In this presentation, which takes as its main focus Egypt from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, Pascale Ghazaleh will look at popular attempts to assert control over certain goods such as land and water. She will place these attempts in the context of conflicts over the nature of political participation and the social identity of those who could engage in politics. In particular, she will try to trace different practices of entitlement to resources, focusing on the ways in which the developing state apparatus sought to establish itself as the exclusive custodian of certain types of property, while various social groups asserted their right to control or benefit from this property.
The People's Property: Resources and Rights in Late Nineteenth-Century Egypt
Pascale Ghazaleh (AUC / EUME Fellow 2017/18), Chair: Alia Mossallam (AUC / EUME Fellow 2017/18)
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin
Examples from Iran and Lebanon will also illustrate struggles over resources that became widespread in the region during the nineteenth century. During this period, Ghazaleh argues, working people invoked their labor as a means of justifying their entitlement to resources and, by extension, their identity as citizens. At the same time, peasants, guild members, Bedouins, and other non-elite social groups colluded with the state in producing and endorsing a partially abstract category: that of national or public property.
Pascale Ghazaleh is an Associate Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. She specializes in Ottoman history and 19th-century Egypt. She received her PhD in History from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. She has published research on the social organization of craft guilds in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Egypt, and on the material culture and social networks of merchants in Cairo during the same period. During her time as a EUME Fellow, she will be working on a project about ownership practices and their relation to the constitution of national resources in late nineteenth-century Egypt. In the academic year 2017/18 and in summer 2019, she will be a EUME-FU Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung.