DESERT BORDERLAND: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya (Stanford University Press, March 2018) investigates the historical processes that transformed political identity in the easternmost reaches of the Sahara Desert in the half century before World War I. Adopting a view from the margins ― illuminating the little-known history of the Egyptian-Libyan borderland ― the book challenges prevailing notions of how Egypt and Libya were constituted as modern territorial nation-states.
Matt Ellis is Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs at Sarah Lawrence College. Matt specializes in the social, intellectual, and cultural history of the modern Middle East, and his research addresses the relationship between nationalism, territoriality, and political identity in Egypt and in the late Ottoman Empire. Desert Borderland is his first book. Light refreshments will be provided and books will be available for sale.