The Ways of Zainab: Visitations and Valuations Between Iran and Syria via Turkey
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CitationYildiz, Emrah. 2016. The Ways of Zainab: Visitations and Valuations Between Iran and Syria via Turkey. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThe Ways of Zainab: Visitations and Valuations between Iran and Syria via Turkey follows the pathways of a ziyarat (visitation) route, also known as Hajj-e Fuqara’ (pilgrimage of the poor) from bus stations in Tabriz, Iran through informal bazaars in Gaziantep, Turkey to shrines in Damascus, Syria. I propose that Sayyida Zainab’s ziyarat can be productively understood as a region- and subject-making route. By accounting for the spatial and historical production of these territories and the subject formations of their inhabitants, this dissertation charts out two broad avenues of inquiry. First, it analyzes how pilgrims, merchants and other border-crossers of various socio-economic and political backgrounds have interacted with one another on a trans-regional scale and encountered doctrinal difference, economic opportunity and political possibility. Second, it traces the inter-articulations of pilgrimage and Islamic ritual with contraband commerce as differentially regulated forms of cross-border mobility. Through these two avenues of inquiry, and developing a historical anthropological approach, The Ways of Zainab turns transnational religious mobility from a predetermined stage for the unfolding of sectarian violence into an autonomous and generative dimension of social action on a regional scale. In doing so, this dissertation aims to reinvigorate the analytical and political debates around ritual and religious practice in anthropology of Islam through studies of mobility and borders as well as economy and markets.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33840752
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