In the years leading up to the uprising that ousted authoritarian Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power, it was commonplace to hear outside observers and Egyptians alike blame the so-called apathy of Egyptians for the absence of revolt. Widely held views that Egyptians preferred to spend their time sipping tea at coffee shops, or watching television serials, or depending on the state for everything were immediately quashed in January and February 2011, when millions of Egyptians rose up in an effort to take down the regime that had oppressed them for decades.
Jessica Winegar is an associate professor of anthropology at Northwestern. Her areas of expertise include: material and visual culture, nationalism, religion, social class, youth, and gender. She is the author of numerous articles on arts and culture in the Middle East, with a number of recent writings on Egypt’s uprising. She is also the author of the book Creative Reckonings: The Politics of Art and Culture in Contemporary Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2006). This book won the Albert Hourani Book Award for Best book in Middle East studies and the Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award from the African Studies Association. She is also a co-author, with Lara Deeb, of a forthcoming book entitled Anthropology’s Politics: Discipline and Region through the Lens of the Middle East (Stanford University Press). She served as interim director of the Northwestern MENA Program in 2012 – 13. She received her PhD from New York University.