Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World: Blighted Bodies (Hardback)
  • Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World: Blighted Bodies (Hardback)
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Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World: Blighted Bodies (Hardback)

(author)
£65.00
Hardback 160 Pages / Published: 20/07/2012
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Outlines the complex significance of bodies in the late Medieval central Arab Islamic Lands. Did you know that blue eyes, baldness, bad breath and boils were all considered bodily 'blights' by Medieval Arabs, as were cross eyes, lameness and deafness? What assumptions about bodies influenced this particular vision of physical difference? How did blighted people view their own bodies? Through close analyses of anecdotes, personal letters, biographies and autobiographies, erotic poetry, non-binding legal opinions, diaristic chronicles and theological tracts, Kristina Richardson brings the cultural views and experiences of disability and difference in the medieval Islamic world to life. This title investigates the place of physically different, disabled and ill individuals in medieval Islam. It is organised around the lives and works of 6 Muslim men, each highlighting a different aspect of bodily difference. It addresses broad cultural questions relating to social class, religious orthodoxy, moral reputation, drug use, male homoeroticism and self-representation in the public sphere. It moves towards a coherent theory of medieval disability and bodily aesthetics in Islamic cultural traditions.

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748645077
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 403 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS



"Richardson has written an original and highly learned first book that reveals much about the cultural construction of difference and disability and about scholarly friendships and communities that shaped that culture." -- H-Disability, H-Net Reviews


"Kristina Richardson focuses on the disabled body in the Mamluk Middle East ... among the topics discussed are the development of a body aesthetic in the late medieval period; the body as a site of interaction of sexuality, aesthetics, Sufism, disability, and illness; consolation to people with marked and diseased body parts; the shame of being exposed publicly as disabled; and the moral and legal implications of 'outing' the disability of another." -- Miri Shefer-Mossensohn, Tel Aviv University, Review of Middle East Studies




"Richardson has written an original and highly learned first book that reveals much about the cultural construction of difference and disability and about scholarly friendships and communities that shaped that culture." -- H-Disability, H-Net Reviews


"Kristina Richardson focuses on the disabled body in the Mamluk Middle East ... among the topics discussed are the development of a body aesthetic in the late medieval period; the body as a site of interaction of sexuality, aesthetics, Sufism, disability, and illness; consolation to people with marked and diseased body parts; the shame of being exposed publicly as disabled; and the moral and legal implications of 'outing' the disability of another." -- Miri Shefer-Mossensohn, Tel Aviv University, Review of Middle East Studies


"Kristina L. Richardson offers us invaluable insight [in her new book] which discusses disability, friendship, drug abuse, scholarly scandal, and love." -- Taraneh Wilkinson, LA Review of Books


"This book provides a plethora of information about Islamic attitudes to people with disabilities...Although written within a specific historical framework, Kristina Richardson's book transcends these boundaries and provides the reader with new data on the literary, legal, and theological debates on the roles that people with disabilities could hold in society and in the religious life of their communities, beyond the Mamluk and Ottoman eras." -- Vardit Rispler-Chaim, University of Haifa, Journal of the American Oriental Society


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