Abstract: For weeks during early 2011 the world’s attention was centered on Egypt and the sensational developments in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Within an astonishingly short span of time Egypt’s autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was deposed. The country he had ruled for nearly thirty years without significant opposition embarked on a new and as yet uncertain course. What were the regional and historical backgrounds of this unexpected event? How did it transpire? Where is Egypt heading now? How does Egypt’s experience compare with that of other countries in the region? These and other questions are explored by Jason Thompson, writer and historian, currently visiting associate professor of history at Bates College.
About the Speaker: Dr. Jason Thompson (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1987) is a writer and historian who has lived and worked in Egypt for more than ten years. His recent publications include a study of British Orientalism and his book, A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present (Anchor, 2009) (Amazon; Powell’s), has received favorable reviews in major Egyptian publications:
“A remarkable work of synthesis, cohesion, and understanding…. Wonderfully vivid…. Extremely readable…. This is the first major work of its kind and it succeeds triumphantly.” — Al-Ahram Weekly
“Full of insights…. Thompson’s tone suggests a deep respect for Egypt and its history…. Packing it all into one book without any major errors of omission or emphasis requires considerable skill and breadth of vision.” — Daily News Egypt
Dr. Thompson will have copies of his books available at the meeting.