Mohammad SalamaMar 26, 2021
Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt
From the Monarchy to the Republic
Cambridge University Press 2018
Egypt is often the focus of religious and political histories of early twentieth century. The striking hardening of nationalist and Islamic movements within Arab societies during this period is frequently described through the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood, specific pan-Arab ideals, or questions of Egyptian identity under Gamal Abdel Nasser. However, the religious and political spheres intersected within new forms of Egyptian cultural production.
In Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt: From the Monarchy to the Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Mohammad Salama, Professor at San Francisco State University, explores how Egyptian authors and filmmakers articulate the role of religion and the nation in the lives of the modern subject. He provides a short genealogy of Arabic literature in the first half of the twentieth century that address questions of nationalism and Islamism and demonstrates how authors oscillate between tradition and secular values in modern Egypt. In our conversation we discuss the religious and political contexts of 20th century Egypt, British imperialism, the emergence of the novel in Egypt, well-known authors Taha Husayn, Naguib Mahfouz, and Yusuf Idris, the Muslim Brotherhood, short stories, theatre, national identity, and director Youssef Chahine.
Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.