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Aaron Rock-Singer

Department/Program(s):
  • Near Eastern Studies
Position: Graduate Student
Title: 4th-year graduate student
Office: Jones Hall



I'm a social and intellectual historian of Islam in 20th-century Egypt. I did my B.A at the University of Pennsylvania and my M.Phil at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. My dissertation examines the textual culture of Islamic magazines during the second half of the 1970s as a key site of the development of what we now call the “Islamic Revival” in Egypt. This project takes magazines seriously as religious texts and seeks to strike the difficult balance between the analysis of these texts, the history of textual objects (i.e., magazines), and the reading practices utilized by non-elites who handle these texts. It draws on theoretical models of textual culture proposed by historians of medieval and modern Europe to tell a story of writers, publishing houses funded by state and non-state institutions, and readers in Egypt during the Sadat period. It examines how each of these stages—writing, production, and reading—played a part of the production of variegated and contested meaning regarding the key issues of the Islamic Revival in Egypt during this period.