Individual Volumes​

Our Individual Volumes include monographs, festschrifts, and other academic works that illustrate the dynamism of scholarship in and about Muslim contexts.

Corm - Arab Political Thought CMYK PRINT.jpgArab Political Tho​ught: Past and Present​

Author: Georges Corm

Translators: P. Phillips-Batoma and A.T. Batoma

Publication Date: January 2020

ISBN: 9781849048163 (HB)

Published in association with Hurst Publishers

Available for purchase here

Explores the many facets of Arab political thought from the nineteenth century to the present day​

​This book demonstrates the vitality of Arab political thought and its major controversies. It shows that the key players involved, far from being ​constrained by a theological-political straitjacket, have often demonstrated strong critical thinking when tackling religion and philosophy, anthropology and politics.

Setting these thinkers and their works within two centuries of upheaval in the Arab world, Georges Corm demonstrates how Arab critical thought has been marginalised by powerful external forces: the military, the academy and the media. In its place has risen a hegemonic Islamist thought, used cannily by certain Arab regimes and their Western protectors. Closely tracing the successive transformations of modernist Arab nationalism, Arab Political Thought offers a blueprint for understanding the libertarian Arab Spring, as well as the counter-revolutions and external interventions that have followed.

This invaluable guide comprehensively distils the complexity of Arab intellectualism, which is both critical and profane, and a far cry from the outdated politico-religious image it has acquired.

"Not since Albert Hourani’s Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age has there been such a comprehensive and accessible monograph as Georges Corm’s erudite account. Focussing on twentieth-century Arabic and French literature, this is a welcome update written by a leading Arab intellectual and economist."
— Jens Hanssen, Associate Professor of Arab Civilisation, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilisations, University of Toronto

"An invaluable account of the intellectual currents within the Arab world and beyond, bringing this rich and seminal scholarship closer to us here in the West. Indispensable for those interested in the politics of the region and its underlying fabric of ideas."
— Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies at SOAS, University of London, and author of On the Arab Revolts and the Iranian Revolution and A Metahistory of the Clash of Civilisations.

"An overview of the richness and complexity of Arab thought, deconstructing the dominant narratives that reduce the Arab peoples to vacuous, religious and ahistorical binaries. A must-read."
— Fawaz A. Gerges, a Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics

Corner of a Dream_Cover.jpg​​​

At the Corner of a Dream

A Journey of Revolution and Resistance: The Street Art of Bahia Shehab​

Author: Bahia Shehab

Publication Date: September 2019​

ISBN: 978-10909942-39-4 (PB)

Published in association with Gingko

Available for purchase here

Lebanese-Egyptian street artist Bahia Shehab began taking to the streets during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. Since then, she has taken her peaceful resistance, using lines from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish,  to the streets of the world, from New York to Tokyo, Amsterdam to Honolulu. This book documents not only Shehab’s striking artwork itself, but also the stories of the people she meets along the way, and her observations from the streets of each new city she visits. It is her artist manifesto, a cry for freedom and dignity, and a call to never stop dreaming.

‘The world has been led to believe that the Egyptian Revolution has failed. The mainstream media would have us believe that law and order have been reinstated by the military regime. All forms of resistance and opposition have been silenced. This book aims to offer another side to this story; it is an expression of our human right to live in freedom and with dignity.’ At the Corner of a Dream hopes to illustrate how an idea that started on the streets of Cairo has travelled to the walls of the world.

‘I paint poetry by the Palestinian poet of resistance Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) on the walls of different cities around the world in new and originals forms of the Arabic script. I use lines from his poetry to tell the world that ideas cannot be killed, to show that we are united in our humanity and our struggle against oppression and dictatorship. Darwish is seen by many as a poet on the side of the People, whatever their race and wherever they are. ‘At the Corner of a Dream’ is a line from his poem ‘It was what it was going to be’. I paint Darwish’s words on the walls of cities around the world in anticipation of a dream that I believe is around the corner for all of us.’

Bahia Shehab is a multidisciplinary artist, designer and art historian. Her work is concerned with identity and preserving cultural heritage. Through investigating Islamic art history she reinterprets contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse and social issues. She is Professor of Design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets internationally. The documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. Her work has received a number of international recognitions and awards some of which include the BBC 100 Women list (2013), TED Senior fellowship (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). Her publications include “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif.” She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture (2016).​

What is the S​haria?

Author: Baudouin Dupret

Translator: David Bond

ISBN: 9781849048170​ (HB)

Publication Date: March 2018

Published in association with Hurst Publishers with the support of the French Ministry of Culture​

Available for purchase here​

In the West, ‘sharia’ often calls to mind antiquated laws founded upon gender discrimination and barbaric punishments. In the East, for some it means the ideal standards by which Muslims strive to live; for others, it is the greatest obstacle to modernisation of their societies. These clashing views sometimes lead to violence. Clarification of the term​ has therefore become an urgent necessity.

Sharia is all of these things and much more. It is the legal system of Islam, a series of guidelines and prohibitions. But it is also a concept invested with a whole range of meanings, from the virtuous attributes of an ‘ideal’ society, to the confinement of particular elements to otherness and adversity.​

Moving through history, society and Islamic thought to explore the sources of sharia law, Baudouin Dupret gets to the heart of its uses and abuses in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This short, accessible book provides an invaluable guide for those seeking to understand a matter more complex and pressing today than ever before.

Times Literary Supplement article​​​

‘This is a highly accessible and incisive introduction to Shari’ah studies that is not only important to students and teachers alike, but is also the perfect antidote to the deluge of asinine publications on Shari’ah that flood the field.’ — Professor Abou El-Fadl, Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Professor of Law, UCLA

‘An excellent primer, clear and precise.’ 
— Ziauddin Sardar, editor of Critical Muslim and author of Reading the Qur’an

‘Just when Western society—academia especially—looks to have surrendered to a convenient Sharia, Dupret ushers in an epistemological unravelling of the concept… Combining continental legal and social science approaches, Dupret points to the fallacies of ‘Islamism’ and confronts the ideological realities born out of the ‘Arab Spring’ … This book should be required reading for both graduate students and scholars in the field.’ 
— Malik R. Dahlan, Professor of International Law and Public Policy, Queen Mary University of London and Principal of Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy

‘An important book, contributing to a better theoretical and contextual understanding of the concept of the Shari’ah, especially in these times of gross misunderstandings. An essential read for both academics and practitioners interested in the subject.’
​— Mashood A. Baderin, Professor of Laws, SOAS University of London.

Baudouin Dupret is educated in Law, Islamic Science and Political Science and spent many years as a CNRS researcher in Egypt, Syria and Morocco. He has published extensively on the Sociology and Anthropology of Law, and on legislation in the Middle East and North Africa, including the co-authored 'Law at Work.'

The Political Aesthetics of Global Protest: The Arab Spring and Beyond

Editors: Pnina Werbner, Kathryn Spellman Poots & Martin Webb

ISBN: 9780748693351 (PB) ISBN: 9780748693344 (HB) 

Publication date: 2014

Published in association with Edinburgh University Press

A remarkable feature of the Arab Spring and other protests that followed in Egypt, India, Botswana and the UK, among other places, has been the salience of images, songs, videos, humour, satire and dramatic performances.

This book explores the central role the aesthetic played in energising the mass mobilisations of young people, the disaffected, the middle classes, the apolitical silent majority, as well as enabling solidarities and alliances among democrats, workers, trade unions, civil rights activists and opposition parties.

Comparing the North African and Middle Eastern uprisings with protest movements such as Occupy, the authors bring to bear an anthropological and sociological approach from a variety of perspectives, illuminating the debate by drawing on a wide array of disciplinary expertise.

Pnina Werbner is Professor Emerita of Social Anthropology at Keele University; Martin Webb is Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London; Kathryn Spellman-Poots is Associate Professor at AKU-ISMC​.

Understanding the Qur’an Today

Author: Mahmoud Hussein

Translator: David Bond

ISBN: 978 0 86356 849 7 (PB) 

Publication date: 2013​

Published in association with Saqi

In Islam, there is a long tradition of interpretation regarding the meaning and significance of Divine revelation, reflecting a plurality of views.

This book argues that whereas God transcends time, His Word is inscribed within time. It is not a monologue, but a living exchange, through which God reveals to His Prophet different orders of truth, weaving together the absolute and the relative, the general and the particular, the eternal and the contingent.

An international bestseller, Understanding the Qur’an Today offers a contemporary perspective on one of the world’s most influential texts and adds an invaluable contribution to the debate on Islam and modernity.

Mahmoud Hussein is the pseudonym of Bahgat Elnadi and Adel Rifaat, French political writers of Egyptian origin.​​

The Construction of Belief: Reflections on the Thought of Mohammed Arkoun

Edited by Abdou Filali-Ansary and Aziz Esmail

ISBN: 978 0 86356 424 6 (PB) ​

Publication date: 2012

Published in association with Saqi

Mohammed Arkoun was one of the most prominent and influential Arab intellectuals of his day. During a career spanning more than thirty years, he was revered as an outstanding research scholar, a bold critic of the theoretical tensions embedded within Islamic studies and an outspoken public figure, upholding political, social and cultural modernism.

This festschrift honours Mohammed Arkoun’s scholarship, bringing together the contributions of eleven distinguished scholars of history, religious studies and philosophy. It offers a comprehensive selection of critical engagements with Arkoun’s work, reflecting on his considerable influence on contemporary thinking about Islam and its ideological, philosophical and theological dimensions.

The authoritative reference study on the work of Mohammed Arkoun, the volume is essential reading for students and scholars of Islam, Muslim societies and cultures, modernity, religious studies, philosophy and semantics.

Abdou Filali-Ansary is the founding Director of AKU-ISMC; Aziz Esmail is a governor of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where he was the Dean from 1988-98.

Organizing Knowledge:  Encyclopaedic Activities in the Pre-Eighteenth Century Islamic World

Edited by Gerhard Endress

ISBN: 978 9 0041 4697 6​ 

Publication date: 2006

Published in association with Brill

​The contributions in this volume offer the first comprehensive effort to describe and analyse the collection, classification, presentation and methodology of information in the knowledge society of medieval Islam in the disciplines of religious and legal learning, as well as the rational sciences of Hellenistic origin – philosophy, mathematical and medical sciences.

The volume begins with a general discussion of the concept of encyclopaedia. Successive chapters explore the bases of authority in the institutions of religion and law; bibliographical literature and handbooks of law; compendia of scientific and philosophical learning based on Iranian and Greek sources; and the more specialised expositions of mathematics and philosophy. The special character of Muslim institutions, their teaching traditions and syllabi is also put into perspective.

This is a reference work for the principle genres of ‘encyclopaedic’ outlines and manuals – biography, legal handbooks, historiography of knowledge transmission, cosmography, and the philosophical sciences – and a major contribution to the literary and intellectual history of scholarly writing in the pre-modern Islamic world.

Gerhard Endress is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany.