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Shaden M. Tageldin
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN 55455-2009)
Disarming Words: European Empires, Native Intellectuals, and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt, 1798-1952

This project shows how the psychodynamics of French and British cultural imperialisms in Egypt (1798-1952) lured colonized Egyptians to seek power through empire rather than against it, to translate their cultures into empowered "equivalence" with those of their dominators and thus repress inequalities between their dominators and themselves. Egyptian intellectuals, I argue, first began to "love" and to translate their colonizers' literatures when those writings spoke to them in "loving" translation: in Arabic or native idiom. Drawn by Europe's self- Arabizations to Europeanize Arabic literature in turn, Egyptians attached themselves to European empires even as they imagined themselves to be overcoming colonial domination.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
Comparative Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 8/31/2006