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The Just Prince and the Nation: Muslim Patriotism and the Politics of Notables in late Ottoman Egypt, 1860s – Adam Mestyan (Harvard University)

April 19, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Adam Mestyan in a park

Speaker: Adam Mestyan (Harvard University)

About the Talk:

In this presentation Mestyan will argue that in nineteenth-century Ottoman Egypt the symbolic unification between the Ottoman governor (khedive) and the homeland was based on vocabularies of kingship in the Koran and in Arab-Persian-Ottoman traditions. During this process of constructing patriotism by rural men of distinction, the perceived ‘justice’ of the Muslim prince meant the local elite’s participation in state affairs and in rural capitalist enterprises.

Based on archival documents, petitions to the ruler by local village notables, and Arabic political poetry and plays, this presentation also introduces the notion of Muslim patriotism as an ideological tool of legitimating power in khedivial Egypt before and during the British occupation.”

About the Presenter:

Adam Mestyan is a historian of the modern Middle East, specialized in cultural and social history. He has been undertaking research in various archives, especially in the Egyptian National Archives. At the moment, he is a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. Previously, he taught at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the “Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe” program of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute of Advanced Studies). He holds a PhD in History from the Central European University and another PhD in Art Theory from the Eotvos Lorand University (both in Budapest). His articles were published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Journal of Semitic Philology, Die Welt des Islams, and Muqarnas. His first book, Arab Patriotism – The Ideology and Culture of Power in Modern Egypt is forthcoming at Princeton University Press.

Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies


April 19, 2016
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


UCEN Santa Barbara Mission Room
University Center
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 United States
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