Two historians write opinions on the relevance of studying history and the Egyptian monarch’s ouster in Austin American-Statesman newspaper
Professor Joan Neuberger writes about the importance of history for understanding the present and Associate Professor Yoav Di-Capua about looking at the recent literature from the region to shed light on the youth’s seemingly surprise eruption in Tehrir Square.
Posted: February 14, 2011
2010 partial map of Egypt from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection of the UT Libraries System; map was produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Professor Joan Neuberger gives examples for thinking about historical revolutions to evaluate what's going on in Egypt using the Russian revolution of 1917 as one example that her colleagues and students are using to draw parallels to.
Closer to home, she looks back at past budget crises to put the current Texas budget crisis in perspective. Neuberger cites three recent historical films and the nuanced ways historical films encourage us to think historically about current values and behavior as well.
Neuberger is the editor of the Department of History’s recently launched Not Even Past website (January 2011) which taps professors and graduate students from the university to write articles, create podcasts, videos and more about history. Neuberger teaches courses on modern Russian history, nineteenth-century Europe, film, and visual culture.
Di-Capua points to Egypt’s own democratic experiment with a multiparty system dating back to 1923-52 as a possible direction that Egyptians will use to forge their new government.
No matter what other revolutionary analogy one chooses to reexamine for possibilities for the future, “We are at the doorstep of a major regional reshuffling in which everything, including the American position in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the nature and attitude of local regimes — as well as the regional response to Iran's nuclear project — is up for reconsideration,” he writes.
Di-Capua teaches courses on modern Egypt, Middle Eastern studies, and modern Arab and Islamic texts. He has established a Histories of the Modern Middle-East website with the assistance from The University of Texas’s Information Technology Systems Instructional Technology Services.