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Darwin in Arabic | Marwa Elshakry

Historians have begun to explore the paradox of the identification of a would-be universal form of rational knowledge known as science with the particular historical experience of Europe. This begs the question: how have new forms of scientific knowledge been translated, received, assimilated, and engaged outside of the cultural contexts within which they were produced? In this episode, Marwa Elshakry examines the case of Arab engagement with and translation of Darwin's theory of evolution, which is the subject of her recently published book entitled Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950.

Marwa Elshakry is Associate Professor of History at Columbia University (see faculty page)
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University studying the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East (see

Citation: "Darwin in Arabic," Marwa Elshakry and Chris Gratien, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 140 (10 January 2014)


History of Science, Ottoman and Otherwise | Nir Shafir
The Enlightenment and the Ottoman World | Harun Küçük
Alchemy in the Ottoman World | Tuna Artun
Across Anatolia on a Bicycle | Daniel Pontillo
Darwin in Arabic | Marwa Elshakry


Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

"When Science Became Western: Historiographical Reflections". Isis. 101, no. 1: 98-109. 


Turan Kaya said...

Hi, where is the podcast?

Chris Gratien said...

Hi Turan, it releases on Friday January 10

Turan Kaya said...

Thanks Chris.

Arthur Decker said...

That was a great episode! Thank you!
I would also love to know how Darwin was received in Persia during the same period. If you ever run across anything about that, please let me know.

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