Introduction: Bringing Sound into Middle East Studies

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Over the past decade, historians have finally started listening to the past. Mark M. Smith, an American historian and a leader in this wave of sensory and sound history, has said that historians today are “listening to the past with an intensity, frequency, keenness, and acuity unprecedented in scope and magnitude.” However, scholars of the modern Middle East have yet to join this auditory revolution. Whether working in history, political science, anthropology, or gender studies, they are still largely producing soundproof, devocalized narratives.

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