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Reference Sources for Researching Context
REFERENCE SOURCES FOR RESEARCHING CONTEXT
The following are good resources for researching the political, social, and cultural contexts of Arabic films and works of literature.
This database provides up-to-date, detailed historical, political, and economic profiles of, and current news stories about, 194 independent, sovereign countries recognized by the U.S. Department of State.
Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
This encyclopedia is especially useful for understanding the religious context of Arabic literature and film. Its articles examine Islam's role in the modern world, as well as the religion's history and development over the last 13 centuries.
Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
This encyclopedia is an excellent source for learning the social and political context of Arabic literature and film. It covers the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa. Each country in the region is reviewed, detailing its population, economy, and government.
The Middle East and North Africa
Updated every year, this reference work has excellent articles summarizing the recent history and the economies of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. It is also a good source for basic statistical information.
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World
This encyclopedia provides extensive coverage of the institutions, religion, politics, and culture of Muslim societies throughout the world, from the sixth century to the present day.
Oxford Islamic Studies Online
This online database provides a wealth of information about all aspects of the Islamic world. It contains articles from several major encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works, as well as scholarly articles and book chapters, hundreds of primary source documents and maps, and links to authoritative Web sites to provide thorough coverage of current and historical Islam.
The following reference sources are designed specifically to place individual works of literature and their authors in the context of their times.
Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature
The articles in this encyclopedia examine world authors from all time periods, and the biographical, historical and literary contexts that enhance understanding of their work. Also discussed are the significant literary devices and global themes that define the writers' style, and the larger literary tradition of which they are a part.
World Literature and Its Times, Vol. 6: Middle Eastern Literatures and Their Times
Focusing on major works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from the Middle East, the articles in this reference work are devoted to individual works of literature and their political, social, and historical context.