Darwin in Arabic

with Marwa Elshakry

hosted by Chris Gratien

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.

Stream via Soundcloud (preferred / US)

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 academia.edu)

Episode No. 140
Release date: 10 January 2014
Location: Columbia University, NY
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
Musical excerpt by Sheikh Imam
This episode is part of an ongoing series entitled History of Science, Ottoman or Otherwise.

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Citation: "Darwin in Arabic," Marwa Elshakry and Chris Gratien, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 140 (10 January 2014) http://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2014/01/darwin-evolution-arabic-translation.html.


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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