Media of the Masses: Cassette Culture in Modern Egypt

28.08.2024 12:00 - 13:30English

Welcome to a book talk with historian Andrew Simon.

In Media of the Masses, Andrew Simon investigates the social life of an everyday technology—the cassette tape—to offer a multisensory history of modern Egypt. In the 1970s and 1980s, cassettes became a ubiquitous presence in Egyptian homes and stores. Audiocassette technology gave an opening to ordinary individuals, from singers to smugglers, to challenge state-controlled Egyptian media. Enabling an unprecedented number of people to participate in the creation of culture and circulation of content, cassette players and tapes soon informed broader cultural, political, and economic developments and defined “modern” Egyptian households.

In this talk, Andrew Simon (Dartmouth College) discusses his book in conversation with Pelle Valentin Olsen (UiB).

A light lunch will be served.

Event info.

Bergen Global
Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

28.08.2024
12:00 - 13:30
English
Add to calendar 28.08.2024, 28.08.2024
Andrew Simon
Senior Lecturer, Dartmouth College

Andrew Simon is a historian of media, popular culture, and the Middle East at Dartmouth College. He was a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in downtown Cairo during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and is the modern history book review editor for the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

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Pelle Valentin Olsen
Associate Professor, UiB

Pelle Valentin Olsen is a cultural, social, and transnational historian of the modern Middle East. His research and teaching focus on the history of leisure, labor, gender, sexuality, popular culture, and cultural production.

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Andrew Simon

Senior Lecturer, Dartmouth College

Andrew Simon is a historian of media, popular culture, and the Middle East at Dartmouth College. He was a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in downtown Cairo during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and is the modern history book review editor for the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Andrew is the author of Media of the Masses: Cassette Culture in Modern Egypt (Stanford University Press), which will be made available in Arabic by Dar El Shorouk later this year (2024). Currently, he is writing a biography of Shaykh Imam, a blind performer and political dissident, and is making his private collection of cassettes public in a digital archive for anyone to access.

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Pelle Valentin Olsen

Associate Professor, UiB

Pelle Valentin Olsen is a cultural, social, and transnational historian of the modern Middle East. His research and teaching focus on the history of leisure, labor, gender, sexuality, popular culture, and cultural production.

He focusses specifically on Iraq, but his work simultaneously explores transregional and transnational connections, highlighting everyday perspectives and voices often left out by traditional political and state-centered histories.

He received his PhD with honors from the University of Chicago in 2020. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Roskilde University in Denmark, where he worked on the ‘Entangled Histories of Palestine and the Global New Left’ project.

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Bergen Global is a joint initiative between the University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen Institute that addresses global challenges.