I joined the LSE as an Assistant Professor in 2018. My main research interests include political sociology, postcolonial studies, Marxist theory, feminist theory, and global histories of empire and imperialism. I am an editor at the journals Sociological Review and Historical Materialism, and can be found on Twitter at @saramsalem.
My work explores the connections between postcolonial theory and Marxism, with special attention to the context of Egypt and the period of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century. I am particularly interested in questions of traveling theory, postcolonial/anti-colonial nationalism, and the afterlives and entanglements of European empire in the ‘Middle East’.
I convene the undergraduate course The Sociology of Race and Empire and the postgraduate course The Anticolonial Archive: The Sociology of Empire and its Afterlives, and co-convene the undergraduate course Advanced Social Theory.
My first book, entitled Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt: The Politics of Hegemony, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. This book builds its analysis of the afterlives of Egypt’s moment of decolonisation through an imagined conversation between Antonio Gramsci and Frantz Fanon around questions of anticolonialism, resistance, revolution and liberation. Anticolonial Afterlives argues that the Nasserist project – created by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the Free Officers in 1952 – remains the only instance of hegemony in modern Egyptian history, and that the 2011 revolution signified the end-point of its decline, decades after it was created. Nasserism was made possible in and through local, regional and global anticolonial politics, even as it reproduced colonial ways of governing that reverberate into Egypt’s present. Anticolonial Afterlives explores these tensions through Gramsci and Fanon, foundational theorists of anti-capitalism and anticolonialism, and in doing so engages with some of the problematics around applying Gramsci’s thought in contexts such as Egypt and thinking about Fanon’s writing in relation to anticolonialism today.
You can find my blog here.
Selected academic publications
2019 – Haunted Histories: Nasserism and the Promises of the Past. Middle East Critique.
2019 – Co-Editor of a Special Issue for Middle East Critique – Making and Unmaking Memories: The Politics of Time in the Contemporary Middle East
2018 - Reading Egypt’s Postcolonial State through Frantz Fanon: hegemony, dependency and development. Interventions: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies.
2018 - On transnational feminist solidarity: The case of Angela Davis in Egypt. Signs: Journal of women and culture in society.
2018 – Teaching tool: Intersectionality. I-Peel.
2017 - Critical interventions in debates on the Arab revolutions: centring class. Review of African Political Economy.
2017 – A Revolutionary Lifeline: Teaching Fanon in Post-Brexit Britain. Historical Materialism.
2017 - Four Women of Egypt: Memory, Geopolitics and the Egyptian Women’s Movement during the Nasser and Sadat Eras. Hypatia: A journal of feminist philosophy.
2017 - How far does neoliberalism go in Egypt? Gender, citizenship, and the making of the ‘rural’ woman. Review of African Political Economy.
2016 - Intersectionality and its discontents: intersectionality as traveling theory. European Journal of Women’s Studies.