Publications 1993-- by scholars at Bergen,
or visitors while resident in Bergen.
- Leif Manger & Munzoul Assal (eds.), Diasporas
within and without Africa: Dynamsim, Heterogenity, Variation.
- Ayman Abu Mustafa, The Trade Routes in Palestine
during the Mamluk Period (1260-1516 A.D.)
- T.H. Aase: Tournaments of Power.
- A.I. Abu Shouk, &al, The Public Records
of Kassala Province
- A.I. Abu Shouk, Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Salim:
- A.I. Abu Shouk, Ta`rikh Harakat al-Islah wa-Irshad.
- H. Akman & O. Stoknes: The Cultural Heritage
of the Kurds
- N. Anfinset, T. Østigård & N.T. Sætersdal
(eds.), Combining the Past and the Present
- K. Ask M. Tjomsland, Women and Islamization.
- A.K. Bang, The Idrisi state in 'Asir.
- A.K. Bang, Sufis and Scolars of the Sea. Family
Networks in East Africa, 1860-1925
- A.K. Bang & K. Kjerland, Nordmenn i Afrika/Afrikanere
- 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
- J.N. Bell & A.-H. Kassem, The Seven Days
- J. N. Bell and Hassan Mahmoud Abdul Latif Al Shafie, Abu 'l-Hasan
'Ali b.Muhammad al-Daylami, A Treatise on Mystical
- K.G. Berg: Fredsbygging i krigstid.
- A. Bjørkelo & A.I. Abu Shouk, The
Public Treasure of the Muslims.
- A. Bjørkelo & A.I. Abu Shouk, The
principles of native administration in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
- A.A.M. Assal, Sticky labels of rich ambiguities?:
diaspora and challenges of homemaking for Somalis and Sudanese in
- T. Bringa, Being Muslim the Bosnian way.
- 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
- T. Eide &al., Fontes Historiae Nubiorum,
I - IV.
- I. Gilhus, Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins.
- A. Grannes, Turco-Bulgarica.
- A. Grannes & D. Heradstveit, Etnisk nasjonalisme.
- H. Hafsaas, Cattle pastoralists in a multicultural
setting. The C-group people in Lower Nubia 2500-1500 BCE
- T. Hagg, B. Utas & U.A. al-Qasim Hasan, The Virgin
and her Lover: Fragments of an Ancient Greek Novel and a Persian Epic
- S. Harir & T. Tvedt, Short-cut to Decay.
- A. Haugen, The Establishment of National Republics
in Soviet Central Asia
- J.O. Hunwick &al., Arabic Literature
of Africa, II.
- J.O. Hunwick and R.S. O’Fahey, The Writings
of the Muslim Peoples of Northeastern Africa
- R. Håland & A.A. Magid, Aqualithic
sites among the rivers Nile and Atbara.
- F. Jacobsen, Exploring theories of sickness
and misfortune among the Hadandowa
- H. Jenssen: The Subtleties and Secrets of the
- Z. Kamalkhani, Women's Islam.
- K. Krzywinski & R.H.Pierce, Deserting the
- 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
- A.N. Longva, Walls built on sand
- D.J. Lønning, Bridge over troubled water.
- D.J. Lønning & G. Giacaman, After
Oslo: New realities, old problems.
- L. Manger & M. Assal (eds.), Understanding African
- L. Manger & A.G.M. Ahmed (eds.), Understanding
the Crisis in Darfur. Listening to Sudanese Voices
- L.O. Manger, From the Mountains to the Plains.
- L.O. Manger, Muslim diversity.
- L.O. Manger, H.A. el Ati &al., Survival
on meagre resources.
- I.B. Mæle & I.M. Okkenhaug, Gender,
Religion and Social Change in the Middle East and the Mediterranean
- N. Naguib, Knowing water: Palestinian women between
the spring and faucet
- R. Natvig & H.I. Markussen (et al), Islamer i
- C.T. Nereid, In the Light of Said Nursi
- R.S. O'Fahey &al., Arabic Literature
of Africa, I.
- I.M. Okkenhaug & I. Flaskerud, Gender, Religion
and Change in the Middle East: Two Hundred Years of History
- B. Radtke, J. O'Kane, K.S. Vikør & R.S. O'Fahey, The
Exoteric Ahmad Ibn Idris.
- G. Sørbø and S. Pausevang, Prospects
for Peace, Security and Human Rights in Africa's Horn
- E.H. Seland (ed.), Definite Places, Translocal Exchange:
The Indian Ocean in the ancient period
- E. Thomassen, Apokryfe evangelier
- E. Thomassen &I.S. Gilhus, Gnostiske skrifter.
- E. Thomassen & B. Radtke, The Letters of
Ahmad Ibn Idris.
- E. Thomassen & T. Rasmussen, Kristendommen
- T. Tvedt, An annotated bibliography on the Southern
- T. Tvedt, Conflicts in the Horn of Africa.
- T. Tvedt, Angels of mercy or development diplomats?.
- T. Tvedt, En reise i vannets historie
- T. Tvedt, The River Nile: An annotated bibliography
- T. Tvedt:The River Nile in the Age of the British.
Political Ecology & and the Qest for Economic Power
- T. Tvedt (et al), Southern Sudan: An Annotated Bibliography,
- T. Tvedt (et al),Southern Sudan: An annotated bibliography
- K. Uichol, H.S. Aasen & S. Ebadi (eds.), Democracy,
Human Rights, and Islam in Modern Iran: Psychological, Social and
- K.S. Vikør, Between God and the Sultan: A
History of Islamic Law
- K.S. Vikør, Ei verd bygd på islam;
- K.S. Vikør, Islam: ei faktabok
- K.S. Vikør, Mellom gud og stat.
- K.S. Vikør, The oasis of salt.
- K.S. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar on the Desert
- K.S. Vikør, Sources for Sanusi Studies.
- K.S. Vikør & H. Palva, The Middle
East - Unity and Diversity.
- K.S. Vikør & M. Sabour, Ethnic Encounter
and Culture Change.
- K.S. Vikør & B.O. Utvik, The Middle
East in a globalized world.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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: email@example.com
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
- 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
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
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
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
•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
- 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
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.
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
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
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:
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.