Pascale Ghazaleh

Wednesday, 17 October 2018, 5.00 pm - 6.30 pm |
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Past Imperfect, Future Tense: Writing People's Histories in the Middle East Today

Pascale Ghazaleh
(American University in Cairo / EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2017-19)

Chair: Georges Khalil
(EUME / Forum Transregionale Studien)

It is no longer possible in the Middle East today to function as a scholar – at least in the humanities and social sciences – without being acutely aware of the power structures, political stakes, and mechanisms of repression that underlie the research process. Indeed, it has now become common for writing about that process to precede, and sometimes even to replace, research itself, so fraught with risk has our practice, whether in the field or the archives, become.
In this talk, Ghazaleh will trace the outlines of current debates about history and historiography in the region, and discuss recent attempts, based mainly in Egypt, to free the historian’s practice from security-oriented ideological paradigms as well as the constraints of archive fetishism.

Pascale Ghazaleh is an Associate Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. She specializes in Ottoman history and nineteenth-century Egypt. She received her PhD in History from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. She has published research on the social organization of craft guilds in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Egypt, and on the material culture and social networks of merchants in Cairo during the same period. During her time as a EUME Fellow, she will be working on a project about ownership practices and their relation to the constitution of national resources in late nineteenth-century Egypt. In the academic year 2017/18 and in summer 2019, she is a EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and associated with the Center for Global History at Freie Universität Berlin.

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