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Family matters: the 'Family-in-law' impulse in Mamluk marriage policy

(2013) ANNALES ISLAMOLOGIQUES. 47. p.61-82
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Abstract
The academic debate on the ideas and practices that organized succession to the sultanate of Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517) is long-standing and vexed. This article adds to this debate by bringing in a novel perspective: the “Family-In-Law Impulse.” First, an empirical identification of whom Mamluk sultans between Barqūq (784 AH/1382 CE) and Ḫušqadam (872 AH /1467 CE) married is presented, suggesting that many of these unrelated sultans were connected nonetheless through marriage. The hermeneutics of this observation are then dealt with, by reviewing the possibilities of what these marital ties might mean. It is argued that they reflect one of many strategies aiming at social reproduction: by marrying into their predecessor’s family, new sultans between 1382 and 1467 married into symbolic capital first and foremost, thus obtaining an an “in-law tie” and “in-law pedigree” to a predecessor. By thus reconsidering the role of Mamluk ladies and of marital ties within the Mamluk mode of succession, two dominant paradigms of Mamluk studies are simultaneously challenged: gendered political space and the Mamluk slave state.
Keywords
Mamluk slave state, dynastic, Mamluk women and political agency, extended family and Family-in-law impulse, public/male and private/female gendered space, mode of sultanic succession, marriage strategies, Circassian sultans

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MLA
Van Steenbergen, Jo, and Kristof D’hulster. “Family Matters: The ‘Family-in-law’ Impulse in Mamluk Marriage Policy.” Ed. Julien Loiseau. ANNALES ISLAMOLOGIQUES 47 (2013): 61–82. Print.
APA
Van Steenbergen, Jo, & D’hulster, K. (2013). Family matters: the “Family-in-law” impulse in Mamluk marriage policy. (J. Loiseau, Ed.)ANNALES ISLAMOLOGIQUES, 47, 61–82.
Chicago author-date
Van Steenbergen, Jo, and Kristof D’hulster. 2013. “Family Matters: The ‘Family-in-law’ Impulse in Mamluk Marriage Policy.” Ed. Julien Loiseau. Annales Islamologiques 47: 61–82.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Steenbergen, Jo, and Kristof D’hulster. 2013. “Family Matters: The ‘Family-in-law’ Impulse in Mamluk Marriage Policy.” Ed. Julien Loiseau. Annales Islamologiques 47: 61–82.
Vancouver
1.
Van Steenbergen J, D’hulster K. Family matters: the “Family-in-law” impulse in Mamluk marriage policy. Loiseau J, editor. ANNALES ISLAMOLOGIQUES. Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale; 2013;47:61–82.
IEEE
[1]
J. Van Steenbergen and K. D’hulster, “Family matters: the ‘Family-in-law’ impulse in Mamluk marriage policy,” ANNALES ISLAMOLOGIQUES, vol. 47, pp. 61–82, 2013.
@article{4128780,
  abstract     = {The academic debate on the ideas and practices that organized succession to the sultanate of Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517) is long-standing and vexed. This article adds to this debate by bringing in a novel perspective: the “Family-In-Law Impulse.” First, an empirical identification of whom Mamluk sultans between Barqūq (784 AH/1382 CE) and Ḫušqadam (872 AH /1467 CE) married is presented, suggesting that many of these unrelated sultans were connected nonetheless through marriage. The hermeneutics of this observation are then dealt with, by reviewing the possibilities of what these marital ties might mean. It is argued that they reflect one of many strategies aiming at social reproduction: by marrying into their predecessor’s family, new sultans between 1382 and 1467 married into symbolic capital first and foremost, thus obtaining an an “in-law tie” and “in-law pedigree” to a predecessor. By thus reconsidering the role of Mamluk ladies and of marital ties within the Mamluk mode of succession, two dominant paradigms of Mamluk studies are simultaneously challenged: gendered political space and the Mamluk slave state.},
  author       = {Van Steenbergen, Jo and D'hulster, Kristof},
  editor       = {Loiseau, Julien},
  issn         = {0570-1716},
  journal      = {ANNALES ISLAMOLOGIQUES},
  keywords     = {Mamluk slave state,dynastic,Mamluk women and political agency,extended family and Family-in-law impulse,public/male and private/female gendered space,mode of sultanic succession,marriage strategies,Circassian sultans},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {61--82},
  publisher    = {Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale},
  title        = {Family matters: the 'Family-in-law' impulse in Mamluk marriage policy},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2013},
}