Crown Center for Middle East Studies

Rethinking Land, Labor, and Capital in Egypt

A Crown Seminar with Hannah Elsisi, Aaron Jakes, and Ahmad Shokr

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

This virtual roundtable brings together several leading scholars of Egypt to challenge conventional histories of the modern Middle East and rethink the categories of land, labor, and capital. Hannah Elsisi will trace the history of carceral and gendered violence in modern Egypt to revisit long-held assumptions about the relationship between gender and Islam, on the one hand, and penality, labor, and colonialism, on the other. Aaron Jakes will explore the long history of the Suez Canal to question concepts central to rentier state theory, much of which has been based on claims about the relationships between capital accumulation, state finance, and political representation in the Middle East. Ahmad Shokr will reconceptualize the institutions that dominated the production and trade of Egyptian cotton as a type of hybrid monopoly, tying developments during the Great Depression to the Nasserist state in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hannah Elsisi is a junior research fellow at the Crown Center.
Aaron Jakes
 is an assistant professor of history at The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College.
Ahmad Shokr is an assistant professor of history at Swarthmore College. He was a junior research fellow at the Crown Center from 2016-2017. 
Rana Baker, discussant, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University.

Co-sponsored by the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies program, Department of HistoryDepartment of Politics, and the International and Global Studies program at Brandeis.