Middle East expert to discuss latest developments in Egypt

Samer Shehata keynoter at ‘The Crisis in Egypt’ symposium

Samer S. Shehata, PhD, a leading expert on Middle East politics, will give the keynote talk at “The Crisis in Egypt” public symposium at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in Umrath Lounge.

Samer S. Shehata
, PhD, a leading Arab-American expert on Middle East politics, will deliver the keynote address at “The Crisis in Egypt” public symposium at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at Washington University in St. Louis.

The symposium, which will be held in Umrath Lounge, also will feature a roundtable discussion and presentations on the latest developments in Egypt.

Shehata, an associate professor of Middle East studies in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, is a specialist on Egyptian politics and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The title of his address is “Egypt: From Uprising to ‘Coup’ to Democracy?”

Shehata, an Egyptian native, also will participate in the roundtable discussion during the two-hour symposium, which is sponsored by the Department of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (JINELC) and the College of Arts & Sciences.

“Events in Egypt have moved very fast and often in confusing directions over the past several months. A lot is at stake in Egypt and in other countries, including the U.S., in understanding the complexity of these events and the outcomes of current struggles,” said Nancy Y. Reynolds, PhD, an associate professor of JINELC and of history, both in Arts & Sciences.

“We are fortunate to be able to benefit from Dr. Shehata’s tremendous expertise in Egyptian politics, with particular emphasis on the Muslim Brothers, Egyptian elections and Egyptian workers,” said Reynolds, who specializes in
the social, cultural and economic history of 20th-century Egypt.

Reynolds, who organized the symposium, will discuss “Women and the Gender Politics of Egypt’s Islamist Movement.”

She is author of A City Consumed: Urban Commerce, the Cairo Fire, and the Politics of Decolonization in Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2012).

The other presenters are:

• Arts & Sciences senior Mahroh Jahangiri, an international and area studies and political science major, who will give “An Egypt Primer for Those Too Embarrassed to Ask.”

Jahangiri received a Social Change Grant from WUSTL’s Gephardt Institute for Public Service in 2012 and spent that summer in Cairo establishing a program at the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt to help child cancer patients continue their education while hospitalized.

Jahangiri also conducted research on gender violence in Tahrir Square.

Anne-Marie McManus, PhD, an assistant professor of modern Arabic literature and culture in JINELC, who will discuss “Writers, Intellectuals and the Struggle for Change.”

McManus, who recently earned a doctorate in comparative literature from Yale University, teaches on 19th- and 20th-century literatures, literary and gender theory, and the history of political thought. One of her areas of research is contemporary Syrian literature and film.

Shehata previously taught at the American University in Cairo, Columbia University, New York University, and Georgetown University. He is the author of Shop Floor Culture and Politics in Egypt (SUNY, 2009 and republished with a new “Afterward” by the American University in Cairo Press in 2010), and editor of Islamist Politics in the Middle East: Movements and Change (Routledge, 2012).

He is finishing a new book on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s shift from an opposition movement to the dominant political party between 2005 and 2011.

His analysis and op-ed pieces have been published in The New York Times, Boston Globe/International Herald Tribune, Salon, Slate, Arab Reform Bulletin, Al Hayat, Al Ahram Weekly and other publications.

Shehata has provided commentary for a wide range of media, including CNN, BBC, PBS News Hour, NPR, Al Jazeera, Middle East Broadcasting Company, The New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Guardian, Le Monde and the Sydney Morning Herald.

For more information on the symposium, contact the Department of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at jinelc@wustl.edu.