Spring 2017 - HIST 467 D100

Modern Egypt (4)

Class Number: 3979

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SWH 10075, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history and one of HIST 151, 249, 350, 354, 355 or permission of the department.



An interpretive discussion of the course of modern Egyptian history. This may range from the advent to power of Muhammed Ali Pasha until recent times, or may focus on specific periods of revolutionary change.


MODERN EGYPT: Revolution, Civil Society, Public Religion

What has “being modern” meant for Egyptians in various walks of life — and how have they responded to, and shaped, the impact of that modernity? Does public religion offer useful insights into the course of Egypt’s turbulent recent history? Why has the “Arab Spring” unfolded so differently in Egypt and Tunisia, despite what Fawaz Gerges calls their shared “practices of contention”?

Our exploration of the answers will take us along three main avenues: the multiple revolutions that started with Muhammad Ali Pasha at the start of the 19th century; the emergence of civil society institutions; and the evolving role of Sunni Islam and Coptic Christianity in public life. These will serve to channel our discussion of the interplay of colonialism, nationalism, globalization, and identity politics into the post-9/11 era. We will draw upon multimedia resources in this regard, including cinematic, literary and activist digital tools. Students are expected in their presentations, reading reports, and the term paper to take an analytical — rather than a descriptive — approach to the history of social and political ideas, in their ongoing development in modern Egypt.


  • Readings Reports 30%
  • Presentations 20%
  • Participation 10%
  • Final Paper 40%
  • Active participation in class is expected, with attendance in all sessions. Weekly readings for class discussion/presentation will be assigned on the basis of working groups formed at the outset. Three short reports that provide an analysis of selected readings are required. The final essay (3000 words) will be based on a selection of topics provided from the course.



Juan Cole, Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave, 2008), ISBN 9780230606036

Steven Cook, The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (Oxford, 2013), ISBN 9780199931774

Further readings will be posted on the Canvas course-site.

Registrar Notes:

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