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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! series

Words Laying Down the ‘Modern’ Law: The Language Overhaul at the Root of ‘Modern’ Egypt (1822-1848)

Thursday 3 December 2020
What's New?! Fall 2020 Lecture Series
This is an online event. Please register to receive the link to the lecture.

In nineteenth-century Egypt, a new vocabulary for law and governance progressively emerged and shaped the way in which institutions functioned.  The articulation of this vocabulary both reflected and facilitated a closer, analytical appreciation of the functioning of law beyond the gates of confessional courts and other religious institutions.

Gianluca Parolin zooms in on the second quarter of the century (1822-1848) to consider various sites of experimentation of this language overhaul and various instances of such trials.  In particular, he considers a manuscript translation of Machiavelli’s Prince, the practices of the early issues of the Official Gazette (al-Waqāʾiʿ al-Miṣriyya) with both foreign and domestic governance structures, and finally Ṭahṭāwī’s experiments both in his canonical Taḫlīṣ al-Ibrīz and when directing the Official Gazette.

About Gianluca Parolin

Gianluca Parolin is a comparative constitutional lawyer of the Middle East, and is Professor of Law at the Aga Khan University in London, where he also leads the Governance Programme.   He previously taught at AUC and Cairo U (2008-2015).  He holds a PhD in Public Law from the University of Turin (2006).

Gianluca’s current research interests heavily focus on the transformations of the semiotics of law.  Taking Egypt as a case study, he engages with two particular moments: the articulation of a new semiotics for law and governance in the second quarter of the 19th century (as emerging from the newly established official gazette, and the early translations on law and governance) and contemporary articulations of different semiotics of law in popular culture (current Ramadan TV series).

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