• We are available for your help 24/7
  • Email: info@isindexing.com, submission@isindexing.com

NETSOL: New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences

Journal Papers (41) Details Call for Paper Manuscript submission Publication Ethics Contact Authors' Guide Line
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 , İlhan 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: Doğan Gürer and Mikdat Kadıoğlu, Olağandışı Durumlarda Yaşamı Sürdürme [Surviving in Unusual Circumstances] in Turkish. Istanbul: AFAD, 2011. , Murat Kuş
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 Başkanlığı) 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.