EWIC Reviews- Estelle-Holmer Vol. I
Reviewed by: S.M. Estelle-Holmer
Review of Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures: Vol. 1: Methodologies, Paradigms and Sources.
Published by: Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (June 2004)
The scope of this projected six-volume set will be global, encompassing the diversity of Islamic populations in the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, the Far East, and Africa and including non-Muslim women living in predominantly Muslim societies as well as Muslim women living in non-Islamic cultures, such as North America and Europe. Chronologically, EWIC is equally ambitious, stretching from just prior to the rise of Islam in the sixth century to the present. Finally, EWIC treats women beyond the religious context, attempting to survey all facets of women's lives in Islamic societies. This volume, the first of EWIC's two sections, focuses on sources and methods. An introduction is followed by 46 thematic and 22 disciplinary entries by noted experts. The thematic entries cover major historical periods and regions and emphasize sources--how they have been used and by whom, and their value for further study. Disciplinary entries treat the range of methodologies, paradigms, and applications, and include interdisciplinary approaches to gender, colonialism, and popular cultures. Finally comes a bibliography of works published in European languages since 1993. Volumes in the second section will also cover thematic and disciplinary topics and promise to present the latest research: v.2, family, law and politics; v.3, family, body, sexuality and health; v.4, economics, education, mobility, and space; v.5, practices, interpretations, and representations; and v.6, cumulative index. EWIC's way of engaging readers in an emerging area of study is among its strongest points; it directs emphasis away from definitive analysis to an exploration of methods and resources. Although its main audience is graduate students, professionals, and policy makers, its nontechnical language makes it accessible to undergraduates. In scope and intent, a unique effort. Summing up: Essential for college and university libraries supporting women's studies, religious studies, area and international studies.