The critical theory of the Frankfurt School reached Egypt in 1955, when the Arabic translation of Erich Fromm’s The Sane Society (New York, 1955) was published in Cairo. Later, Herbert Marcuse’s Soviet Marxism (1958) was translated into Arabic in Beirut in 1965, and with the rise of student protests in France, Germany, and the United States, much attention was given to Marcuse; almost all his writings were translated into Arabic between 1969 and 1973. This article explores the nature of individual “receptions” of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School at Egyptian universities. To this end, it briefly introduces the early generation of the Frankfurt School, as well as the reasons of interest in its fate in Egyptian universities. Though master’s theses and doctoral dissertations do not represent a university’s orientation to critical theory, and at best represent the perspective of their individual authors, this article shows that key individual theses and dissertations testify to an early rejection of the Frankfurt School and to the late adoption of it as a critical paradigm of the transformations in Egyptian society.
The Frankfurt School at Egyptian Universities: Critical Observations
Haggag Ali is an Assistant Professor in Critical Theory at the Academy of Arts in Egypt; and is a Fulbright visiting scholar at Columbia University, New York. He is author of Mapping the Secular Mind (London, 2013). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Haggag Ali; The Frankfurt School at Egyptian Universities: Critical Observations. Contemporary Arab Affairs 1 December 2019; 12 (4): 104–120. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/caa.2019.12.4.104
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