Members Only Lecture: Reflections on 20th century American Studies of Modern Egypt

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Presented by: Dr. Peter Gran

  • 2:00 PM ET
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Lecture Information

In the book, Persistence of Orientalism Gran came to the conclusion that there have been three distinct phases in the modern professional history of the field: a formative phase emerging from the fusion of colonial and missionary activities, a second phase emerging from the developmental revolution, and a third phase, where we are at this point, of globalization and post-modernism. Moving from one phase to the next, once encounters people from different backgrounds with different interests. In the first part of the talk, Gran plans to revisit this material for the sake of those who have not seen it. The second part of the talk will focus on one aspect of this history which Gran finds to be quite important although not so easy to explain- to wit that despite the changing nature of who was in the field and why, there is an uncanny continuity in the field’s basic assumptions over the past century. Why are so many of the assumptions found in the writing of Lord Cromer still accepted today? In the concluding remarks, Gran will restate what he wrote previously about this with some amplifications and more recent thoughts on the matter. He hopes to stimulate some discussion about where we appear to be going as a field and how our work connects or does not connect with the work going on in Egypt itself. 

Speaker Bio

Peter Gran is a Professor of Middle Eastern History at Temple University where he has taught since 1974. He is also an affiliated Faculty Member at the Global Studies Program 2019-2022. He has many important books and publication on Modern Egyptian history.