47 pages, paperback,
14,8 x 21,0 cm, 2020
The study of enslavement in Muslim-majority societies has seen a significant rise in interest and sophistication over the past decade or so, and the current volume attempts to review these developments and embed them in notions such as asymmetric dependencies, new and older theoretical models of global enslavement, and replacing binaries by continuums that extend beyond enslavement into post-emancipation realities. Moving the notion of individual enslavement from a master-slave dyad to an enslaver-enslaved relationship enables the dynamic and process-driven understanding that although slavery was involuntary and unequal, it was an attachment founded on mutual dependence. While not diminishing in any way the brutality and coercion that undergirded the enslaver-enslaved relationship, such an approach enables us, nonetheless, to recognize the agency that the enslaved did possess and were able to exercise to a limited but admirable extent. Revised notions of unfreedom will also allow social scientists to better explain citizenship, civil rights, and socio-cultural realities in post-enslavement and contemporary societies.
Ehud R. Toledano is Professor of Middle East and African History and Director of the Program in Ottoman & Turkish Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He holds a PhD from Princeton University, conducted extensive research in Istanbul, Cairo, London, and Paris and taught at UCLA, Penn, and Oxford. Among the sixteen books he wrote and edited, Toledano would highlight the following: The Ottoman Slave Trade and Its Suppression, 1840–1890, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982 (republished under the Distinguished Backlist of Princeton Legacy Library, 2014); State and Society in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990 (paperback reprint, 2003); As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in Islamic Middle East, New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2007; and two edited volumes, African Communities in Asia and the Mediterranean: Identities between Integration and Conflict, Halle, Germany: Max Planck Institute, 2011; and with Dror Ze’evi, Society, Law, and Culture in the Middle East: “Modernities” in the Making, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015.