[P2193] Aesthetics of Citizenship in Post-Socialist Egypt

Created by Sonali Pahwa
Saturday, 11/21/09 5:00pm

SUMMARY:

The arts have been a crucial means of forging a culture of modernity in Egypt, giving form to abstract notions of modern citizenship traced in state cultural policy. In papers that range from reconsidering the role of Soviet cultural products in the Nasser era to programs of enlightenment pursued by present-day state and private cultural institutions, we trace the changing aesthetics of Egyptian national culture in transnational context. As works of art figure the modern citizen, and cultural institutions seek to cultivate this subject, how has culture been redefined in the shift from postcolonial to anti-Islamist nationalism, from state-produced culture to a field including private institutions with international funding? We examine the enduring significance of nation and citizen in Egyptian cultural discourse, and the anxieties of defining cultural authenticity against transnational Islamism and neoliberalism.

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Margaret Litvin

(Boston University)
Associate Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature, Boston University. Author of "Hamlet's Arab Journey: Shakespeare's Prince and Nasser's Ghost" (Princeton, 2011) and translator of Sonallah Ibrahim's "Ice" (Seagull, 2019) and two of "Four Arab...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;