Nationality and Cosmopolitanism in Alexandria | Will Hanley

E345 | In this episode, Will Hanley transports us to the gritty, stranger-filled streets of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, as we discuss his book, Identifying with Nationality: Europeans, Ottomans, and Egyptians in Alexandria. We explore how nationality—an abstract tool in the pages of international legal codes—became a new social and legal category that tangibly impacted the lives of natives and newcomers to Alexandria at the turn of the twentieth century. We consider how nationality brought together the previously impersonal, stranger networks using an array of paper technologies, vocabularies, and legal practices that forged bonds of affiliations between the individuals and groups that inhabited the city. Finally, we discuss how Egyptians and non-European foreigners, such as Algerians, Tunisians, and Maltese, benefited or were disenfranchised from a legal hierarchy that privileged white, male Europeans. More at Will Hanley is associate professor of history at Florida State University. He is currently working on a historical gazetteer of the Ottoman empire ( and a digitization of the Egyptian Gazette ( Taylor M. Moore is a PhD Candidate in Modern Middle Eastern History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is interested in the interconnected histories of medicine, magic, and ethnographic museums in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Egypt. Episode No. 345 Release Date: 8 February 2018 Recording Location: Princeton University Audio editing by Chris Gratien Music: Mohamed Abdel Wahab - Al-Dunya al-Leil wal-Nugum Bandista - Gavur İmam İsyanı Special thanks to Kara Günes for permission to use the composition "Istanbul" Bibliography courtesy of Will Hanley available at

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