**CANCELLED** The End of the World? Egyptian Cultural Representations of the Nuclear Condition


Thursday, March 26, 2020, 4:30pm to 6:00pm


CMES, Rm 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents

Hebatalla Taha
Post-doctoral Researcher, Sciences Po, Paris

Please note: due to University precautions surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 2019) outbreak, this lecture has been **CANCELLED**  

Abstract: My presentation analyzes representations and interpretations of the nuclear condition in Egyptian society. I look at both fictional and non-fictional texts dealing with the emergence of nuclear technology. I argue that visions and imaginaries of both utopia and dystopia are intricately intertwined within Egyptian cultural representations of nuclear affairs. The advent of a nuclearized world has been depicted as inevitably bringing the Earth to self-destruction and annihilation, while at the same time reflecting prospects for prosperity, modernity, and scientific advancement. Such duality is present in both interpretations of past nuclear events and imagined nuclear futures. By carrying out an intellectual and social history of nuclear concepts and vocabularies, I highlight the symbolic meanings of nuclearism in Egypt. In doing so, the presentation aims to participate in the reconsideration and contextualization of nuclear affairs from the perspectives of everyday lives and languages, rather than the state and its institutions. In a similar vein, it aspires to transcend the Western-centric focus on concepts pertaining to nuclear issues that has dominated the literature on the nuclear condition.

Hebatalla Taha completed her DPhil at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, graduating in 2017. Her dissertation was entitled ‘The Political Economy of Palestinians in Israel: Encounters with Development and Neo-liberalization’. Her research interests include critical political economy, anthropology of development, as well as conflict and security, with focus on Palestine/Israel, Egypt, and the Middle East.

In 2018, Taha held a post-doctoral fellowship at the American University of Beirut, supported by the Arab Council for Social Sciences. Currently, Taha is a post-doctoral researcher at Sciences Po (Paris). Her post-doctoral projects trace the origins of ‘economic peace’ in Israel/Palestine to the immediate aftermath of 1948, examining the role of liberalism within Zionism.

Contact: Liz Flanagan