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Lecture, Lecture series

Bounded Knowledge. Doctoral Studies in Egypt

Book presentation by Daniele Cantini (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, affiliated research fellow at ZMO), organised in cooperation with the Research Cluster/Graduate School "Society and Culture in Motion" at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg.

Much scholarship has been devoted to debates around how global inequalities of knowledge production arise from asymmetric power relations and disparities in access to material resources, as well as values and practices that prioritize certain academic disciplines and research outputs over others. The central role played by universities in producing both knowledge and researchers is similarly acknowledged, with the doctorate increasingly recognized as a crucial phase in establishing both.
Bounded Knowledge: Doctoral Studies in Egypt (AUC Press) explores these debates from a uniquely Egyptian perspective. It provides a fresh, historical analysis of how doctoral studies evolved in Egypt and an ethnographic inquiry into the actual conditions of knowledge production in the country’s public universities, with focus on the humanities and social sciences. Although it is commonplace to speak of international collaborations in knowledge production, institutional settings and material conditions are so uneven as to make the fiction of equality impossible to sustain. The chapters in this book, by social scientists within and outside Egypt, look closely at how such academic hierarchies are reinforced in the context of the internationalization of research. They also look at the ways in which notions of socially responsible research, common the world over, are translated in the particularly Egyptian context: how research topics are discussed, how doctoral studies are organized, and ultimately, how society thinks about research.

Discussants: Moushira Elgeziri (Arab Council for the Social Sciences) and David Mills (Oxford University)

Opening Remarks: Reinhold Sackmann (director of the research cluster "Society and Culture in Motion" at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

Moderation: Kai Kresse (ZMO)

Daniele Cantini is a social anthropologist based at the University of Halle, Germany, where he serves as coordinator of the Research Cluster and Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion." He is also an affiliated researcher in the research unit "Contested Religion" at ZMO. His regional focus is the contemporary Middle East, in particular Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, where he lived for some years and conducted research on youth, university systems, subjectivity, religion, migration, and knowledge production. He is the author of Youth and Education in the Middle East: Shaping Identity and Politics in Jordan (2016).

The event will be held via Zoom. Please register at registration@zmo.de.

This event is part of the lecture series:

Book presentation series 2020/21

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