New Books in Urban Studies podcast

Hala Auji et al., "The Arab Nahda as Popular Entertainment: Mass Culture and Modernity in the Middle East" (I. B. Tauris, 2023)

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts
What was popular entertainment like for everyday Arab societies in Middle Eastern cities during the long nineteenth century? In what ways did café culture, theatre, illustrated periodicals, cinema, cabarets, and festivals serve as key forms of popular entertainment for Arabic-speaking audiences, many of whom were uneducated and striving to contend with modernity's anxiety-inducing realities?  Studies on the 19th to mid-20th century's transformative cultural movement known as the Arab nahda (renaissance), have largely focused on concerns with nationalism, secularism, and language, often told from the perspective of privileged groups. Highlighting overlooked aspects of this movement, this book shifts the focus away from elite circles to quotidian audiences. Its ten contributions range in scope, from music and visual media to theatre and popular fiction. Paying special attention to networks of movement and exchange across Arab societies in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Morocco, The Arab Nahda as Popular Entertainment: Mass Culture and Modernity in the Middle East (I. B. Tauris, 2023) heeds the call for 'translocal/transnational' cultural histories, while contributing to timely global studies on gender, sexuality, and morality. Focusing on the often-marginalized frequenters of cafés, artist studios, cinemas, nightclubs, and the streets, it expands the remit of who participated in the nahda and how they did. Raphael Cormack is an assistant professor of Arabic at the Durham University. He was previously a visiting researcher at Columbia University in the City of New York and holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. His most recent publication was Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt’s Roaring 20s (2021). He has also edited two collections of Arabic short stories translated into English, The Book of Khartoum and The Book of Cairo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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