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DESERT BORDERLAND: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya

Mon, April 22nd, 2019
7:00 pm
- 8:30 pm

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How should we think about the politics of national borders in the modern Middle East? Particularly since the rise of ISIS, it has been all too common in the media to draw attention to the so-called “artificial” and colonial nature of political boundaries in the region. In his new book, Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya (Stanford UP, 2018), Matthew H. Ellis ’03 – holder of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs at Sarah Lawrence College – challenges conventional wisdom about Middle Eastern borders and nation-state formation by illuminating the little-known history of the Egyptian-Libyan borderland, revealing the deeper historical processes that transformed political identity in the easternmost reaches of the Sahara Desert in the decades before World War I.

Ellis will speak in conversation with Magnús Bernhardsson, Brown Professor of History and Chair, Arabic Studies Dept.

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