Prominent historian to lecture on the rise of the West

Mohammed Saad , Tuesday 6 Mar 2012

Historian Peter Gran, whose work challenges Euro-centric views of Egypt's history, will lecture on the rise of the West at the culture headquarters in Zamalek on Wednesday, 6pm

Peter Gran

Professor of modern Egyptian history at Temple University, Peter Gran, will lecture on The Rise of the West at the Supreme Council for Culture headquarters in Zamalek on Wednesday at 6:00pm.

Peter Gran, historian, specialised in the Egypt’s modern history, is best known for his book The Islamic Roots of Capitalism, which dismantled the assumptions that rhetoric on Egyptian modern history is based on. He directly contradicted Euro-centric postulates on Egyptian history, arguing that modernisation (which started after the 1798 French campaign in Egypt) could have started even if the West had not interfered. Furthermore, he argues that that the French campaign interrupted internal cultural flourishing in Egypt.

The historian also tried to change the filter of "Oriental despotism model," that historians use to interpret Egyptian history.

However, Khaled Fahmy, the Egyptian historian, thinks that though Gran’s work at this point seems to be challenging the Euro-centrism, it’s still reproducing it by insisting on placing the West as a model by which to measure modernisation. Fahmy points out that Gran based his arguments and judged Egypt's modernisation based on European milestones and criteria.

The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Supreme Council for Culture (SCC) will host the lecture.

Wednesday, 7March, 6:00pm
Supreme Council for Culture headquarters
Cairo Opera House at Geairet Al-Zamalek


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