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Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics

Book presentation by Dr. Carl Rommel
Discussants: Dr. Nazanin Shahrokni and Dr. Samuli Schielke
Moderation: Dr. Sabiha Allouche

In cooperation with: C-MEP (Centre for Middle East Politics, University of Exeter)

Both a symbol of the Mubarak government’s power and a component in its construction of national identity, football served as fertile ground for Egyptians to confront the regime’s overthrow during the 2011 revolution. With the help of the state, appreciation for football in Egypt peaked in the late 2000s. Yet after Mubarak fell, fans questioned their previous support, calling for a reformed football for a new, postrevolutionary nation.
In Egypt’s Football Revolution, Carl Rommel examines the politics of football as a space for ordinary Egyptians and state forces to negotiate a masculine Egyptian chauvinism. Basing his discussion on several years of fieldwork with fans, players, journalists, and coaches, he investigates the increasing attention paid to football during the Mubarak era; its demise with the 2011 uprisings and 2012 Port Said massacre, which left seventy-two fans dead; and its recent rehabilitation. Cairo’s highly organized and dedicated Ultras fans became a key revolutionary force through their antiregime activism, challenging earlier styles of fandom and making visible entrenched ties between sport and politics. As the appeal of football burst, alternative conceptions of masculinity, emotion, and politics came to the fore to demand or prevent revolution and reform.

(University of Texas Press, 2021)

Dr. Carl Rommel is a Researcher at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology at Uppsala University. His anthropological research in Egypt focuses on masculinity, emotions, future making, sports, revolution and ‘projects’. After earning his PhD from SOAS, University of London, in 2015, Rommel has held postdoctoral positions in Berlin, Bern and Helsinki, and taught anthropology at Stockholm University. Rommel's current research – “Egypt as a Project: Dreamwork and Masculinity in a Projectified Society” – is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity and Uneasy Politics is his first book.

Dr. Nazanin Shahrokni is Assistant Professor of Gender and Globalisation and Director of MSc Programme in Gender and Gender Research at the London School of Economics. Nazanin is the author of the award-winning book, Women in Place: The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran (University of California Press 2020) which offers a gripping inquiry into gender segregation policies and women’s rights in contemporary Iran. She serves on the Executive Committee of the International Sociological Association and is on the advisory board of Middle East Law and Governance.

Dr. Samuli Schielke is a social and cultural anthropologist working on contemporary Egypt and its diasporas. He is Senior Research Fellow at Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin. He is author or editor of The Perils of Joy (2012), The Global Horizon (2012, with Knut Graw), Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes (2012, with Liza Debevec), Egypt in the Future Tense (2015), Migrant Dreams (2020), and Shared Margins (2021). His current research project The Search for a Normal Life follows the trajectories of migrant workers who seek to build a good life back home.

The event will be held via Zoom. Please register here: https://tinyurl.com/2bf73vjp

This event is part of the lecture series:
Book Presentation Series 2022
New Releases at ZMO