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Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics

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Duration: 0:31:03 | Added: 29 Sep 2021
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Duration: 0:28:32 | Added: 29 Sep 2021
Join us for Booktalk Episode 8, Dr Carl Rommel (University of Helsinki) in conversation about his new book Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics, published by University of Texas Press in July 2021.

Professor Walter Armbrust (St Antony's College, Oxford) chairs the discussion.

The book is available for purchase for customers in Europe and the Middle East from https://www.combinedacademic.co.uk/9781477323175/egypts-football-revolut..., quote CSFS2021 at check-out for 30% discount; and for customers in the US, https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/rommel-egypts-football-revolution, quote UTROMEGY at check-out for 20% discount.

This video is also available with accessibility features as a podcast at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/middle-east-centre-booktalk

Extract from publisher’s website: Both a symbol of the Mubarak government’s power and a component in its construction of national identity, football served as fertile ground for Egyptians to confront the regime’s overthrow during the 2011 revolution. With the help of the state, appreciation for football in Egypt peaked in the late 2000s. Yet after Mubarak fell, fans questioned their previous support, calling for a reformed football for a new, post revolutionary nation.

In Egypt’s Football Revolution, Carl Rommel examines the politics of football as a space for ordinary Egyptians and state forces to negotiate a masculine Egyptian chauvinism. Basing his discussion on several years of fieldwork with fans, players, journalists, and coaches, he investigates the increasing attention paid to football during the Mubarak era; its demise with the 2011 uprisings and 2012 Port Said massacre, which left seventy-two fans dead; and its recent rehabilitation. Cairo’s highly organized and dedicated Ultras fans became a key revolutionary force through their anti regime activism, challenging earlier styles of fandom and making visible entrenched ties between sport and politics. As the appeal of football burst, alternative conceptions of masculinity, emotion, and politics came to the fore to demand or prevent revolution and reform.

Dr Carl Rommel is a social anthropologist, who earned his PhD from SOAS, University of London (2015). His doctoral research explored the emotional politics of Egyptian football before and after the January 2011 Revolution. Currently, Dr Rommel is a postdoctoral research affiliate in the ERC-funded Crosslocations project at the University of Helsinki. He also teaches anthropology at Stockholm University. His ongoing field research in Cairo interrogates intersections between precarity, masculinity, temporality and urban space in, around and through a variety of large and small ‘projects’ (mashari‘). Dr Rommel’s research has been published in Critical African Studies, Middle East – Topics & Arguments, and Men and Masculinities.

Other key article publications by Carl Rommel are:

- Rommel, Carl (2018) “Men in time: On masculine productivity, corruption and youth football in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution” Men and Masculinities, 21(3), 341-362, DOI: 10.1177/1097184X17748173.

- Rommel, Carl (2016) “Troublesome Thugs or Respectable Rebels: Class, martyrdom and Cairo’s revolutionary Ultras” Middle East – Topics & Arguments, 6, 33-42, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17192/meta.2016.6.3788.

- Rommel, Carl (2014) “A Veritable Game of the Nation: On the changing status of football within the Egyptian national formation in the wake of the 2009 World Cup qualifiers against Algeria” Critical African Studies, 6(2-3), 157-175, DOI: 10.1080/21681392.2014.936079.

- Rommel, Carl (2011) “Playing with difference: Football as a performative space for division among Suryoye migrants in Sweden” Soccer & Society, 12(6), 850-864, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2011.609684.

Professor Walter Armbrust is a Hourani Fellow and Professor in Modern Middle Eastern Studies. He is a cultural anthropologist, and author of Mass Culture and Modernism in Egypt (1996); Martyrs and Tricksters: An Ethnography of the Egyptian Revolution (2019); and various other works focusing on popular culture, politics and mass media in Egypt. He is editor of Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and Beyond (2000).

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