This promises to be a rewarding Easter weekend read.
“The Un-Exceptional Middle Eastern City” edited by Sarah El Kazaz and Kevin Mazur and featuring Nancy Reynolds (author of A City Consumed, Pascale Menoret (Joyriding in Riyadh), an dSheila Crane (Mediterranean Crossroads).
The crux of the argument would be familiar to most of those who work within the Study of the Middle East; a problematic of the Middle East exceptionalism. Beside being a political problematic- which is important in itself; this has posed theoretical and methodological uneasiness as scholars in the are travel the terrain between nuance and contextually sensitive research (thus area studies), a risk of (self-)orientalising scholarship, as well as concerns with how Middle East Studies plug in to main, general, dominant (how so powerful!) social science disciplines.