN 1860649378.
      This major bibliography presents researchers, consultants, planners, aid organizations and others with the most comprehensive overview of the literature on the southern Sudan. To facilitate ease of use it is organized according to important topics of regional development: agriculture and pastoralism; anthropological and cultural studies; British and European colonialism; Christian mission and church studies; development; fisheries; health; pre-colonial history; language studies; natural sciences; politics, ethnic and religious strife and civil war; travel and geography; and water and climate. There is a separate section detailing reports produced by consultants, governments, NGOs and UN and international aid organizations. An inventory of NGO and UN organizations working in the region and a chronology of events are also included.

      T. Tvedt (et al), Southern Sudan: An annotated bibliography vol 2, 2nd edition. London: IB Tauris 2004. 1170 pp. ISBN 1860649386.
      This major bibliography presents researchers, consultants, planners, aid organizations and others with the most comprehensive overview of the literature on the Sudan. With almost 7,000 entries, half of which are annotated, it covers all fields and disciplines and all types of literature. To facilitate ease of use it is organised according to important topics of regional development: agriculture and pastoralism; anthropological and cultural studies; British and European colonialism; Christian mission and church-related studies; development issues; fisheries; health; pre-colonial history; language and language studies; natural sciences; politics, ethnic and religious strife and civil war; travel and geography; water and climate.

      T. Tvedt, The River Nile: An annotated bibliography, 2nd edition. London: IB Tauris 2004. 545 pp. ISBN 1860648797.
      This bibliography provides a comprehensive survey of the literature relating to the many political, cultural, economic and developmental aspects of the Nile. All disciplines are covered, including geography, history, anthropology and medicine; travel literature, planning and project literature produced by government bodies, international agencies and consultancy firms, and literature on basin-wide planning, water agreements and water need assessments for sectors and countries. If the Nile basin countries are to pursue co-operation and development successfully, dissemination of information about the river to all countries is crucial.

      T. Tvedt, The river Nile in the age of the British. Political ecology and the quest for economic power, London: IB Tauris 2004. 456 pp. ISBN 1-86064-835-5.
      The Nile today plays a crucial role in the economics, politics and cultural life of ten countries and their more than 300 million inhabitants. No other international river basin has a longer, more complex and eventful history than the Nile. In telling the detailed story of the hydropolitics of the Nile valley in a period during which the conceptualization, use and planning of the waters were revolutionized, and many of the most famous politicians of the 20th century – Churchill, Mussolini, Eisenhower, Eden, Nasser and Haile Selassie – played active parts in the Nile game, this work should stand as a case study of a much more general and acute question: the political ecology of trans-national river basins.


    • H. Akman & O. Stoknes, The Cultural Heritage of the Kurds, Bergen: BRIC Center for Development Studies, University of Bergen 2005. 175 pp. ISBN 82-7453-061-6.
      Kurdish cultural heritage is rooted in one of the world’s oldest cultures – Mesopotamia. Throughout history, Kurdish cultural heritage has been subject to great hardships, such as warfare and internal disputes, oppression, alienation and denial, but it has also been victim of a very efficient policy of assimilation. Much of the original Kurdish cultural heritage has today been lost, disappeared or destroyed in various ways.

    • A.A.M. Assal with the assistance of S.M.N.O. Tambal (et al.), An annotated bibliography of social research on Darfur, Bergen: BRIC, Center for Development Studies, University of Bergen, 2005, 183 pp. ISBN: 82-7453-062-4.
      The bibliography consists of 8 chapters covering social research on the Darfur region: Chapter 1: Ethnicity, Chapter 2: Anthropology and Sociology, Chapter 3: History, Chapter 4: Environment and Geography, Chapter 5: Agriculture and Economics, Chapter 6: Politics and public administration, Chapter 7: Government, I/NGOs and UN Reports, Chapter 8: General Bibliography.

    • J. N. Bell and Hassan Mahmoud Abdul Latif Al Shafie, Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali b.Muhammad al-Daylami, A Treatise on Mystical Love, (Introduction and annotated translation) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2005. 256 pp. ISBN: 0-7486-1915-1.
      The earliest major Islamic treatise on mystical love, this work reflects a moderate version of the ecstatic mysticism of the Sufi martyr al-Hallaj. Writing around 1000 C.E., the author summarizes the views of lexicographers, belletrists, philosophers, physicians, theologians, and mystics on love, providing much information that would otherwise have been lost. In setting forth his own opinions he relies heavily on erotic poetry with accompanying frame stories from the Umayyad and early Abbasid periods, Sufi biography, the lives of the prophets, and personal information.

      B. Kårtveit, “In the US I’m an Arab terrorist, here I’m an American punk!” A study on Palestinian return-migration and identity management in the West Bank, The Lower Jordan River Basin Programme Publications, Bergen/Birzeit: University of Bergen/BRIC and Birzeit University 2005.
      “In the US US I’m an Arab terrorist, here I’m an American punk! The only plave I feel normal is on the plane!” These words belong to Omar, a 16 year ond boy in Chicago, who has spent the last four years in the West Bank. They sum up his experience of being a Palestinian in the USA and being an American in the West Bank, not belonging in either of the two places. Their parents were born and raised in the West Bank and now they invest the hard earned cash on family house construction and fancy wedding arrangements here in ways that sometimes offend and frustrate their local neighbourd and co-villagers. These are two aspects of the return migration that have influenced the area since the beginning 1990’s, and this wave of migration is the focus of this study. The empirical focus of the study is two Muslim villages located at the centre of the West Bank, both marked by the migration to the USA.

      R. Natvig & H.I. Markussen (et al), Islamer i Norge, [Islams in Norway] Uppsala: Swedish Science Press, Studier av inter-religiösa relationer 2005. 101 pp. ISBN 9189652177.
      There is a tendency in the Norwegian majority society to consider Islam to be a static and monlithic entity, and to define people with Muslim background as religious, and hence more religious than non-Muslim Norwegians. Contradicting this, the underlying idea of this book is an understanding of the many expressions and manifestations of Islam, and the exercise of a plurality that is hidden in the Norwegian media discourse; Expressions like “Muslims in Norway” and “Islam in Norway” covers a plethora of ethnic and national backgrounds, varying degrees of involvement in Islam, different perceptions of Islam, and different ways of living Islam. The book shows the very plurality of Muslims and the variety of Islams.

      I.M. Okkenhaug & I. Flaskerud, Gender, Religion and Change in the Middle East: Two Hundred Years of History, Oxford: Berg Publishers 2005. 300 pp. ISBN 1845201981.
      The complicated link between women and religion in the Middle East has been a source of debate for centuries, and has special resonance today. Whether religion reinforces female oppression or provides opportunities for women – or a combination of both – depends on time, place and circumstance. This book seeks to contextualize women's roles within their religious traditions rather than through the lens of a dominant culture. Gender, Religion and Change in the Middle East crosses boundaries and borders, and will appeal to a global audience.
      This book provides a comprehensive survey of women in Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities in the Middle East during the last two centuries. The authors consider women's defined roles within these religious communities, as well as exploring how women themselves develop and apply their own strategies within religious societies. The wide-ranging accounts draw on case studies from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon since 1800. Throughout, the authors challenge our understanding of patriarchy to offer a more nuanced account.
      Taking a balanced look at the issues of religion, gender and change in the Middle East, this unique interdisciplinary study gives new insight to the theme of women and religion in the Middle East.

      K.S. Vikør, Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law, London & New York: C. Hurst & CO 2005. ISBN 1-85065-806-4.
      The contrast between religion and law has been continuous throughout Muslim history. Islamic law has always existed in a tension between these two forces: God, who gave the law, and the state – the sultan – representing society and implementing the law. This tension and dynamic have created a very particular history for the law – in how it was formulated and by whom, in its theoretical basis and its actual rules, and in how it was practiced in historical reality from the time of its formation until today. That is the main theme of this book.
      Knut S. Vikor introduces the development and practice of Islamic law to a wide readership: students, lawyers, and the growing number of those interested in Islamic civilization. He summarizes the main concepts of Islamic jurisprudence; discusses debates concerning the historicity of Islamic sources of dogma and the dating of early Islamic law; describes the classic practice of the law, in the formulation and elaboration of legal rules and practice in the courts; and sets out various substantive legal rules, on such vital matters as the family and economic activity.


    • J. N. Bell and Hassan Mahmoud Abdul Latif Al Shafie, Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali b.Muhammad al-Daylami, Kitab 'atf al-alif al-ma'luf 'ala 'l-lam al-ma'tuf, (Edition of the Arabic text, introduction, annotations, and indexes) Cairo: Dar al-Kitab al-Masri/Dar al-Kitab al-Lubnani, 3, 2006.

    • H. Hafsaas, Cattle pastoralists in a multicultural setting. The C-group people in Lower Nubia 2500-1500 BCE, The Lower Jordan River Basin Programme Publications, Bergen/Birzeit: University of Bergen/BRIC and Birzeit University, 10, 2006.
      Lower Nubia is situated along that part of the river Nile that connected Africa with Egypt, and this corridor through the desert became from an early time a meeting place for different ethnic groups. This study focuses on the cattle-keeping C-Group people who lived in Lower Nubia during the Middle Nubian Period, i.e. from 2500 – 1500 BCE. The cultural history of Lower Nubia is characterized by ethnic diversity, and the Middle Nubian Period was no exception. The Egyptians invaded, occupied, and withdrew from Lower Nubia, while the nomadic Pan-Grave people from the Eastern Desert seems to have utilized the pastures in the Nile valley during periods of political instability. Upper Nubia to the south was inhabited by the Kerma people, whose kings ruled from Kerma, the earliest urban site in Africa outside Egypt. The interactions with these other ethnic groups had wide implications for the C-Group people as the continuously had to define their own identity while under constant influence from other ethnic groups. In this study the C-Group people’s economical, political, and cultural strategies in their encounters with these other ethnic groups are discussed.

      L. Manger & A.G.M. Ahmed (eds.), Understanding the Crisis in Darfur. Listening to Sudanese Voices, Bergen: BRIC 2006.
      While the signing of the Declaration of Principles is a major step towards the resolution of the conflict, there is concern that the tendency to simplify the issues, especially via the international media, may undermine the search for a sustainable solution. We feel that there is a clear gap in the information needed to display the complexity of the situation, the diversity of the actors and stakeholders involved, and the local peculiarities as well as the broad national dimension of the causes of the conflict. We also believe that researchers on Sudan, citizens involved in the peace process and other intellectual stakeholders should help to fill this information gap. This book represents such an attempt as it contains reflections on the nature of the crisis and identification of the critical issues presented by concerned parties and individuals, with the aim of contributing to the peace process by suggesting the path to a sustainable peace in the region.
      The book is divided in two main parts. Part One consists of contributions by Sudanese academics, in which various dimensions of the crisis are discussed. Papers by Abdel Ghaffar M. Ahmed, Musa Adam Abdel-Jalil, Atta El-Battahani and Mustafa Babiker are all focused on the general, overall dimensions while also presenting more specific discussions of important issues such as land and land tenure, the history of conflictual relations in the region, ethnic relationships and various types of state-society relations. Part Two of the book is based on discussions held at a meeting in Addis Abeba on July 25 and 26, 2005. The participants in the meeting were senior Sudanese academics and citizens with particular links to Darfur. Finally, the book ends with an appendix in which copies of central document from the Darfur conflict are presented.

      L. Manger & M. Assal (eds.), Understanding African Diasporas, Uppsala: Nordic Institute of African Studies 2006. ISBN: 91-7106-563-6.
      The book deals with two types of “African diasporas”, the first of which originated in the migration histories of the Indian Ocean and brought new groups into Africa. This is illustrated by case studies of Hadrami communities in Sudan and Zanzibar, and the Malay community in Cape Town, that produced trade links as well as processes of Islamization. The second type originated with the failing African states and cases discussed are an Eritrean diaspora in Germany, alongside Sudanese diasporas in Norway and the USA, and a Somali diaspora in Norway. The papers deal with processes of homemaking, political mobilization in the diaspora through local organizations, religious networks and cyberspace nationalism. The central conceptual argument is that “diaspora” is not only a post-modern reaction to the xenophobia of Western nation states but must be seen as part of a broader history of human migration and intercultural experience. This calls for a perspective which takes into consideration historically produced variation and dynamism.
      The book is valuable for researchers interested in African studies, from various disciplines such as anthropology, history and religious science as well as migration and diaspora studies and the broader field of cultural studies. It is also of use for practitioners in UN agencies and NGOs working with global migration, and also national immigration departments. The book is valuable for researchers interested in African studies, from various disciplines such as anthropology, history and religious science as well as migration and diaspora studies and the broader field of cultural studies. It is also of use for practitioners in UN agencies and NGOs working with global migration, and also national immigration departments.

      E.H. Seland (ed.), Definite Places, Translocal Exchange: The Indian Ocean in the ancient period, B.A.R. International Series. Oxford: Archaeopress 2006 (forthcoming).

    • Ayman Abu Mustafa, The Trade Routes in Palestine During the Mamluk Period (1260-1516 A.D.) The Lower Jordan River Basin programme Publications, 7. Ramallah: Birzeit University and Bergen: BRIC, University of Bergen 2006. 188 pp. ISBN 82-7453-032-2.
      In recent years, no reseacrh has presented a systematic study of Palestine as an administrative unit in the Mamluk period: There are many unanswered questions concerning the main trade routes in Palestine during the Mamluks. Some concern the political and economic changes after the Crusades, others the installation of khans and fuduqs on the trade routes. This study maps and analyses the trade routes and their interrelationship with the economic geography of the region in this period.

    • Leif Manger & Munzoul Assal (eds), Diasporas Within and Without Africa: Dynamism, Heterogenity, Variation. Uppsala: Nordic Institute of African Studies 2006. 200 pp. ISBN: 91-7106-563-6.

      The book deals with two types of “African diasporas”. One originated in the migration histories in the Indian Ocean and brought new groups into Africa. Case studies present Hadrami communities in Sudan and Zanzibar, and the Malay community in Cape Town, which produced trade links as well as processes of Islamization. A second type originated with the failing African states. An Eritrean diaspora in Germany is discussed, alongside Sudanese diasporas in Norway and the USA, and a Somali diaspora in Norway. Papers deal with processes of homemaking, political mobilization in the diaspora through local organisations, through religious networks and through cyberspace nationalism. The central conceptual argument is that “diaspora” is not only a post-modern reaction to the xenophobia of Western nation states. It must be seen as part of a broader history of human migration and intercultural experience, which requires a perspective which allows for historically produced variation and dynamism.


    Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (SMI)
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