1 1- Discovering the Plan behind the Gordian Knot New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences , Russell K. Skowronek
At the beginning of December 2015, Dr. Tamer Balcı, one of the founding editors for New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences, asked me to “write an essay or a welcome message indicating the significance of interdisciplinary studies.” It is a rare but rather daunting honor to be asked to write an opening essay for a new journal. How does one who is immersed in such interdisciplinary research share that excitement with others who are similarly engaged; or more provocatively, with those who are not? Perhaps by recognizing that interdisciplinary studies is not “new” per se but rather that it is the most dynamic means of understanding phenomena in the social and liberal sciences.
2 The Progression of Community Organizing in Southern West Virginia , Cara Robinson
Southern West Virginia is one of the most impoverished regions in the United States. It is often also considered one of the most isolated. The region’s strong historical ties to the coal mining and railroad industries as well as its deep religious and union heritage has placed the area in a unique position with respect to the examination of community organizing. In the modern era of political change (e.g. increased ideological polarization and the transition of Southern West Virginia from a democratic to republican stronghold), cultural change (e.g. continued progress for marriage equality and increasing power of ethnic and racial minorities), and technological and economic change (e.g. globalization, social networking) Southern West Virginia community organizations are serving as means through which communities and residents can find their voice, adapt to these changes and fight for their rights in the face of threats to their continued marginalization. This paper examines the transitioning cultural values of Southern West Virginia, the continued social and economic problems facing the area and civic organizing techniques being employed to unite the two.
3  American Insanity: A Historiography of Mental Illness (1780-1920) , Emily Gray
The topic of mental illness and its treatment did not become a popular subject for historical research until the 1960s. New Left and Social historians had begun to study the history of the working class, thus expanding the interests of the researcher beyond the social elite. However, few historians chose to study social deviance or mental illness until the publication of Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization in 1961.
4 Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood , Felix Ramos
Mohammed Zahid. The Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's Succession Crisis: The Politics of Liberalisation and Reform in the Middle East. London; New York: I. B. Tauris [2010] 2012. Carrie Rosefsky Wickham. The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. Hazem Kandil. Inside the Brotherhood. Cambridge: Policy Press, 2015. The status of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt presently is, at best, tenuous. Accordingly, some questions that are pertinent for today and tomorrow include: Is this movement in Egypt that at one point attained a pinnacle of success beyond its members' wildest dreams alive and well? If not, can the movement in Egypt still make a comeback? The three books selected for review offer insights on these and other related questions from different points of view.
5 Understanding the Dynamics of Turkish Nationalism , Juan Carlos Razo, Jr.
Derya Bayir. Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013. Carter Vaughn Findley. Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity: A History, 1789-2007, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Jenny White. Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. Many scholars have analyzed Turkish nationalism to understand its progress in the Turkish Republic from different perspectives. While some scholars have forefronted the importance of cultural and religious aspects of Turkish nationalism, others have emphasized the significance of politics and economics in its formation. Three influential scholars have provided distinctive perceptions on the significance of this nationalism in Turkish society.
6 Health Care, the Arab Spring and After , Sonia Alianak
This study analyzes the effect of health care on Middle Eastern countries on the eve of and soon after the Arab Spring. It posits that countries that were most stable were the healthiest ones; countries which underwent revolutions were the unhealthiest ones; whereas countries that settled for reforms were moderate in health. It presents a hypothesis, the Inverted Funnel Model Hypothesis, that states that as the level of health care of a country rises so does its stability, which in turn leads to better health care as if down an inverted funnel to hypothetical maximums of both health care and stability. To test the hypothesis both quantitative and qualitative methods are used. The quantitative part involves first of all compiling seven health indicators based on the World Health Organization Annual Reports on twelve individual countries, for a period of five years preceding the Arab Spring’s onset in 2011 and in the immediate aftermath of 2011, and, second of all running correlations with political stability of each country, grouped in a three-way typology of countries. This is supplemented by a qualitative part which analyzes the health perceptions and demands of Arab Spring protestors in search of social justice.
7 Muslim Youth Experiences in Quebec Secondary Schools: Race, Racialization, and the 'Dangerous Muslim Man' , Naved Bakali
This article examines the experiences of Muslim men who had attended the secondary schools in Quebec in the post-9/11 context. Employing a critical ethnographic approach stemming from institutional ethnography, this study presents biases/racism these men had experienced in their secondary schools in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks and throughout the period of the War on Terror, and the possible causes for this treatment.
8 The Effect of Using Songs on Young Learners and Their Motivation for Learning English , Nihada Delibegović Džanić and Alisa Pejić
Songs are appreciated for their linguistic, pedagogical, cultural and entertaining features and they are precious language learning materials. They can be used to teach and develop every aspect of a language. This paper aims to verify these claims and confirm the effectiveness of using songs as a means to improve young learners’ English language vocabulary and to determine whether songs influence young learners’ motivation to learn English. The paper deals with theoretical explanations of young learners, listening skills, and different aspects of using and teaching songs. It also discusses how songs influence motivation and the connection of songs with some language learning theories. The analytical part of the paper explains the procedure and the results obtained from the pre-tests, post-tests and delayed tests for three different children’s songs as well as from the questionnaire that was done in order to collect information about motivation provided by songs. The results showed that songs have a positive influence on vocabulary retention of young learners. Whatever setting is used, aural or aural/visual, the results prove that songs are suitable for different learning styles, they encourage positive learning experience, and enhance their knowledge. Songs aid motivation and help learners develop a love for language learning. Students motivated in this way are imaginative, creative, and eager to learn and succeed.
9 Managers’ Perceptions on the 18th National Education Council in Turkey , Ä°lhan Günbayı, Tayfun Yörük, Asiye Tokel, Serdar Özçetin
Convened between November 1 and 5, 2010, the National Education Council of Turkey assembled with an agenda to set the “2023 education visions of Turkey”, making sure that the Turkish education system was robust on the centennial of the Turkish republic. The aim of this study is to understand how the 18th National Education Council was managed, its contents, the decisions taken in the Council and their applicability, the problems and their solutions based on the views of managers and vicemanagers in Provincial and District National Education Directorates. The findings of this research are thought to address important implications for a higher quality in decisions taken in national education Councils and their applicability in Turkey and it is hoped to enlighten politicians and top managers with the existing problems and coping strategies through their own perceptions and assessments.
10 Book Review: Robert D. Kaplan, In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond, New York: Random House Publishing, 2016. , Kevin Rock
In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond is an evocative and thought-provoking account of Robert D. Kaplan's past and present ventures into Romania, the Balkans, and the peripheries of Eastern Europe. The book can be thought of as a sequel to his 1993 work, Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, written in the same settings, methodology, and style of In Europe's Shadow, except that they take place over 30 years apart. It is a unique publication in which the personal experiences of the author are intertwined with historical events, geographical surveys, contemporary issues regarding politics, culture, religion, social tensions, and economics.
11 Humanitarian Activity in the Context of the Balkan Wars , Andreea Stoian Karadeli
This article examines humanitarian activity and its multidimensional aspects with a case study of the Balkan Wars (1912-13). The article presents that while it is difficult to find neutral humanitarian aid, the humanitarian aid of the Red Crescent during the Balkan Wars was a rare example of neutrality.
12 Book Review: Douglas A. Howard, A History of the Ottoman Empire, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. , Mauro Sierra III
A History of the Ottoman Empire presents a social history of the Ottoman Empire in the world. It is arranged in chronological order in line with the Islamic calendar. Howard divides the book into seven chapters, which are seven major periods in the history of the Ottoman Empire. These chapters include; The Ottoman Genesis (1300-1397), A Blessed Dynasty (1397-1494), A World View (1494-1591), Ambiguities and Certainties (1591-1688), The Global and the Local (1688-1785), Collaborations and Breakdowns (1785-1882), and Dissolution (1882-1924).
13 Book Review: DoÄŸan Gürer and Mikdat KadıoÄŸlu, OlaÄŸandışı Durumlarda YaÅŸamı Sürdürme [Surviving in Unusual Circumstances] in Turkish. Istanbul: AFAD, 2011. , Murat KuÅŸ
Since the deadly earthquakes of 1999 in densely populated areas in Western Turkey and within the vicinity of the Istanbul metropolitan area, Turkey has taken several steps to first save and then aid the people in need in times of crisis. The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi BaÅŸkanlığı) or AFAD its Turkish acronym was founded in 2009 to coordinate humanitarian aid in times of crisis and to prepare and educate public in order to reduce casualties when a disaster hits.
14 Book Review: Diana Preston, A Higher Form of Killing: Six Weeks in World War I That Forever Changed the Nature of Warfare, New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2015. , Zachary Wise
A Higher Form of Killing: Six Weeks in World War I That Forever Changed the Nature of Warfare is an awe-inspiring account of the role technology played in one of the largest conflicts of the twentieth century thus reflecting on both political and social history of World War I. Diana Preston demonstrates the ethical impact of warfare while providing a concise analysis of the three most influential technological advances that revolutionized World War I: the development of chlorine gas, the Unterseeboots or U-boats, and the Zeppelin. The book is broken down into twenty-two chapters to include the origins of each technology, the role these advancements played in World War I, and the lasting impact they have had on modern warfare. The author uses eye witness accounts from the perspective of both the Allied and Central Powers, situating the reader in the immediate reality of warfare. From there, a predominantly unbiased analysis outlines the extent to which these technologies affected the nature of warfare within the context of World War I itself. And finally, Preston makes a concerted effort to demonstrate that these advancements during World War I are still felt today, including the current conflict in Syria.
15 Book Review: Natalia Molina, How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts, Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014. , Mychal Odom
Natalia Molina is a Professor of History and Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty Diversity and Equity at the University of California, San Diego. Molina’s How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Powers of Racial Scripts is the second full manuscript she has published. It consists of five chapters and is split into two parts: “Immigration Regimes I: Mapping Race and Citizenship” and “Immigration II: Making Mexicans Deplorable.” Molina’s first text, Fit to be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939 (2006), was a regional study of racial formation in the United States.
16  Reverse Transfer: Using Social Media to Teach Academic Paper Principles , Kali Jo Wacker
Existing scholarship has predominantly looked at transfer with the composition classroom as the primary location for writing skill development. Subsequently, composition scholars have theorized about and constructed courses around this developmental, classroom-centered setup, with multiliteracy and multimodality at the forefront of these applications. This article adds a new theory and application into the mix. By using the growing influence of social media, the author has adopted a theory of transfer in which the focus is not about how the skills of the classroom can answer the call to the public and thus send students equipped and ready for a world of dialogue and symbolic meaning-making. Rather, the article focuses on the transfer of students’ preexisting public rhetoric skills, via social media, into the classroom, which then deconstruct with my students, through class activities and assignments, to show how these skills can be used within traditional academic prose.
17 Historiographical Perspectives of the Third Reich: Nazi Policies towards the Arab World and European Muslims , Jesus Montemayor
This historiographical essay examines major works on the interaction of Nazi Germany and the Arab World in general and the European Muslims in particular. The essay argues that despite the claims of revisionist studies that emerged after 9/11 terrorists attacks, the Nazi influence among the Arab and European Muslims was not deep enough to produce sufficient Muslim and Arab support for the Nazi cause.
18 Book Review: Górny, Grzegorz, Janusz Rosikoń and Stan Kacsprzak, Guadalupe Mysteries: Deciphering the Code, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2016. , Daniel Ymbong
Author-photographer duo Grzegorz Górny and Rosikoń Janusz in Guadalupe Mysteries: Deciphering the Code, thoroughly examine the Guadalupe tilma (cloak) in terms of its chronology, and political relevance in national identity, and religion. The book also examines the complex iconographies present in image and name, recently discovered scientific and mathematical phenomena relating to the tilma and the cultural fashion aspect of tilmas in general. The book is an amalgamation of interdisciplinary mediums in the cultural arts; showcasing past and present through photography and painting, featuring narrative commentaries on the pre-Columbian past, the Spanish Conquest, and the seed of Mexican Revolution. The authors also discuss the political impact of Guadalupe in times of rebellion and political transition placing particular emphasis on the scientific examination of the Guadalupe image. The book is loaded with numerous primary resources and research from other Guadalupe scholars, but given its overall tone and its publisher, the Ignatius Press, the work unsurprisingly emerges as a highly erudite pro-religious coffee table book anchored in essentialist data proclamations. 
19 Book Review: Thanos Veremis, A Modern History of the Balkans: Nationalism and Identity in Southeast Europe, London and New York: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd, 2017. , Aaron J. Cuevas
Thanos Veremis, an Emeritus professor of Political History at the University of Athens, is a preeminent historian and prolific author. This book comparatively covers the political and military history of the Balkans with a special attention to the Balkan economies, militaries, and nationalist creeds as some of these modern issues still plague the region. In the first part of the book, Veremis provides a concise and fast-paced overview of almost two hundred years of Balkan history from the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century to the 1995 NATO intervention in the region.
20 Learning from the Pine and the Bamboo: Bashō as a Resource in Teaching Japanese Philosophy , Stephen C. Leach
In American universities, even Asian Philosophy is still often taught following methods adapted from European universities of the nineteenth century. Whether or not this approach is well-suited to philosophy as it was conceived in that era, it is inadequate if the aim is to develop a deep appreciation of Japanese philosophy. To limit what we consider Japanese philosophy to only what bears a distinct resemblance to academic Western philosophy, and accordingly to approach Japanese philosophy purely theoretically, is to risk missing the greater part. Much of Japanese philosophy is applied philosophy, or in other words, what Pierre Hadot calls a “way of life,” and to appropriate it meaningfully requires practice rather than mere intellectual study alone. Thus, I contend that a proper means for introducing Western students is a more holistic method grounded in practicing traditional arts, such as composing haiku. I argue that the seventeenth century poet Matsuo Bashō can serve as a valuable resource in this process. I conclude with a description of the methods that I use in my efforts at teaching Japanese philosophy to undergraduate university students in South Texas.
21 Korean Identity Issues: Establishing Korean Nationalism within the Asian World and the West , Evan Berg
Jaeeun Kim, Contested Embrace: Transborder Membership Politics in Twentieth-Century Korea (Stanford California, Stanford University Press, 2016). Gil-Soo Han, Nouveau-riche Nationalism and Multiculturalism in Korea: A Media Narrative Analysis (New York, Taylor and Francis, 2016). Gilbert Rozman, Asia’s Alliance Triangle: US-Japan-South Korea Relations at a Tumultuous Time (New York, Houndmills, 2015). History and political science often co-mingle in studies of nationalism. While historians are more concerned with how the past events turned countries into nation-states, political scientists look at how the growth of a nation has affected their nationalism and how this influences their country and its citizens in the contemporary world. The ongoing conflict of divided Korea and the increasing economic disparity between the North and South made books on the topic of Korean nationalism much more important. It is through this complex and unusual creation of the two Korean states that has prompted such a need to understand their history and nationalism. Political history of Korea within this scope of Korean nationalism is the main idea of the authors presented within this review essay. 
22 Book Review: Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, The Emergence of Iranian Nationalism: Race and the Politics of Dislocation. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. , Abel Carreon
Reza Zia-Ebrahimi brings a fresh approach to the understanding of Iranian nationalism. Earlier works in Iranian nationalism largely overlooked the impact of nineteenth-century European racism on Iran. This book fills that gap in the literature by bringing out the racial discussions from the second half of nineteenth century, especially the creation of Aryan and Semitic racial groups. Inspired by Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (1983), Zia-Ebrahimi posits that despite being in the east as a majority Muslim nation, predominant orientalist historiography presented Iranians as distant cousins of mythical Aryans and heavily emphasized its pre-Islamic past. The depiction of Iranians as what they were rather than what they currently are dislocated them from their reality. This dislocative nationalism that has been imagined rather than empirical has long dominated the scholarship on Iranian nationalism. Throughout the text Zia-Ebrahimi refers to these imaginary nationalists as “dislocative nationalists” rather than Iranian nationalists.
23 Book Review: Sean McMeekin. The Russian Revolution: A New History. New York: Basic Books, 2017. , Zachary Wise
The Russian Revolution: A New History is a very detailed narrative of what can be regarded as one of the most influential events in the twentieth century that reflects on the political, social, and military history of Russia and World War One. Sean McMeekin meticulously re-evaluates each step the revolution took and the complex web of what was happening either at the same time or what the consequence of these steps were. The book is broken down into twenty-three chapters and organized in four major sections. The sections of the book are entitled: “Twilight of the Romanovs,” “1917: A False Dawn,”: “Hostile Takeover,” and “The Bolsheviks in Power.” The author primarily focuses on introducing new theories on the Russian Revolution’s global impact in general and its impact on Eastern Europe in particular. Lastly, McMeekin’s book comes at the hundred-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution thus breathing new historical thought on the subject.
24 Holding Out for a Hero: Celebrity Politics in the Neoliberal Age , Thomas M. Hawley
This article argues that the advent of the celebrity politician can be understood as a consequence of the rise of neoliberalism, a political and economic project that foregrounds the importance of individual autonomy as a means of enhancing one’s position in the competitive marketplace. At the same time, the displacements and upheavals occasioned by macroeconomic forces outside the control of any individual undermine autonomy and thus lead to a sense of powerlessness. Celebrity politicians, by contrast, leverage their origins outside the political sphere in support of claims to independence foreclosed to neoliberal subjects. By enabling a sense of vicariously restored power, the celebrity politician achieves credibility among followers through processes of psychic identification. That credibility, however, is secured at the expense of a rejection of the feminine, the state, and the commons, each of which is construed as a form of dependence that vitiates the neoliberal dream of autonomy. The article situates these rejections within the conditions required for democratic politics as a means of suggesting both the attraction and the danger of celebrity politics in the neoliberal age.
25 Peace Process Pathologies: A Comparative Analysis of the Breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian and Turkish-Kurdish Peace Processes , Matthew Weiss
Despite the significant differences between the issues under contention, the Oslo peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and the “solution process” between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were plagued by common dysfunctions that militated against their success. A comparative investigation points to several salient common denominators that rendered both peace processes susceptible to collapse, including the inadequate identification of the end goals of negotiations by the conflicting parties, mistrust and societal polarization. Over-reaching security measures enacted by the stronger side in each conflict (Israel and Turkey) that stifled freedom of expression, conflated lawful dissent with criminality, tended towards collective punishment and undermined the ability of the weaker parties to organize in the political arena and negotiate effectively also contributed to the breakdown of negotiations. Systematic analysis of these peace process pathologies will suggest critical “lessons learned” from which fellow researchers and policymakers can glean valuable insights.
26 Book Review: David Roediger. Class, Race, and Marxism. Brooklyn and London: Verso Books, 2018. , Mychal Odom
David Roediger is a Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Kansas. A Marxist and Labor historian, his writings have impacted the way study of what the late scholar Cedric Robinson termed “racial capitalism.” David Roediger’s recent publication Class, Race, and Marxism is an urgent contribution to this historiography and an essential read for scholars and activists alike. In Class, Race, and Marxism Roediger aims to redirect activists and scholars from the false dichotomy of the “race or class” debate that has reemerged in the wake of the Ferguson Uprising. The study is separated into two parts. In the first part, Roediger examines the ways historians have come to write about race and class. Part two of the text reaches into the past to deliver a relational history of race, class, and also gender using an intersectional analysis to explain the ways I which racial formations have informed the logic of capital.
27 Book Review: Elephant in the Room: The Dysfunctional State of Affairs in Indo-European Language Studies. , Gregg L. Carter
Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis. The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. The underpinnings of academic integrity reside in the researcher’s application of, and adherence to, the methodological standards established within the various disciplines, which help to ensure the accuracy of information as it moves from educated speculation to popular acceptance. Moreover, any deviation from these standards, intentional or not, carries with it adverse implications – popular acceptance of a fallacious theory by an uncritical population tends to produce a ripple effect and the potential for misapplication or outright abuse. Of course, the aforementioned is – while plausible - merely a worst-case scenario. All the same, information – regardless of its accuracy – spreads rapidly in our modern world, and it is all too difficult to displace an idea once it gains traction.
28 The “Mischief-Making Monkey:” Byron’s Don Juan as Carnival , Arwa Al-Mubaddel
This paper analyzes George Gordon Byron’s Don Juan (1819) in light of Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories of the carnival and carnivalesque in literature. The carnivalesque as a form of humor can be seen in Don Juan; first by Byron reconfiguring the legend of Don Juan and transforming him into a mock hero, inverting gender roles, which is evident in Don Juan’s cross dressing, parodying the epic and its conventions, and using obscene and abusive language as well as elements of the grotesque. This paper emphasizes the comic vision of Byron, suggesting reading the sentimental and tragic elements of Don Juan in this light. It also correlates between the instances of multiculturalism in Don Juan with the universal egalitarian nature of the carnival as it considers the instability of both the narrator/storyteller and Don Juan, who wore different masks as if in a masquerade. The implications of reading Don Juan as carnival discourages readers from looking for a stable identity for both the speaker and Don Juan, as a degree of artifice is imposed on the text, suggesting that different social situations involve a degree of acting and role-playing, yet the comical roles in the text are seditious as they bolster droll dissidents, who attempt to destabilize society through mockery.
29 Beyond Censorship: Contestation in Half of a Yellow Sun’s Cinematic Adaptation , Raheem Oluwafunminiyi
In the last few decades, particularly since 1999, Nigeria has been faced with enormous challenges. None, however, seems to trigger a deeper sense of apprehension than the thought or mention of Biafra. Though the country ‘ceased to exist’ in 1970, after a perfunctory reconciliation programme, Biafra, expressed either in figurative or rhetorical terms or principally as part of a future experiment or movement as seen recently in parts of Eastern Nigeria, evokes not only a feeling of mutual suspicion but a stark denial of a lived experience. The film, Half of a Yellow Sun, an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel with the same title, readily confirms this belief. Billed to screen in Nigerian cinemas on April 25, 2014, the film suddenly witnessed series of roadblocks by Nigeria’s Censors Board. Although the film eventually premiered in August of the same year, the Board’s initial refusal to certify the film, raised suspicions among citizens on Nigeria’s bland attitude towards any material expressions on the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. This study explores the trajectory of events that led to the censorship and eventual certification of the movie. It identifies and clarifies some historical inaccuracies depicted in the movie in the account of the civil war. The study argues that a film of this nature, irrespective of its framings, could serve as a veritable tool for a collective and useful discussion on the civil war, rather than the familiar contestations it evokes across divides.
30 Book Review: Timothy May. The Mongol Empire. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. , Aaron J. Cuevas
Since their thunderous arrival on the doorstep of Europe in the thirteenth century, the Mongol Empire has fascinated both students and historians alike as the exception to so many rules in world history. How did a nomadic, famously religiously-tolerant, primarily de-centralized people forge the single largest contiguous land empire in all of world history? In his most recent work, The Mongol Empire, Timothy May answers these questions as well as a multitude of others regarding the political, social and at times military history of the Mongol civilization. May is the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of North Georgia, and a professor of Central Eurasian history, who specializes on the Mongol Empire. The current editor of Mongolian Studies: The Journal of the Mongolia Society and a prolific author of seven books and over 30 articles on the Mongol civilization, May’s expertise on the history, traditions, and people of the steppe is on full display once again in this book.
31 Book Review: Zohar Amar and Efraim Lev. Arabian Drugs in Early Medieval Mediterranean Medicine. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. , Armando Rodriguez Jr.
Zohar Amar and Efraim Levy cover a rarely-touched topic on early medieval Arabic medicine. Although the title Arabian Drugs in Early Medieval Mediterranean Medicine suggests that the book primarily focuses on Arab medicine, by seeking the roots of Arab medicine the authors delve into the medical history of Arab neighbors from Greeks and Persians to Indians. By carefully examining the usage of various plants, herbs, and other remedies that originated from the Greek, Indian, and Persian societies, the authors seek to find how these societies contributed to the development of early medieval Arabic medicine. The book further traces the origins of pharmacology prior to the development of Arab medicine. Relying on an ancient Greek source, materia medica, a book of collected pharmacological knowledge, the authors find heavy Greek influence on the development of Arab medicine. Materia medica guided physicians to help their patients from the first century AD to the twentieth century and has been expanded over the centuries.
32  Is Modernity a Third Axial Age? , Ken Baskin and Dmitri M. Bondarenko
In the book where he coined the term “Axial Age”, Karl Jaspers noted that human history included both “tranquil ages” and “ages of change”. This paper begins with the observation that this oscillation between stable and transformational periods encapsulates the pattern in complexity theory by which systems oscillate between relatively long “stable states” and shorter “phase transitions”. Applying this pattern, the coauthors speculate that human history has undergone three such “axial” phase transitions – the Neolithic Revolution, the Axial Age, and Modernity. During each of these periods, the older dominant social structures proved inadequate, as populations grew, new technologies appeared, and new social conflicts became more intense. To meet these challenges, people in the societies where these transformations occurred became more innovative, exploring new ways to use recently developed technologies and introducing a variety of social experiments. By the end of these ages of change, new social structures would become dominant across Eurasia. Today, Modernity, as the third axial age, seems to be coming to an end, making this pattern a valuable tool for understanding our world.
33 Is the World Chaos, a Machine, or Evolving Complexity? How Well Can We Understand Life and World Affairs? , Walter C. Clemens, Jr. and Stuart A. Kauffman
Chaos, machine, or evolving complexity? The butterfly effect suggests a world in chaos—with linkages so random or nuanced that just to measure or pre-state them is virtually impossible. To predict how they will interact is even less feasible. Thanks to “adjacent possibles” and the contradictory impulses of human behavior, much of our world appears to move in random spasms. Every new technology and policy outcome creates opportunities to push society in new and often unforeseen directions, driven by human agents who may introduce crucial but unpredictable goals, strategies, and actions. Against this view, complexity science seeks to identify patterns in interactive relationships. Many patterns can be plotted and, in some cases, foreseen. A comparison of political entities across the globe points to certain factors conducing to societal fitness. Analysis of states that have declined in fitness suggests why their strengths turned to weaknesses. A survey of societies that were relatively democratic points to several factors that contributed to their acquiring authoritarian regimes. Scientists and scholars can unveil some elements of order but should strive to do so without hubris. Wise policymakers will strive to channel both the “actuals” and “adjacent possibles” that then arise toward constructive futures.
34 Eat to Live or Live to Eat: Metaphor and Truth , Prakash Kona
Does the act of eating literally precede the birth of language as metaphor for knowing the truth? Can we think of a language that talks about food without thinking of food as the basis of human languages? Is there a truth to eating outside the discourse of language as the idealized representation of the human condition? Are we ever thinking of anything apart from food? Or, are we thinking at all when we are not thinking of eating? If the structure of our thinking is about food, to think of something other than food is to turn language into a shibboleth without a material basis to it. To think of eating in opposition to thinking where you do not have to talk about eating is to privilege the mind over the body. Food is the substructure to the superstructure of thought; to eat is to take arms against a sea of ideals; more importantly, it is to root our understanding of metaphor within a politics of eating; it is to look for truth in whether someone has eaten or not eaten playing a determining role in the formation of ideas about the world. Writing and popular culture have one thing in common which is that they must balance the demands that eating will make in the assertion of one’s humanity with the ideas about humanity that perhaps have little to do with the activity of eating. This paper argues that in the acknowledgment of eating as central to any notion of the truth, we make food interchangeable with how we ingest a metaphor so much so that we are left wondering why there are people who go to sleep on empty stomachs!
35 The Essential Contributions of Corpora in Language Research , Hamza Cherifi
A major, overriding outcome of the organic complexity of language, which legitimizes the rival claims inherent in its description, is the empiricist/rationalist “paradigm war” over sources of language data. While rationalists advance the pervasiveness of competence and, by extension, the reliability of introspective methodology as compared to the “skewed” performance data, empiricist accounts treat naturally occurring language not only as dependable but amenable to a wider scope of investigation as well. However, the inception of Corpus Linguistics as a definable approach in the 1980s marked the start of a new exploratory potential that surpassed and identified drawbacks in the then-popular Chomsky’s linguistics. A corpus-based approach to language study markedly differs from their ‘rivals’, not only as the former employs a set of identifiable research methods but, most importantly, as using a corpus allows for a breadth of coverage that renders possible addressing frequency–based questions. This property enables both the objective verification of introspection-based assumptions and an ongoing reappraisal of existing descriptions. This paper probes the nature of corpus linguistics as a methodology to language study by elaborating on core tenets of corpus-based approach, and by assessing repercussions of the breadth-of-coverage property on a variety of language-related areas to examine what insights and contributions corpora may bring in each.
36 Book Review: Cem Emrence. Remapping the Ottoman Middle East: Modernity, Imperial Bureaucracy and Islam. New York, NY: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2015. , Gregg L. Carter
Cem Emrence’s, Remapping the Ottoman Middle East, is an ambitious effort to cultivate a new analytical framework to the field of Ottoman Studies that addresses variables of socioeconomic and political diversity that are often overlooked in previous studies of the Ottoman Middle East. The application of this new analytical framework functions both as a mean of explaining the uneven development witnessed in specific regions of the Ottoman Empire and revealing multiple, alternative paths to modernity in the region. Emrence’s call to implement his multi-disciplinary, intra-empire perspective is necessary, according to the author, in order to understand the variations of historical paths in the Ottoman world. Subsequently, Emrence identifies three distinct historical paths spatially situated within the Empire: the Coast, the Interior, and the Frontier. Moreover, while focus is placed on discerning these alternative paths to modernity, Emrence can address the much larger question concerning the disposition of Ottoman rule from the eighteenth century to the Empire’s demise following the War of 1914-18 and, by extension, address the implications of the empire’s demise on Middle Eastern social constructs.
37 Book Review: L.W.C. van Lit. The World of Image in Islamic Philosophy: Ibn Sina, Suhrawardi, Shahrazuri and Beyond. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017. , Nour Alanbari
L.W.C. Van Lit covers a rarely studied topic of Islamic theology, eschatology. The book hovers around a single statement written by medieval Islamic scholar Suhrawardi in his magnum opus, Hikmat al-Ishraq [The Philosophy of Illumination, 1186]: “Whoever sees that place is certain of the existence of another world different from the [world of] bodies, in which are suspended images” (p. 1). Van Lit points out that the whole book can be considered as one giant explanation of this quote. By analyzing the works of previous scholars, starting with the famous polymath Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, Van Lit paints a detailed and elaborate picture of a once infamous idea within the Islamic world and systematically traces its progression and development up to the current age in Shia Islamic thought. Before doing so, he walks the reader through the technical terminology and intricate methodology in his introduction. In this first chapter, he introduces the prominent scholars covered in the text and provides a brief outline of his work. Despite all the explanations, some concepts and lines of logic might be challenging for novice readers of this topic.
38 Religion and Identity Politics in Nigeria , Yemisi Olawale Isaac
Genuine national integration in Nigeria has been contentious amidst different religious beliefs, societal configurations (ethnic group and culture) and politics of identity. Religion has been at the center of several burning national questions that transcend state and power, such as the question of secular state, societal integration, ethno-religious mobilization and the identity politics. Since independence, two dominant religions in Nigeria—Islam and Christianity—have been dominant cultures; forces in Nigerian state and power structures through individuals and organizations. Chauvinist politicians, elite and non-elite statesmen have long exploited the power of religion not only to promote their narrow political interests but also to cast a religion-based identity for Nigeria and in turn have damaged its social fabric and prevented a national integration. This article examines the influence of religion on identity of politics of Nigeria and how it impacted its national integration.
39 Book Review: Giray Fidan. Chinese Witness of the Young Turk Revolution: Kang Youwei's Turk Travelogue. Translated by Giray Fidan. New York: Kopernik Inc., 2019. , Gregg L. Carter
Giray Fidan’s translation of Kang Youwei’s travel book through Turkey, Chinese Witness of the Young Turk Revolution, is the first full-length, English language translation of Kang’s Travelogue, offering readers a unique glimpse at Chinese perceptions of the social and political circumstances in Turkey following the Young Turk Revolution. Fidan is a professor of Chinese Translation and Interpretation at Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University in Ankara, where he specializes in Chinese perceptions of the Ottoman Empire and Republican Turkey. He is wellpositioned to bring a rarely seen work to the attention of English readers.
40 Book Review: Monica Munoz Martinez. The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2018. , Ariana Luna
In this book, Martinez argues that the border region of Texas was founded violently by state policing with the use of strong beliefs of nation building and racial superiority. Violent intimidation, racial profiling, and murders were ways that the Texas Rangers, local law enforcement, Anglo citizens, and the State of Texas used to settle south and west Texas. Considering these facts, this book is a social history as it explores the social relations between Anglos, ethnic Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and African Americans.
41 Book Review: Jonathan A.C Brown. Slavery and Islam. London: Oneworld Academic, 2019. , Nour Alanbari
Humanity today feel moral repugnance towards the idea of slavery; we lament at the thought of slavery and the amount of suffering, pain, torment, and death the innocent people had to endured in chains. Slavery has left deep scars upon our societies, stinging to this very day. How, then, do we react to the fact that many societies, civilizations, and religions, including prominent and respectable figures of moral authority, have engaged in some form of slavery in one way or another? Georgetown scholar Jonathan A.C. Brown touches on this sensitive and timely topic as the Middle East is trying to heal the scars of ISIS’s futile attempt of to bring slavery back and the US is dealing with the outcomes of its slavery legacy.
42 Keys to Human Development: The Baltic Miracle   , Walter C. Clemens, Jr.
The three Baltic republics—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania—are the only units of the former Soviet Union to deal effectively with the complex challenges of transitioning to free market democracy with advancing levels of human development. These countries have developed high levels of societal fitness—defined in complexity science as the ability to cope with multifaceted challenges and opportunities. What are the sources of these achievements? Many factors intertwined to produce what some call the “Baltic miracle.” One key element has been the three revolutions stemming from the Protestant mandate to read and discuss the Bible: mass literacy, free thought and repression, and respect for individual dignity. Protestant influences were strongest in what is now Estonia and Latvia, but they reached Lithuania as well.  Religiosity in now low in the Baltic republics, as in the Sweden that once nurtured both Christianity and literacy in its Baltic provinces. But the sparks it ignited in centuries past have shaped the rationalist and humanistic ethos of the region. Religion, of course, is just one of the European influences that conditioned economic and other cultural development in the region. But the dates when the Bible reached all of Europe in the vernacular are strong predictors of human development today. Balts also gained from not being occupied by the Golden Horde. On the other hand, they had to overcome several centuries of Russian and then Soviet domination. Fifty years of Communist rule dimmed but did not extinguish the positive qualities that reemerged with great vitality in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The Baltic transformations were not "managed" from above or from outside—not from Brussels, not from Washington. They were encouraged and supported by Sweden and other European powers, but each transformation emerged from the bottom-up rather than from the top-down or from outside-in. Balts acted synergistically to contribute to the self-organization that is crucial to meeting complex challenges.
43 Lincoln and Education   , Rolando Avila and Anita Pankake
The current norm of compulsory formal schooling includes a system in which schools teach state mandated curriculum, parents are held legally responsible to assure their children  attend school until they reach a certain age, and students are confined within set class meeting times and set locations during their schooling years. The two terms, education and schooling, have been increasingly used synonymously.  Our assertion here is that education is a more inclusive term than schooling. More importantly, using Abraham Lincoln as a biographical model, we argue that a good education can be achieved in different ways.
44 Book Review: Gürkan Çelik and Ronald Haly Linden. Turkey in Transition: The Dynamics of Domestic and Foreign Politics. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2020.   , Mustafa Gökçek  
The edited volume provides analyses of Turkey’s transformation in the first two decades of the twenty first century under AKP. The chapters are grouped under two broad categories: domestic and foreign politics. The book familiarizes the readers with perspectives on a wide scale of issues. On the domestic front, it addresses AKP’s governance, economic developments, energy, the evolution(s) of the Kurdish issue, role of religion and Diyanet, civil society, and women. On foreign policy, its chapters cover a broad perspective on Turkey’s role amidst global changes, impact of ErdoÄŸan’s personality and manipulation of identity politics, Turkey’s relations with the US, Middle East, Russia, and Europe.  
45 Book Review: Heidi Blake, From Russia with Blood: The Kremlin’s Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin’s Secret War on the West. New York: Mulholland Books, 2019.   , Aaron J. Cuevas  
In the years following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western leaders and political scientists lauded the turning point in history as a momentous triumph of democracy and economic liberalism over communism and the doomed command economic model. Western nations and the United Kingdom in particular, saw the period immediately after the Soviet collapse as an opportunity for political and economic cooperation not seen in more than a half century. Lavish public relations events including state dinners, meetings with the Queen of England and inclusion on the G-8 Economic Council were all extended to and accepted by Russia’s president in the years following what many in the West considered a victory for global democracies everywhere. Yet in Heidi Blake’s book, From Russia with Blood: The Kremlin’s Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin’s Secret War on the West, what becomes vividly clear is that to Putin, this event marked the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century” (p.12), and he laid the blame squarely on the West.  
46 Book Review: Nikolai Petrovich Popov, Rossiia i Amerika: “Priamaia Sviaz’”. Vospominaniia Amerikanista i Sovietologa [Russia and America: “The Direct Connection.” Recollections of an Amerikanist and Sovietologist]. Moscow: Knig-Izdat, 2020.   , Walter C. Clemens, Jr.  
“Better Red than dead?” This question was still being debated in Europe when the first batch of US grad students arrived in the USSR under terms of the cultural exchange signed by Willliam Lacy for the US State Department and Soviet Ambassador Georgii Zarubin on January 27, 1958. Most of the twenty American students arrived at Moscow State University (MGU) in September, but a few went to Leningrad State University. Their Soviet counterparts went to Harvard and Columbia—the only US universities the Soviets deemed on a par with MGU and Leningrad. As one of those at MGU, I proposed to the History Faculty that I research “Soviet Disarmament Policy, 1917-1934,” for my Ph.D. at Columbia. A sign of future trouble, when the department typed the title in Russian, it came out as “The Soviet Struggle for Disarmament.” On the positive side, the department assigned as my adviser a retired diplomat specializing in disarmament, Boris Efimovich Shtein, out of favor in the late Stalin years because he had been close to another Jew suspected of pro-Western leanings, Maksim Litvinov.  
47 Revisiting Plural Marriage in the 21st Century: Polygamy, Politics and Power http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/int12f9f.pdf   , Cynthia S. Glass
This paper reviews the complex history of plural marriage associated with the Mormon Church, giving consideration to views that are both favorable and unfavorable to the practice of polygamy. Interdisciplinary in nature, this paper delves into the religious underpinnings common to the practice of polygamy in the United States, alongside a discussion of media framing and court decisions that could impact the future of polygamy. Utilizing a social constructionist framework informed by historical information, media narratives from women who have experienced polygamy first-hand, and legal arguments surrounding the practice of plural marriage, the author argues that modern opposition to polygamy is rooted in ideas of moral superiority and is not aligned with many historical accounts of polygamy nor with the changing tides of legal recognition of fundamental rights and familial status occurring in the United States in the 21st century.
48 The Abject in T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/lanfed6c.pdf , Eyesha Elahi
T. S. Eliot’s monumental poem, The Waste Land, discusses hopelessness and desolation and shuns them at every turn. The speakers spurn it and despair at the desolate state of humankind and society. This paper aims to read T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in light of Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection and Jacques Lacan’s notion of jouissance. The main claim is that despite the apparent horror of desolation, the more the poem tries to repel desolation, the more it cannot help but repeatedly allude to it, as if unwillingly drawn to it, so that death and desolation are not the subject, nor are they the object, but rather the abject of the poem. The sections of the poem I feel are most relevant for such an analysis are “The Burial of the Dead” (lines 1-30) and “What the Thunder Said” (lines 322-375).  
49 Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Anxiety Levels of Medical Students in Pakistan http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/psy8ef25.pdf , M. Ahmad Mukhtar, Mukhtar Hussain, M. Omer Mukhtar, Muhammad Sajid,   
Covid-19 is a communicable infective disease and has been the major current health challenge since it emerged in China in late 2019. Although earlier data analyses of Dawei Wang etc. from 138 hospital of China had shown that its mortality rate is less than 5%, shown (4.3%), major concern is its widespread transmission. The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected economics and the mental health of millions worldwide. Fear is the one of the psychological outcomes of pandemic, but the psychological impact of the pandemic was overshadowed by financial and economic impact, which are interrelated. Conducted through an online questionnaire, this study evaluates the anxiety level of medical students of Nishtar Medical University and Multan and Quaid-e-Azam Medical College (QAMC) Bahawalpur in southern Punjab of Pakistan by using fear Covid-19 scale. The research employs the fear scale developed by Ahorsu et al. based on unidimensional 7 items, 5-point Likert scale. This scale is a valid and reliable tool and has been used to assess the fear for Covid-19 in general population. This scale has been used internationally by many researchers to measure anxiety levels. The research correlated the socio demographic variables, such as age, sex, education level and living surroundings, with anxiety levels that would help to redesign curriculum for education and to plan programs to enhance the knowledge of medical students for preventive measures against Covid-19. 577 male and female students from 1st to 5th year of bachelor’s in medicine and bachelor’s in surgery (MBBS) with ages ranging from 17 to 25 years participated in this study.  
50 A Pillage Story: The Wealth of Abdulhamid II http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/hisc2da4.pdf , ErdoÄŸan KeskinkılÄ±ç  
Relying on primary documents from the Ottoman archives and relevant secondary sources, this article traces the destiny of late Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II’s wealth in the aftermath of his removal from power in 1909. For centuries the Ottoman rules were never clear on the boundaries between the Ottoman dynasty’s and the state’s assets. The Ottoman dynasty ruled under a de facto understanding that all public lands and the state properties were of the property of sultan and his family. Without a challenge to this status quo, the sultans did not need to formalize this traditional idea. Legal ambiguity worked for the benefits of sultan but once sultans were side lined in the constitutional monarchy period, lack of legal coverage caused irreparable damages to deposed sultan and his heirs.      
51 Review Essay: The Beginnings of Civilization http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/inte815e.pdf , Walter C. Clemens, Jr.  
What can contemporary social scientists learn from ancient history? Key features of modern civilization began in the fertile crescent of today’s Middle East many thousands of years ago. Thanks to geography and other factors, these innovations spread—east and west. Not just agriculture and engineering but monotheistic religion and alphabetic writing took root there. Parallels to or offshoots of Sumerian culture emerged in the Indus River, Persia, and Egypt. Their distinctive ways of life took shape, waxed, and then waned. Social scientists who try to keep up with a world in turmoil by listening to the BBC or reading Le Monde may be tempted to ask: “How did all this begin and where are we going?” The Singapore-based political analyst Parag Khanna answers: “Asia.” Civilization began in Western Asia and is now being shaped by “Asianization” of the planet. (See Khanna, The Future is Asian, 2019). Whether or not Khanna’s hypothesis about the future proves correct, the importance of Western Asia in global history is documented in the books Uruk and Mesopotamia.  
52 Book Review: Susan Neiman, Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/cul8d282.pdf , Iñaki Tofiño Quesada  
Learning from the Germans. Race and the Memory of Evil examines German efforts to atone for Nazi atrocities and identifies lessons on how the United States might come to terms with its legacy of slavery and racism. Divided into three parts (German lessons, Southern discomfort, and Setting things straight), the book brings together historical and philosophical analysis; interviews with politicians, activists, and contemporary witnesses in Germany and the United States; and Neiman’s own first-person observations as a white woman growing up in the South and a Jewish woman who has lived for almost three decades in Berlin. 
53 Book Review: Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages, UK/USA: Cambridge University Press, 2018. http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/hise5d86.pdf   , Karen Ferreira-Meyers  
Geraldine Heng delves into the sensitive topic of race with knowledge, experience and understanding. She divides her grand overview—507 pages on this “enormous and immensely complex” (p. 2) subject—of the invention of the concept of race in the European Middle Ages in seven chapters, all well documented and highly intriguing. Race has been and will remain a difficult, debatable and disturbing notion as it has a profound and pervasive impact on our daily interactions as human beings. While many of us celebrate diversity and embrace the idea of people being part of one human race, we cannot think away the concept of racial division. And so, it is important to question where it comes from, how it has evolved and where it will lead us. History, as my parents, who are both historians, would say is one of the ways—if not THE way—to understand contemporary issues, mindful too of the fact that “race is not as easily recognizable for those who inhabit a majority race” (p. 1). Heng takes us back to the European Middle Ages, to premodernity, in order to give us an insight on how certain stereotypes and misunderstandings started. It is not necessary here to remind us how much race and all its, mostly, negative aspects has had diverse and often scary consequences. We just have to think of the cruelties meted out to many Black, Asian and other ‘racial’ groups throughout the world.  
54 Book Review: Ryan Gingeras, Eternal Dawn: Turkey in the Age of Atatürk, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. http://www.netsoljournal.net/dergi/his29af3.pdf , Evren Altinkas  
This book analyses the transformation from the late Ottoman period to the modern Republic of Turkey with a focus on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the reforms implemented during the early years of the republic. The book familiarizes the readers with the political, social and economic transformation of the country by focusing on specific cases and examples with a comprehensive historical background. Gingeras focuses on the historical background of major topics (e.g. Reforms, Kurdish Revolts, Turkish Nationalism etc.) in the early Republic of Turkey and connects them with the developments in the late Ottoman Empire. This book is different from previous works because it emphasizes the relations between the new state and the people in Anatolia.  
55 Till Neuhaus, When Push came to Nudge – Interdisciplinary Criticisms of Behavioral (Public) Policy , Till Neuhaus
Nudging can be considered the application-based offspring of psychological research, which has been focusing on the mismatch of decision-making modes, i.e., fast and slow thinking. Through conscious modification of decision architectures – all contextual, social, and cognitive aspects which potentially influence a decision –, Nudging promises to improve individual decisions and, through accumulation of these individual decisions, solve bigger problems. Currently, Nudging is considered a global trend in the field of politics as it promises to solve diverse sets of problems (health, tax compliance, traffic, retirement savings etc.) at almost zero costs. Further, Nudging claims to be in accordance with core democratic principles, such as free choice, liberty, and individualism etc. This article puts the claims of Nudge advocates to test by critically interrogating Nudging, its associated philosophy of liberal paternalism, its implicit assumptions, as well as its methodology. In order to present a holistic criticism of Nudging, this article draws from interdisciplinary sources – primarily psychology, philosophy, and political science – and identifies, and contextualizes the weaknesses and blind spots of Nudging. This article hopes to re-establish a more balanced view regarding the primarily positively discussed megatrend of Nudging.     
56 Walter C. Clemens, Jr. "WE versus Us: Dystopias in Russia, China, and Maybe the USA"   , Walter C. Clemens, Jr.
Evgeny Zamyatin’s novel WE, blocked from publication by Soviet censors in 1921, has been published in several translations since the 1920s – most recently in 2021. An inspiration for Orwell’s 1984, WE anticipated many features of the totalitarian dictatorships that emerged under Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler and have reemerged in Communist China and Putin’s Russia, and may be taking root in the United States and other Western countries where modern technologies bolster government capacities to watch and control one another and their subjects. This essay highlights parts of WE as rendered in a fresh translation and suggests how it illuminates some trends in today’s world. It also offers snapshots of dystopias in recent Russian and Chinese science fiction – many of which warn of a totalitarian future. The Russian snapshots are supplemented with an analysis of what the magazine GQ Rossiia in February 2022 termed the eight controversial books everyone must read – beginning with Zamyatin’s WE and ending with several dystopian novels by American writers such as The Giver by Lois Lowry. Most of the eight are dystopian. None is primed to encourage young Russians to adopt a fight-for-the fatherland outlook determined to wipe out Ukrainian traitors. The upshot: Zamyatin and Orwell predicted our realities more accurately than, say, Walt Whitman or even Jack London.
57 Iñaki Tofiño Quesada, Book Review: John Connelly, From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.   , Iñaki Tofiño Quesada  
John Connelly’s history of Eastern Europe or Eastern Central Europe as he sometimes calls it, is divided into five parts. Part I, “The emergence of national movements”, presents the scope of the book and introduces his thesis about the strength and resilience of ethnic nationalism in the region, linked to linguistic nationalism, indicating that in many cases there was a national consciousness before the dawn of modern nationhood, a notion which challenges the more common idea that links mass national consciousness to modernisation, specially to the advent of print culture. Part II, “The decline of empire and the rise of modern politics”, goes through different moments in nineteenth century European history, which affected the future of the region and its eventual organization into nation-states, such as the 1848 revolutions or the 1878 Berlin Congress. Particularly interesting is chapter nine, on the origins of National Socialism, where Connelly explains the response of ethnic Germans of Austria and Bohemia for being left out of unified German nation-state led by chancellor Otto Von Bismarck. Many Germans of Bohemia and Austria, as Connelly states, saw their natural space in the infamous Lebensraum. Later on, in only three allied states did the Nazi agenda coincide well with the mind-sets of the governing elites: Romania, Croatia, and Slovakia. Not coincidentally, these were the places where nationalists were most insecure about their nationalism.  
58 Fouad Mami, Book Review: Joseph Ford, Writing the Black Decade: Conflict and Criticism in Francophone Algerian Literature, New York: Lexington Books, 2021. , Fouad Mami
In studying Francophone Algerian Literature of the 1990s, a period otherwise known as the Black Decade or la décennie noire, Ford finds out that the literary outputs, instead of clarifying the conflict, reify it. Indeed, literary outputs published by celebrity figures both during the 1990s and after not only stay neutral about the ideological struggle between the secular-and-military status quo on the one hand and their Islamist contestants on the other, but deem it their mission to testify for posterity. That war was tagged as cultural and simplified to the point of pitting progressivists against depressives. Such a binary portrayal gained currency during the post-Cold War context where ideas of the clash of civilizations become the modo Operandi. Generations of Algerian authors, Ford specifies, have uncritically fallen to that categorization less because they were complicit with the state’s narrative but more due to channels of reception in France. Often, those channels recourse to timeless portrayals that reactivated the spectacle (never the essence) of Algeria’s war of independence: Algerian enlightened democrats as Les pieds noirs against bearded medievalists, reactivating FLN (National Liberation Front) recidivists. Only from February 2019 onward, the literary scene starts to disentangle this framing, counting some writers who dare to explore the black decade with less bias and a satisfying complexity.  
59 Fouad Mami, Book Review: Roger A. Sneed, The Dreamer and the Dream: Afrofuturism and Black Religious Thought, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2021.   , Fouad Mami  
Is it possible to rework a religion to service emancipatory ends? From the outset, the project seems not only futile but self-defeating. But less one precipitates, Sneed’s proposal does not apply makeup on some old synthesis. For Black religious thought has been classically a contradiction in movement: a white God can only service white supremacy, exacerbating African-Americans’ extended slavery and misery. With science fiction (novels and films) along with experimental music, there emerge promising conceptions of God and religion that are subversive to white supremacy. Artistically, Sneed qualifies these conceptions as Afrofuturism. The book does not claim that blueprints are ready or that meaningful liberation is imminent. Rather, Sneed claims Afrofuturism “disrupts pervasive marking of race and destructive coding of Black bodies and existence as inferior” (p. xii). It is a field of reflection that promises to propagate toward a revolution.  
60 Karen Ferreira-Meyers, Book Review: Dong Guaqiang and Andrew G. Walder, A Decade of Upheaval: The Cultural Revolution in Rural China, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022.   , Karen Ferreira-Meyers  
China’s history has always intrigued readers inside and outside the huge country. Dong Guoqiang and Andrew Walter propose a first and in-depth analysis of political conflict during the Cultural Revolution in a rural Chinese county, Feng County, which, according to the authors, “suffered from deep and enduring factional divisions and violent civil strife” (p. ix). The methodology the authors followed in their quest for reliable information includes purposefully identified contacts from existing networks of retired former activists, local officials, and soldiers. It also brings together data gathered from local collectors of Cultural Revolution memorabilia, and various documentary sources; for example, directives and notices from authorities in Beijing, similar types of documents from Jiangsu provincial authorities in Nanjing, prefectural authorities in Xuzhou, Feng County authorities, and internal bulletins and documents issued by the county’s interim authorities when Feng County remained under some form of military control between March 1967 and September 1969.
61 Gregg Carter, Book Review: Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford, Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth, New York: Penguin Press, 2021.     , Gregg Carter  
Forget the Alamo is the latest in a lengthy line of books focusing on the Alamo and the Texas founding myth. The book is the product of three authors and native Texans: Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford – two journalists and a political strategist. Tomlinson is a business correspondent for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express. His most recent work, Tomlinson Hill, is a study of the author’s family’s slave-holding past. Stanford is a Democratic strategist and former director of communication for Austin mayor Steven Adler. Burrough, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, is best known for his book, Days of Rage, a study of toxic, fringe radical movements during the 70s and 80s. It is Burrough’s reputation as a political moderate that lends this work a credibility it would otherwise lack. Written in two parts, the first ten chapters address the battle of the Alamo and the events leading up to the disaster with the remaining chapters examining the historiography of the Alamo in relation to the Texas Revolution and attitudes of writers since the battle. The text concludes with a discussion of the Alamo as a renewed source of political capital for right-leaning political actors.  
62 The Effectiveness of Total Physical Response Method in the Process of Learning and Teaching English Vocabulary to Pre-Adolescent Learners in an Online Teaching Setting, Damir Husanović
The acquisition of second language (L2) is a detailed and a time-consuming process. It is illustrated in the differences between spontaneous and studied capabilities, where the former describes the ability to acquire language naturally and subconsciously and the latter one allows students to organize their thoughts and apply conscious efforts of attention all while engaging in work, which cannot be performed automatically (Palmer, 1921:48). Lennenberg (1967: 176), in the argument, which referred to L2 learning, suggested that after puberty, the learning of L2 requires a labored effort and that foreign accents cannot be overcome easily, due to the inability to continue to spontaneously acquire foreign languages. This is known as the Critical Period Hypothesis, which states that if a child’s second language acquisition starts in the period between the ages of two and twelve it is possible to fully master the learning process with a positive outcome, while learners who embark on a learning process after this period will face obstacles and incompletion of the process of language learning (Abello-Contesse, 2006:13). Thus, the research focuses on young learners and their natural ability for a faster and efficient language acquisition. The primary concern of this research is the vocabulary acquisition of young, pre-adolescent, learners using TPR (Total Physical Response), in an online teaching setting. The research investigates whether pre-adolescent learners acquire vocabulary more naturally and effectively using TPR (thirty students as a part of the experimental group) than the learners who acquire vocabulary through a more traditional, Form-Meaning-Use (FMU), type of acquisition (thirty students as a part of the control group) in an online teaching setting. Moreover, the author explores the students’ ability to acquire a larger set of twelve vocabulary items within one 25-minute class and whether TPR is indeed effective in this process. If so, the researcher will potentially conduct a follow up research on this topic to see how strongly these vocabulary items could be retained in the students’ memory. This paper investigates the efficiency of TPR on students with kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learning preferences. The entire research is conducted in an online teaching setting.
63 Book Review: Xin Fan, World History and National Identity in China: The Twentieth Century, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021, Walter C. Clemens, Jr.
Most Chinese officials and academics close to the government maintain that China is unique—indeed, superior to other civilizations. Therefore, the only history that counts is Chinese history. Yes, there have been recurring patterns in Chinese history, but they too are unique—not related to any global patterns, such as identified by British scholar Arnold Toynbee. Xin Fan, Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York at Fredonia, finds that national, Chinese history has gradually hijacked the dominant mode of thinking in Chinese historiography. This book examines how four generations of Chinese historians have tried to professionalize the practice of history in China. In the late Qing period, amateur historians working within the framework of neo-Confucianism explored Western ideas received mainly through Japan. Second, a generation of better trained historians in the 1920s and 1930s sought to temper Sino-centrism with greater objectivity, but the pressures resulting from the Japanese invasions pushed them away from objectivity.
64 Book Review: Rachida Chih, Sufism in Ottoman Egypt: Circulation, Renewal and Authority in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century, London: Routledge 2020, John J. Curry
The study of Ottoman Sufism has grown exponentially in recent years, but has tended to focus more on the Balkan or Anatolian contexts than those of the Arab provinces, leaving broad gaps in our understanding of the religious history of the Arab provinces after the sixteenth century. Rachida Chih’s study of the history of Sufism in Ottoman Egypt is, for this reason alone, a welcome intervention in the historiography of early modern Ottoman society and culture. However, it is also a critical intervention into a historiography that has often portrayed the Ottoman era as a period of religious sclerosis and decline for Egypt and the Maghreb. To replace this outdated trope, she uncovers a transformational shift in Egyptian Sufism that should be recognized as one of the most consequential since the foundation of its earliest Sufi movements in the medieval period of the twelfth and thirteenth century.
65 Book Review: Judith Surkis, Sex, Law, and Sovereignty in French Algeria, 1830–1930, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2019, Karen Ferreira-Meyers
Judith Surkis’ study on sex, law, and sovereignty in French Algeria in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries starts with a list of illustrations, a section in which she acknowledges universities (Rutgers, Brown, Princeton, and Harvard) and people—family, friends, colleagues but also graduate students—who have helped her publish this book, a note on translation and transliteration and an all-important map of 1834 Alger. The note on translation and transliteration indicates that the current book is based on the colonial archive of French Algeria.
66 Book Review: Laura M. Zucconi, Ancient Medicine. From Mesopotamia to Rome, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2019, Karen Ferreira-Meyers
In her foreword to Laura M. Zucconi’s lengthy publication on ancient medicine, Candida Moss, Cadbury Professor of Theology in School of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion of the University of Birmingham (UK), indicates how important the author’s work is as it brings together a number of research fields, often examined in silos or “balkanized” (p. xv) areas of expertise. According to Moss, Zucconi’s transdisciplinary approach is what is most exceptional in this publication; a “complicated web of geographical, social, and historical boundaries” (p. xvi). At the start, besides the foreword, there is a section on abbreviations and acknowledgments. At the end, a detailed bibliography and three handy indexes (authors, subjects, scriptures and other ancient texts) complete Zucconi’s superb work on ancient medicine. As both historians and medical practitioners will probably constitute the majority of this publication’s readers, the introduction explains some general health-related concepts, such as health, disease, illness, healers and patients, as well as a historical overview of the contexts—time and place—discussed.
67 Book Review: Laura M. Zucconi, Ancient Medicine. From Mesopotamia to Rome, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2019, Karen Ferreira-Meyers
In her foreword to Laura M. Zucconi’s lengthy publication on ancient medicine, Candida Moss, Cadbury Professor of Theology in School of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion of the University of Birmingham (UK), indicates how important the author’s work is as it brings together a number of research fields, often examined in silos or “balkanized” (p. xv) areas of expertise. According to Moss, Zucconi’s transdisciplinary approach is what is most exceptional in this publication; a “complicated web of geographical, social, and historical boundaries” (p. xvi). At the start, besides the foreword, there is a section on abbreviations and acknowledgments. At the end, a detailed bibliography and three handy indexes (authors, subjects, scriptures and other ancient texts) complete Zucconi’s superb work on ancient medicine. As both historians and medical practitioners will probably constitute the majority of this publication’s readers, the introduction explains some general health-related concepts, such as health, disease, illness, healers and patients, as well as a historical overview of the contexts—time and place—discussed.