Being bad during Ramadan: Temporality, historicity and the refusal of coevalness in the anthropology of Islam

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Abstract

Wary of the ‘denial of coevalness’ associated with earlier anthropology, anthropologists at the turn of the millennium increasingly emphasized how sharing not just space but also time is constitutive of the ethnographic encounter. However, drawing on online and offline fieldwork conducted in Jordan, I use the tensions between a blood feud and the holy month of Ramadan to illustrate how humans often refuse to inhabit each others’ histories and temporal schemes regardless of the presence of anthropologists. I argue that discomfort with acknowledging such refusals of coevalness has increasingly hobbled anthropological description, especially at a time when new communications technologies are re-shaping human experiences of sharing (and not sharing) space and time. I suggest that anthropologists would benefit from following many of the Jordanian Muslims I encountered in attending to how one does not ‘share time’ with various others–as well as the ways in which one does.

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APA

Hughes, G. F. (2023). Being bad during Ramadan: Temporality, historicity and the refusal of coevalness in the anthropology of Islam. History and Anthropology, 34(5), 883–903. https://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2023.2216709

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