Joseph Ben Prestel

Emotional Cities

Debates on Urban Change in Berlin and Cairo, 1860-1910

Oxford University Press 2017

New Books in European StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Middle Eastern StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network September 12, 2018 Nadirah Mansour

Joseph Ben Prestel talks with us about Emotional Cities: Debates on Urban Change in Berlin and Cairo, 1860-1910 (Oxford University Press, 2017), blending together history...

Joseph Ben Prestel talks with us about Emotional Cities: Debates on Urban Change in Berlin and Cairo, 1860-1910 (Oxford University Press, 2017), blending together history of emotions, urban history, global history,  and comparative history to produce a monograph on the similar effects urban change had on Cairo and Berlin: ordinary citizens, between 1860 and 1910, negotiated between how the city was changing and how that affected how they saw love, honor, and trust. We talk about what we can gain from urban history, how to talk about gender in histories of emotion, what role modernity has in Middle Eastern studies, and the body in Middle Eastern history. As always, we also check in with the field of Middle Eastern history and talk about what the archives look like and what the next generation of scholars needs to be thinking of as they head into the changing landscape of Middle Eastern archives.

Joseph Ben Prestel is assistant professor of history at the Free University (FU) of Berlin, where he teaches global, European, and Middle Eastern history. He also was a postdoctoral fellow at the Orient-Institut Beirut for the 2017-2018 academic year winter term and will be a Fung Global fellow at Princeton University for the 2018-19 academic year. He received his PhD in modern history from FU Berlin in April 2015. Before joining FU’s history department, he held a position as pre-doctoral researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions within Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development. He is a co-founder and editor of the Global Urban History Blog.


Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26 and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.

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