Jul 25, 2012

Pastoral Nomads and Legal Pluralism in Ottoman Jordan | Nora Barakat

Groups variously labeled as nomadic and tribal formed an integral part of Ottoman society, but because their communities exercised a wide degree of autonomy, they are often represented as somehow separate or "other" to urban and settled populations. However, the social history of these communities reveals that tribes and their members were involved in the continual transformation of Ottoman society not just as a force of resistance or hapless victims of state policies but also as participants. In this podcast, Nora Barakat deals with the social history of such communities, which appear in the court records of Salt (in modern Jordan) as "tent-dwellers," and their place in the complex legal sphere of the Tanzimat era during which both shar`ia law courts as well as new nizamiye courts served as forums for legal action.

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Nora Barakat is a PhD candidate at UC-Berkeley studying the legal and social history of Ottoman Syria
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see academia.edu)

Citation: "Pastoral Nomads and Legal Pluralism in Ottoman Jordan." Nora Barakat and Chris Gratien. Ottoman History Podcast, No. 61 (July 24, 2012) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2012/07/pastoral-nomads-and-legal-pluralism-in.html.


Agmon, Iris. Family & court: legal culture and modernity in late Ottoman Palestine. Syracuse, NY : Syracuse University Press, 2006.
Kasaba, Reşat. A moveable empire : Ottoman nomads, migrants, and refugees. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009.
Mundy, Martha, and Richard Saumarez Smith. Governing Property: Making the Modern State Law Administration and Production in Ottoman Syria. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007.
Rogan, Eugene L. Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Rubin, Avi. Ottoman Nizamiye Courts: Law and Modernity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Jul 13, 2012

Dealers and Smokers in the Late Ottoman and Interwar Periods | Zach Foster

Unlike many historical topics, drug use is often absent in the historical record due to its illicit nature. However, thanks to authorities who sought to control the drug trade and commentators that wrote about drug culture, we can piece together some of the social networks that drug trade and use facilitated in the past. In this episode, Zach Foster discusses the evolution of the drug trade in the Eastern Mediterranean during the period of transition from Ottoman to British and French Mandate rule, as European states and the emerging bourgeoisie in the Middle East became increasingly concerned with the pervasive "issue" of drug use.

Zachary J. Foster is a doctoral student in the Department of Near East Studies at Princeton University
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. (see academia.edu)

Episode No. 60
Release date: 13 July 2012

Note for the listener: Although this podcast is based in part on primary source research, it is also a synthesis of publicly available information and draws extensively from the following works below, which are also mentioned during the course of the episode. For the purposes of academic citation, we encourage you to consult these works.

Select Bibliography

Liat Kozma, "Cannabis Prohibition in Egypt, 1880–1939: From Local Ban to League of Nations Diplomacy", Middle Eastern Studies, 47:3, 443-460

Cyrus Schayegh, "The Many Worlds of ˁAbud Yasin; or, What Narcotics Trafficking in the Interwar Middle East Can Tell Us about Territorialization," The American Historical Review, Vol. 116, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 273-306

G. G. Nahas, Hashish and drug abuse in Egypt during the 19th and 20th centuries. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1985 June; 61(5): 428–444. PMCID: PMC1911881

Zachary J. Foster, "Marginalized Desires: Illicit Drug Trafficking and Use in British Mandatory Palestine," (unpublished paper, 2010)

Jul 7, 2012

Nation, Class, and Ecology in French Mandate Lebanon: AUB and 1930s Rural Development | Sam Dolbee

59.    Peasants, Pesticides, and Politics in Greater Syria

The interwar period was an era of significant change in urban-rural relations throughout the world and witnessed an unprecedented use of technology in the agrarian and ecological spheres. Most notably, class specific urban movements posed as apolitical incorporated technocratic changes in the countryside as part of a nation-building project, place the romanticized peasantry as an object at the heart of these social transformations. In this episode, Sam Dolbee discusses one such movement based at the American University in Beirut during the 1930s, as middle class students and officials became involved in an ambiguous effort to transform the Lebanese-Syrian countryside in the shadow of French colonial rule.

Sam Dolbee is a PhD student in the department of Middle East Studies at New York University 
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see academia.edu)

Citation: "Nation, Class, and Ecology in French Mandate Lebanon: AUB and 1930s Rural Development." Samuel Dolbee and Chris Gratien. Ottoman History Podcast, No. 59 (July 7, 2012) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2012/07/nation-class-and-ecology-in-french_07.html.

Select Bibliography

Anderson, Betty S. The American University of Beirut: Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.
El Shakry, Omnia. The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.
Firro, Kais. Inventing Lebanon: Nationalism and the State under the Mandate. London: Tauris, 2003.
Gasper, Michael. The Power of Representation: Publics, Peasants, and Islam in Egypt. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008.
Mitchell, Timothy. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Technopolitics, Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
Nash, Linda. Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.

from Al-Qabas (Nov. 26, 1936)

The Village Revival Project
The Arab youth work to serve the peasants
The peasants are the crux of the nation (watan) and their welfare is the nation's welfare