Oxford Nahda Workshop 2015 – Report and Photos


The Oxford Nahda Workshop 2015 was held on 22 and 23 April, and brought together scholars from around the world for two days of intensive and fascinating discussions around the Arab Nahda of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The workshop engaged a wide range of issues and topics, from global liberalism to word and book histories; from notions of time in Nahda literature to cartoons and ideas of musical taste; from student strikes in Egypt to the Alawi reform movement in Syria. We hope that it will provide a starting-point for future projects and networks in the field.

Many thanks to our sponsors, TORCH, Ertegun House and the Oriental Institute; to Kelly Dixon and Bryan Ward-Perkins of Ertegun House; and most of all to the workshop participants, for making this event such a success.

As previously announced, we hope to make a large part of the two days’ proceedings available in the form of podcasts. In the meantime, here are some photos from the workshop.

Oxford Nahda Workshop1

Opening round-table: ‘The Arab Nahda beyond Identity Politics?’ Nadia Bou Ali (left) reads aloud the contribution of Stephen Sheehi, who sadly could not be with us. Other panel members (left to right): Jens Hanssen, Munir Fakher-Eldin, Faisal Devji. The projected image is of the Nahda litterateur Luwis Sabunji.

Oxford Nahda Workshop2

‘Formations of the Political’ panel. Left to right: Nadia Bou Ali, Jens Hanssen, Hannah-Louise Clark.

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Alex Seggerman presents ‘Visualizing the Nahda: Satirical Cartoons and Portrait Photography in Late Nineteenth-Century Cairo’.

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From Alex Seggerman’s presentation: masthead of Ya‘qub Sannu‘’s Abou Naddara.

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Coffee break in the sun!

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‘At the Limits of Liberalism’ panel. Hussein Omar presents ‘Arabic Thought in the Liberal Cage’. Other panellists, left to right: Wael Abu-‘Uksa, Munir Fakher-Eldin.

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Language and Literature round-table. Left to right: Ezgi Ulusoy Aranyosi, Marilyn Booth, Raphael Cormack, Mohamed-Salah Omri, Robin Ostle.

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Alp Eren Topal presents ‘Gökalp Reconsidered: Revivalism and Political Thought in Late Ottoman Context’. Other panel members, left to right: Dženita Karić, Esmat Elhalaby, Faisal Devji.


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