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Department of Sociology


This talk explores anticolonial memory and anticolonial archiving as entry points into broader questions of time, temporality and the politics of the present.

This event took place on Tuesday 30 November 2021


Thinking with Egypt’s project of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century, I focus on the varying ways in which anticolonial pasts express themselves in the present, and what this might suggest about the future. Through an exploration of two forms of anticolonial memory—one fleeting and fragmented, the other institutionalised and material—I think through both the urgency of the past and the present in Egypt, as well as the ways in which the crisis of the anticolonial past has structured the crisis of the postcolonial present.

About the speaker

Dr Sara Salem is an Assistant Professor at The London School of Economics and Political Science, and editor at the journals Sociological Review and Historical Materialism. Dr Salem's main research interests include; political sociology, postcolonial studies, Marxist theory, feminist theory, and global histories of empire and imperialism.

Her work explores the connections between postcolonial theory and Marxism, with special attention to the context of Egypt and the period of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century. She is particularly interested in questions of travelling theory, postcolonial/anti-colonial nationalism, and the afterlives and entanglements of the European empire in the ‘Middle East’.

Her first book, entitled Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt: The Politics of Hegemony, was published by Cambridge University Press in April 2020. This book builds its analysis of the afterlives of Egypt’s moment of decolonisation through an imagined conversation between Antonio Gramsci and Frantz Fanon around questions of anticolonialism, resistance, revolution and liberation.

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