Walter Armbrust


Professor of Modern Middle Eastern Studies

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern StudiesSt Antony's College


Research Interests:

  • Mass media and popular culture of the Middle East
  • Revolutions
  • Egypt
  • Anthropology

Current Projects:

  • A Symbolic Revolution: Culture and Politics in Post-Mubarak Egypt (under contract with Princeton University Press)
  • A history of New Media in Egypt, 1919-1975

Courses Taught:

  • For Final Honours School in Arabic and Islamic Studies or Arabic with a Subsidiary Language: Further Subject (3rd year) on Society and Culture in the Modern Arab World; Special Subject (4th year) in Popular Culture and Mass Media, 1930 to the Present.
  • For the M.Phil in Modern Middle East Studies: Social Anthropology of the Middle East; Mass Media in the Middle East.

Recent Publications:

  • 2013     “The Trickster in Egypt’s January 25th Revolution.”  Comparative Studies in Society and History 55 (4): 834-864
  • 2012     “Dreaming of Counter-revolution: Rami al-I‘tisami and the Pre-negation of Protest.”  Cinema Journal 52 no. 1: 143-148.
  • 2012     “History in Arab Media Studies: A Speculative Cultural History.”  In Arab Cultural Studies, Tarik Sabry ed.  I.B. Tauris, pp. 32-54.
  • 2012     “Islamic Bodies and Neoliberal Places in Two Egyptian Films.”  Material Religion 8 (3): 355-373
  • 2012     “A History of New Media in the Arab Middle East,” 16(3): 155-174.
  • 2012     “Sally Zahran: Ikunat al-Thaura.”  Fusul 80: 84-125 (in Arabic, translated by Walid Sami Salim).
  • 2012     “The Ambivalence of Martyrs and the Counter-revlution.”  Cultural Anthropology: Journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, online “Hot Spots” section.
  • 2011     “The Revolution against Neoliberalism.”  Jadaliyya February 23
  • 2011     “Political Films in Contemporary Egypt.”  In Josef Gugler ed., Film and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa: Creative Dissidence.  Austin: University of Texas Press, pp. 228-251
  • 2010     “Cinema and Television in the Arabic-speaking World.”  Iin Robert hefner ed., New Cambridge History of Islam (Muslims and Modernity: Culture and Society since 1800).  Vol. 6.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 625-647
  • 2008   "Long Live Love: Patriarchy in the Time of Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab."  History Compass 6 (

Full Publications

Further Info:

Photograph of Walter Armbrust