Adventures in the Archives

Part II
Khaled Fahmy
Oct 13, 2021 at -

This event has passed. A recording of the second part and subsequent Q&A can be found here: Adventures in the Archives: Part II.

Join us by Zoom on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021, at 11am EDT, when Khaled Fahmy of Cambridge University will speak at the Modern Egyptian Studies Forum, for the second part of our series on “Adventures in the Archives.”

For this second part, Professor Fahmy will reflect on the political and intellectual implications of access to Egypt-related archives and libraries. How do restrictions on access in some places, and opportunities in others, shape the histories that we tell, while making some subjects or perspectives more or less salient? How can we avoid, overcome, and confront barriers – or even pass right through them? 

Khaled Fahmy has grappled with such questions over many years. In his path-breaking book, All the Pasha’s Men: Mehmed Ali, His Army, and the Making of Modern Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1997), he reappraised the impact of Ottoman imperialism on modern Egyptian history by studying the career of Mehmed Ali – a man hailed by an earlier generation of nationalist historians as the “father of modern Egypt.” In the process, he developed new approaches to Egyptian history at the intersection of military and cultural studies. With his In Quest of Justice: Islamic Law and Forensic Medicine in Modern Egypt (University of California Press, 2018), he moved into new arenas of legal and medical history while questioning the meaning of modernization and the consequences of social changes for ordinary Egyptian people. Publicly, Fahmy has also been an indefatigable advocate for greater access to the Egyptian National Archives.

The Modern Egyptian Studies Forum is an online event series and scholarly community dedicated to the study of modern Egypt. Events organized by the Forum have included book talks, thematic conversations, and discussions on archival access, pedagogy, and publishing. It welcomes scholars at various career stages, from graduate students to emeritus professors. For recordings of recent events see Events. Its sponsor is the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at the University of Pennsylvania.

As always, if there is someone that you think should join us in this event, please write to Weston Bland (wbland@sas.upenn.edu). We will be happy to invite them, if we have not done so already.