Prisoner, prostitute, port-worker and drunk - performers, jesters and the urban poor: The line between the marginal and the mainstream is not always obvious. Non-conformism differs, of course, from culture to culture and across historical periods. What constitutes marginality in the Eastern Mediterranean? How has the notion of marginality changed with time? Outside In challenges our preconceptions about marginality in the Islamic Mediterranean in the modern age. With a focus on the individual in changing times, this book sheds light on the shifting boundaries of marginality in Ottoman Greece and Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Tunisia, covering the breadth of the Mediterranean Muslim world. The chapters, all based on untapped archival sources, are organised around four broad themes: prohibitions, institutions, port cities and performers. This major survey of the marginal in the Middle East represents the first in-depth study of the phenomenon, focusing principally on the 19th and 20th centuries and across all aspects of what might be considered the fringes of society. The contributors' combination of primary source research and a real interdisciplinary approach provides a vital contribution to the literature inspired by the Annales school, Eric Hobsbawm's work on 'history from below' and the writings of Michel Foucault. Opening Middle East studies up to the most contemporary historiographical debates, Outside In also offers a fascinating and entirely new perspective on Middle Eastern society in the Modern period.
On the Margins of the Modern Middle East