Departmental Papers (NELC)
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PublicationBattle for Peace in Sudan: An Analysis of the Abuja Conferences, 1992-1993 [Review](2002-01-01) Sharkey, Heather JIn 1992, in an effort to end the Sudanese civil war, President Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria offered to sponsor peace talks between the Sudanese government (dominated by the National Islamic Front), and the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). Held in the Nigerian capital of Abuja in 1992 and 1993, the talks ultimately ended in failure, allowing one of the world's long est and deadliest conflicts to continue unabated. Battle for Peace in Sudan is a fascinating study of these negotiations, written by Wondu, who served as official notetaker of the SPLM delegation, and Lesch, a political scientist and Sudan specialist. The book should be required reading for anyone interested in the religious dynamics of the second Sudanese civil war, the start of which, in 1983, coincided with the regime's introduction of Shari'a hudud laws. This assertion of Islamic law, which grew stronger after 1989, antagonized the predominantly non-Muslim southern Sudanese population, and added to longstanding grievances about the country's grossly unequal regional distribution of political power and wealth. PublicationWomen in the Middle East and North Africa(1999-12-01) Sharkey, Heather J PublicationNationalism and Nihilism: The Attitude of Two Hebrew Authors Toward Folklore(1981) Ben-Amos, DanFolklore and literature are linked concepts, but so far no one theory has satisfactorily explained the nature of their relationship. Attempts have been made to establish the connection between them in terms of history, evolution, communication, and social systems. According to the historical approach, folklore consists of elementary forms which increase in formal and semantic complexity until they become literary genres.1 The Chadwicks stated a generally accepted position when they wrote that "written literature was derived in some form from this 'unwritten literature'."2 At the basis of this historical development are the dynamic laws of literature by which themes, genres, and structures advance from simple to complex patterns. Although human thoughts and emotions motivate creative writing, authors, seen in this way, are but the tools, the handmaidens of literature. The same themes repeat in different patterns, changing according to historical and social situations, yet retaining certain psychological and metaphysical elements that are as historical as they are inherent to man. PublicationAlt- und mitteljidd. Erzählungen(1992) Ben-Amos, DanGeschicte und Verbreitung. Die jidd. Sprache entstand um das 10. Jh. in den jüd. Gemeinden in Lothringen. Von dort verbreitete sie sich mit den aschkenas. Kolonien nach Norditalien, Nordfrankreich und Holland sowie durch die Kreuzzüge im mitteleurop. Raum, danach ostwärts in die slav. Länder33. Altjiddisch (1250-1500) war hauptsächlich eine gesprochene Sprache, in der mündl. Erzählungen, Lieder, Fabeln und Sprichwörter ihren Platz hatten. Aus dieser Periode existieren verstreute Glossen und Redewendugen. Der älteste datierte Sprachbeleg ist ein Segen in einem illuminierten Wormser Gebetbuch (1272)34. Das früheste literar. Dokument in jidd. Sprache ist die Cambridger Hs. von 1382 PublicationReview of Rella Kushelevsky, Moses and the Angel of Death(1999) Ben-Amos, DanFor many years comparative thematics was the principal method of comparative literature until formalism and structuralism emerged as the key terms of avant-garde scholarship. Now, in an era when these very terms are relegated to the backyard of the academy by trendier directions, thematic analysis is enjoying a modest rejuvenation.1 Within this re-emerging paradigm Yoav Elstein and Avidov Lipsker have launched a very ambitious project known as "The Thematological Encylcopedia of Jewish Literature." They have outlined their methodology in two programmatic essays,2 and together and separately published several case studies.3 Yoav Elstein has also guest-edited volume 30 of Criticism and Interpretation (1994) which includes several thematological essays by diverse hands. PublicationShivhei Habesht(1996) Ben-Amos, DanShivhei HaBesht is the first collection of tales about the Besht. It contains biographical details about his parents, childhood, acquisition of mystical knowledge, travels, teachings, miracles, and death. Interspersed among these are stories about a few other hasidic leaders, followers of the Besht. PublicationMusical Instruments from Benin(1971) Ben-Amos, Dan PublicationReview of David Assaf, The Regal Way: The Life and Times of R. Israel of Ruzhin(2000-01-01) Ben-Amos, DanHagiography and history tell their stories at cross-purposes. While hagiography glorifies, even sanctifies its heroes, history strips them of their traditional greatness, seeking to bare the factual truth to which documents and testimonies attest. Nowhere is this contrast more evident than in the history and study of Hasidism. Legends (shevahim) are the building blocks of the Hasidic tradition, in which the rabbi is a leader, a miracle worker and a storyteller. He is the narrating subject, who, in turn, becomes the object of stories subsequent generations tell. PublicationReview of Haim Schwarzbaum, Jewish Folklore between East and West. Collected Papers(1991) Ben-Amos, DanIn his obituary for Haim Schwarzbaum (1911-1983), Dov Noy tells that upon his arrival at Bloomington, Indiana in 1952 to begin his graduate studies, Stith Thompson asked him whether he knew Haim Schwarzbaum in Israel. He did not, and Professor Thompson invited Dov Noy to his office and showed him the thick file of correspondence that he conducted with Schwarzbaum, saying: "You should know that I correspond with over a hundred folklorists worldwide, and your Haim Schwarzbaum is the most erudite of them all" (Noy 1986, 88). At the time Schwarzbaum was in his early forties. Most of his publications to that date appeared in the literary supplement of newspapers; only two of his articles were published in Hebrew scholarly journals (GANUZ 1984, 10). Yet in his private scholarly correspondence he had already demonstrated his overflowing erudition to be deserving of such an accolade from the leading folktale scholar of our time. Folklorists learned about his scholarly acumen only in the late fifties, when his articles began to appear regularly in scholarly publications. PublicationForeword(1983) Ben-Amos, DanThis matter-of-fact letter from the then-President of the University of Pennsylvania opened a new era in folklore studies. With it the University of Pennsylvania inaugurated the second doctoral program in folklore in the country, delivering Indiana University from its pioneering isolation, and stimulating other folklorists to increase their efforts in that direction in their own universities.