Nasser Rabbat challenges the traditional framing strategies of East vs. West or traditional vs. modern, focusing instead on the dialectical relationship of modernity and history in the making of contemporary Cairo. Shaped by distinct waves of modernity from the colonial Napoleonic invasion of 1789 to the revolution and independence in 1952, the city responded with layers of urban, political, cultural, and economic adjustments. Most recently, the metropolis has been the theatre of a popular revolution whose consequences have yet to be assessed. Nasser Rabbat will question Cairo’s relationship with history into a new interpretive framework, which in turn may shed light on other developing metropolises today.
Learning From… Cairo is part of the lecture series Learning from… the Middle East.The Learning From… series takes its title from Learning From Las Vegas (1972), Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour’s influential publication, which analysed the commercial strips and architectural symbolism of Las Vegas in order to understand urban sprawl. In this spirit, the series brings together experts to explore specific urban conditions and their relevance to the future development of cities.