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TALK | Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya
TALK | Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya
WhenThursday, Oct 24, 2019, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus room317
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsMiddle East Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Part of the 2019-20 "Voices in Middle East Studies." Contact: mecuw@uw.edu
Description

Presenter: Matthew Ellis, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in International Affairs and Middle East Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. He is a historian specializing in the social, intellectual, and cultural history of the modern Middle East and North Africa.

In this talk—based on his recent book, Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya (Stanford, 2018)—Matthew Ellis adopts a different approach to national territoriality, arguing that Egypt and Libya emerged steadily as modern territorial nation-states in the decades before World War I despite the lack of official maps defining their borders. By reconstructing the multiple layers and meanings of territoriality in this desert borderland, Ellis suggests that national territoriality was not simply imposed on Egypt’s western—or Ottoman Libya’s eastern—domains by centralizing state power, but rather emerged only through a complex and multilayered process of negotiation with a range of local actors motivated by their own conceptions of space, sovereignty, and political belonging.

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