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Category: Academic publications

“State paradox”: Adam Sabra’s review of In Quest of Justice

Adam Sabra published the following review of In Quest of Justice in al-Ahram Weekly, issue 1437, 4-10 April 2019. Khaled Fahmy’s fascinating and important new book addresses fundamental questions about the nature of Egypt’s modernity. Tracing the origins of forensic medicine to the middle of the 19th century (1830-1880), Fahmy offers a revisionist account of the origins of the modern Egyptian state and its relationship to Islamic law. Critical of modernisation theories of both the right and left as well as of Islamist critiques of the legitimacy of Egypt’s path to modernity, Fahmy suggests that Egypt under the descendants of…

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Advanced praise for In Quest of Justice

In Quest of Justice: Islamic Law and Forensic Medicine in Modern Egypt  Due to be published by University of California Press in October 2018 Rights: Available worldwide Pages: 408 ISBN: 9780520279032 Trim Size: 6 x 9 Illustrations: 10 bw figures ORDER ONLINE AND SAVE 30% www.ucpress.edu/9780520279032 Use source code 17M6662 at checkout       “Fahmy rewrites the narrative of legal and institutional development by bringing in the Egyptian state with its new capacities and its elite as actors with clear interests and strategies of their own, as well as the broader Egyptian population whose protests and accommodations shaped this…

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Adventures in the Archives (1)

Last semester, spring 2017, I taught a class at Harvard on Arabic paleography and archival skills. Each week, we’d read a couple of Arabic, hand-written archival documents that I had culled from the Egyptian National Archives. The documents were mostly from the 19th century, although some dated from the 16th and 17th centuries. I’d have the documents transcribed and the quaint and odd words explained in advance. On their part, the students were supposed to a. translate the document,  and b. practice reading it at home and be prepared to read it in class from the original, hand-written text. The documents…

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