A variety of recent research on Libyan topics.
Paul Love, Libraries of the Nafusa. A pilot project to document and digitize material heritage in the Jebel Nafusa, Libya, part of the excellent LibMed project focusing on medieval Libya
The Libraries of Nafusa is a pilot project to document and to digitize written material culture in the Jebel Nafusa region of Libya. It is led by the Ibadica Centre for Research and Studies on Ibadism in France and the Fassato Foundation in Libya, with financial support from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung’s “Patrimonies” funding program in Germany. The administrative team reflects the international nature of the project, with members in Morocco, Algeria, France, and the United States.
Igor Cherstich, Martin Holbraad, Nico Tassi, Anthropologies of Revolution: Forging Time, People, and Worlds (University of California Press, 2020). *Open Access*
What can anthropological thinking contribute to the study of revolutions? The first book-length attempt to develop an anthropological approach to revolutions, Anthropologies of Revolution proposes that revolutions should be seen as concerted attempts to radically reconstitute the worlds people inhabit. Viewing revolutions as all-embracing, world-creating projects, the authors ask readers to move beyond the idea of revolutions as acts of violent political rupture, and instead view them as processes of societal transformation that penetrate deeply into the fabric of people’s lives, unfolding and refolding the coordinates of human existence.
Nir Arielli, “Colonial Soldiers in Italian Counter-Insurgency Operations in Libya, 1922-32”, British Journal for Military History 1/2 (2015), 47–66. *Open Access*
The vast majority of the force employed by the Italians to crush local resistance in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica was composed of Libyans, Eritreans and Ethiopians. The article examines why the Italians came to rely so heavily on colonial soldiers. It highlights two key predicaments the Italians faced: how to contend with the social, economic and political repercussions that military recruitment for the counter-insurgency created in East Africa; and the extent to which they could depend on forces raised in Libya itself. Finally, the article offers an initial assessment of how the counter-insurgency exacerbated tensions between Libyans and East Africans.
Klaus Braun & Jacqueline Passon (editors), Across the Desert: Tracks, Trade and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Libya (Springer, 2020). *Open Access*
This open access book provides a multi-perspective approach to the caravan trade in the Sahara during the 19th century. Based on travelogues from European travelers, recently found Arab sources, historical maps and results from several expeditions, the book gives an overview of the historical periods of the caravan trade as well as detailed information about the infrastructure which was necessary to establish those trade networks.
Included are a variety of unique historical and recent maps as well as remote sensing images of the important trade routes and the corresponding historic oases. To give a deeper understanding of how those trading networks work, aspects such as culturally influenced concepts of spatial orientation are discussed.
The book aims to be a useful reference for the caravan trade in the Sahara, that can be recommended both to students and to specialists and researchers in the field of Geography, History and African Studies.
Jérôme Lentin, selections of early modern written Libyan Arabic, in A Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic, edited by Esther-Miriam Wagner (Open Book Publishers, 2021). *Open Access*
Libya 1: Ḥasan al-Faqīh Ḥasan’s Chronicle Al-Yawmiyyāt al-Lībiyya (early 19th century)
Libya 2: Letter from Ġūma al-Maḥmūdī (1795–1858) to ʿAzmī Bēk, Daftardār of the ʾIyāla (Province) of Tripoli (undated)