The Annual History Seminar


           Annual History SeminarAnnual History SeminarAnnual History Seminar


The Annual History Seminar started in the early nineties on a small and informal scale within our department and aimed at our own students.  Eventually, it expanded and targeted young historians from the national universities in Egypt. It has since then become one of the cultural landmarks of Cairo, and a forum for young scholars to meet for exciting intellectual and social exchanges. Over the years it has provided a generation of young scholars opportunities to broaden their intellectual horizons and benefit from presenting their work before a supportive audience. The Seminar encourages multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of Egyptian and Arab history and has focused on novel readings and revisions of social, economic and cultural histories.

The Seminar has established a reputation among the scholarly community in Cairo and provides an opportunity for a wide spectrum of Egyptian scholars, young and established, to interact with the university and sometimes with international scholars. It works as a mechanism for integrating AUC in the local intellectual context and creating a bridge with other universities. It is thus a tradition worth nurturing in the coming phase of AUC’s growth and especially as the university seeks to raise its research profile in the Middle East.

Previous sessions have focused on the following topics:


  • A Reconsideration of the Economic History of the Middle East, co-organized with the European Science Foundation (February, March and May 1997)
  • Reconsiderations in the Economic History of the Middle East, co-organized with European Science Foundation, The Individual and Society in the Mediterranean Muslim World (February, March, May and June 1998)
  • Making a Living: Between the Possible and the Impossible (February 26 - 28, 1999)
  • Control, Mobility and Self-Fulfillment: Learning and Culture in Egypt since the Middle Ages (April 13 - 15, 2000)
  • Khassa and Amma: Elite and Commoners in Egyptian History (March 14 - 16, 2002)
  • The Marginalized in History and Society (February 20 - 22, 2003)
  • Families and Households in History (March 18 - 20, 2004)
  • The Uses of Waqf: Pious Endowments, Founders and Beneficiaries (March 17 - 19, 2005)
  • Food for Thought: Cuisine, Culture, Politics and Society (March 20 - 22, 2008)
  • Reading and Books in Arab History (March 26 - 28, 2009)
  • The Historian’s Craft: Official and Popular Historical Narratives of Egypt and the Arab world since the Middle Ages [Session in Memory of Mohamed Hakim (1962-2007)](March 18 - 20, 2010)
  • Craftsmen and Labour in Medieval and Modern Egyptian History [Session In Memory of Professor Raouf Abbas (1939-2008)] (March 24 - 26, 2011)
  • Protest, Revolt, Revolution in Egyptian and Arab History (March 22 - 24, 2012)
  • Before the Modern, After the Medieval: Egypt and the Middle East in the 18th Century (March 28 - 29, 2014)
  • The 15th Century: Deep Transformations and New Possibilities (March 20 - 21, 2015)
  • Sharia, Fiqh, 'Urf, Qanun: Entangled Legal Histories of the Middle East (March 25-26, 2016)
  • The Sa’id in Egyptian History and Culture (March 2017)
  • Working in Egypt in the 19th Century  (March 2018)
  • 1919: Reconsiderations in modern Egyptian Social History (April 2019)