Egyptian Literary Culture and Egyptian Modernity
In April 2010 we held a workshop to enable academics based in the UK and academics based in Egypt to come together in order to explore the significance of Egyptian literary culture in the context of contemporary Egyptian society. The intention of the workshop was to consider the importance of literature as a form of cultural self-reflection and as a means of sustaining democratic and critical debate. The workshop was mounted in association with the Centres for Postcolonial Research at the University of Kent (UK) and at SOAS (UK), together with the English Department at Cairo University.
This event aimed to challenge the current ideological discourses that serve to polarize cultural differences in reductive ways. In particular, while the Western media often ascribes the values of liberalism, modernity and progress to the West, attention here was paid to modes of modernity and debates around modernity in an Egyptian context as defined by Egyptian writers and intellectuals themselves.
Readings and performances accompanied the academic discussion. A special performance of The Rebel Cell, which was performed as part of our Global Youth Cultures event, took place in Cairo, to much enthusiasm from the audience. You can read about Dizraeli's flightless journey to Cairo and their post-Cairo adventures in Israel/Palestine here.
More information on the programme and participants, images and video footage can be found on the following pages.