Ina Baghdiantz McCabe, Professor of History and Darakjian Jafarian Chair of Armenian History at Tufts University, has written Orientalism in Early Modern France: Eurasian Trade, Exoticism and the Ancien Regime (Berg Publishers, expected 2008).
According to McCabe, a novel aspect of this book is its unusual integration of both material and textual Orientalism. In the tradition of Edward Said, many studies on Orientalism analyze the literary and textual tradition; McCabe chose to interweave the arrival of products with trade that affected life in France. Her book addresses the textual production of knowledge, as well as how the consumption of silk, cotton, cloth, spices, cof- fee, tea, china, gems, flowers, and other luxury goods transformed daily life and gave rise to a new discourse about the Orient. French interpretations of the Orient and knowledge about Asia and Islam helped shape new ideas about science, the economy, and a philosoph- ical tradition that allowed for veiled criticism of absolutism and the monarchy. The book finds that Orientalism was at the root of the creation of many new institutions in France.
As an economic historian who was partly raised and schooled in France, McCabe has been interested in the idea of material and textual Orientalism in Europe for years. Her book project came to fruition during her 2001–2002 Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University. Recently, McCabe has also coauthored Slaves of the Shah: New Elites of Seventeenth Century Safavid Isfahan (I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2004), and edited Diaspora and Entrepreneurial Networks 1600–2000 (Berg Publishers, 2005).
The Fares Center
Peter Der Manuelian
is Lecturer in Egyptology at Tufts University and
the Giza Archives Project Director at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston. The Giza Archives Project website (www.mfa.org/giza) was recently awarded an honorable mention by the committee for the 2007 ABC-CLIO Online History Award, which recognizes sustainable online history resources that are free, use- ful, and innovative. The MFA has recently received a third grant of $306,000 for additional Giza Archives Project work from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, contributing to a total of $1.6 million in grants. In January 2006, descendants of the Egyptian foremen who contributed to the Harvard-MFA
Expedition were located in Cairo. Out of 72 Arabic-language expedition diary books, 42 are relevant to the Harvard- MFA Expedition’s work at Giza. Permission to obtain these books was granted by Egypt in October 2006, and Tufts students are now working to scan the volumes for eventual posting on the Giza Archives Project website.
Beatrice F. Manz, Associate Professor
of History at Tufts University, recently published Power, Politics and Religion in Timurid Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Part of the “Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization” series, her book uses the history of Iran under the Timurid ruler Shahrukh (1409–1447) to analyze the relationship between government and society in the medieval Middle East. The