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Routes and RealmsThe Power of Place in the Early Islamic World$
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Zayde Antrim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199913879.001.0001

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Introduction: The Discourse of Place

Introduction: The Discourse of Place

(p.1) Introduction: The Discourse of Place
Routes and Realms

Zayde Antrim

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the book’s conceptual framework, the “discourse of place,” the genres of texts it includes, and their shared commitment to the representation of territories as categories of belonging. It also discusses the methodology of close reading used in the book and the related ideas of textual and extratextual performance that make it possible to view written and graphic texts as acts of creativity that were intended to interact with audiences. Viewing texts as performances sheds light on the various modes of reception and reproduction of knowledge in this period. This chapter also considers the open-ended processes of manuscript redaction and transmission that have made texts from the ninth through the eleventh centuries available for analysis. Finally, it presents the book’s main argument, that in a period characterized by political fragmentation the discourse of place gave Muslims a powerful language to assert connectivity and belonging.

Keywords:   discourse of place, discourse of place, genre, belonging, muslims, methodology, texts, performance, reception, manuscript

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