Civil and the limits of politics in revolutionary Egypt
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© 2015 by Duke University Press. Based on analysis of scholarly and primary sources that include July 2011 and January and February 2014 fieldwork in Cairo, this article examines civil as a word with multiple synchronic meanings and shifts in valence in Egypt between January 2011 and July 2013. I argue that civil stood as a rhetorical placeholder in a time with few secure ideological positions, little agreement about the content of the good society, and wide recognition of the enormity of obstacles to transformation. The article draws on Jacques Rancière’s understandings of “politics” and “police” to examine sensibilities and relations of transgression and control that work on and through bodies, intimacies, and meanings of the civil. Among the essential lessons of the 2011 Arab revolutions is that ideological differences and material inequalities do not easily melt, even in emergent, pluralistic, and nondoctrinaire revolutionary politics, because it is difficult to erase positional and embodied differences in the scenes where politics are made.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1215/1089201X-3426445
Publication InfoHasso, Frances (2015). Civil and the limits of politics in revolutionary Egypt. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 35(3). pp. 605-621. 10.1215/1089201X-3426445. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19489.
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Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
I am an Associate Professor in the Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke with secondary appointments in the Department of History and Department of Sociology. I taught in and directed the International Comparative Studies Program at Duke from 2010-2015 and was a member of the Oberlin College faculty from 2000-2010. I am Editor Emerita (2015-2018) of the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies. I have been a National Humanities Cen