Magdi Youssef

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Magdi Youssef lecturing.
Magdi Youssef lecturing.

Magdi Youssef (born 22 July 1936 ) is an Egyptian professor of comparative literature and culture studies. He has taught at various universities in Europe and Egypt until his retirement.[1] Al-Ahram (according to the Middle East Institute the equivalent of the New York Times in the Arab World) called Youssef “the renowned culture critic.”[2] He is widely noted in the Arab world for his analytic interventions that focus on cultural alienation and unequal exchange in the sphere of culture.[3] His book Critical Battles received wide attention.[4] Youssef has contributed to the proceedings of comparative literature congresses in Latin America, Asia, Europe and the US., and to such journals as Al-Hilal, the International Journal of Middle East Studies (Cambridge Univ. Press) and Theatre Research International (Oxford Univ. Press). He is also the founding president of the International Association of Intercultural Studies (IAIS) and still actively involved in theoretical debates related to intercultural relations and comparative literature.[5]

Youssef is a member of the Association pour l'avancement des études islamiques, Collège de France (Paris).[6] He is also listed as a member of the International Sociological Association (ISA), L'Association Internationale des Sociologues de Langue Francaise, the International Brecht Society, based in the USA, the Egyptian Association of Plastic Art Critics and the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA).[7] Magdi Youssef adheres to the Egyptian writers' union and the German Schriftstellerverband.[8]

Outside academe, Youssef was widely noted as a critic of contemporary developments and a culture critic by such daily newspapers and weeklies as The Irish Times, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al Qahira, Al-Ahram Daily, Al-Ahram Hebdo, Al-Ahram Weekly, as well as other media in the Arab World, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, and the US.[9]

Background and academic formation[edit]

Magdi Youssef is a native of Cairo. After completing his social scientific studies at Ain Shams University in Cairo and pursuing advanced studies in Germany, he acquired in October 1975 the degree of Dr. rer. soc. from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Bochum University (recognized by the Supreme Council of Universities of Egypt as the equivalent of a Ph.D.). From 1963 till 1971, he collaborated with the German ‘orientalist’ Annemarie Schimmel, translating literary and philosophical texts and contributing to the periodical Fikrun wa Fann (Thought and Art)[10] He has two children.

Academic career[edit]

Youssef taught at German universities since 1965. After intensive debates with conventional Orientalists, he established and taught the hitherto contested subject of Modern and Contemporary Arabic Literature and Culture at Cologne University. Modern and Contemporary Arabic Literature had been widely ignored in German academe (which specialized in Classical Arabic and the Islamic Legacy). Youssef continued to teach this subject at Cologne University until 1971.

From October 1971-76, Youssef taught Modern Arabic Literature and Culture at the Department of Philology at Bochum University. Since then he has lectured on the Interactions between the Arab and Western Socio-Cultural Formations in Modern Times, at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Bochum University, at post-graduate level.[11]

From 1979-81, Youssef continued to commute between Bochum and Tanta, teaching Methodology of Research at the Department of Sociology and the Department of Philosophy at Tanta University (Egypt).[12] He was Professor of Methodology of Research at the Academy of Arts in Cairo from 1983-84.[13] Until his retirement, Magdi Youssef was Professor of Comparative Literature and Drama Studies at the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University (from the mid-1980s-2005).[14] From 1988-91 he was simultaneously a visiting Professor of Methodology of Research at the Faculty of Mass Communication at the same university.[15] Youssef has also been a visiting Professor at Trinity College Dublin.[16] And he taught at Bonn University in the context of Gastprofessur.[17] More recently, he has been offered a research fellowship at the Free University of Berlin (in 2014 and 2015).

A culture critic focused on intercultural studies[edit]

In 1976 Youssef published a study on “Brecht in Egypt” that reveals his main methodological focus. In this study which elucidated the influence of spontaneous actor-public interaction in popular As Samir performances on advanced, Egyptified stagings of Brecht's plays, he already emphasized the active rather than passive aspect of reception as a socio-culturally ‘situated’ process that typically occurs in a context of specific interests, needs, etc.[18] The value of this study was noted by Prof. Stéphane Santerres-Sarkany.[19] Other scholars saw the study as very valuable, too, notably Martin Franzbach.[20] The book was also praised by the Brecht scholar Reinhold Grimm. Grimm wrote that "Youssef's approach is highly enlightening, and in fact, exemplary for any future investigation of Brecht's influence in the Third World."[21] Recognizing the relevance of Youssef's approach to modern theater, the Goethe Institute in Tunis invited Youssef in 1972 to deliver lectures about Brecht's theatre in the Arab World. At the time, his Arabic translation of Brecht's play "Der Jasager und der Neinsager" was performed in the Tunisian province Al-Kaf; it was directed by Monsef Al-Souissi. Due to Youssef’s continuous focus on the theater as an effective medium of socio-cultural interaction, he was invited to address the Colloquium organized in the context of the international theater festival in Carthage, Tunisia, in 1995. On this occasion, he was also a member of the jury of the Festival International de Carthage.[22]

For many years, Youssef has been engaged in testing his methodological approach, re-formulating it where necessary. Intercultural studies and comparative literature research have never been a purely literary concern for him. He situated both in social and political contexts. As Peter Horwath mentions, it was enlightening that Youssef critically discussed “[e]conomic and cultural contacts between Arab and European nations during the modern era” (p. 129) at the XVth Triennial Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et littératures modernes.[23] That he saw the link between economics and culture was not accidental.

An editorial commentary in the Proceedings of the Tenth Congress of the ICLA (published in 1985) asserted that “references to neo-Marxist explanations and ideological analysis” could be found in the paper that Youssef presented at this Congress.[24] Whether this label suggested by either D. W. Fokkema or E. C. Smith or both is appropriate, is subject to further debate.[25] Other, more careful commentators defined Youssef as a sharp critic of “Eurocentrism” (respectively “West[ern]-Centrism”).[26]

Youssef described himself as “a theorist of intercultural studies” who is mainly interested in analyzing the interaction between “modern and contemporary Arab vs Western socio-cultural formations. […] His publications […] deal with the study of the mechanisms of socio-cultural relations between different societal formations.”[27]

In the late 1990s, a critical study entitled “The Myth of European Literature” caught the attention of such scholars as Franca Sinopoli, Armando Gnisci and Peter Caravetta. Caravetta noted especially Youssef’s epistemological critique of Edward Said: Because of Said’s indebtedness to Auerbach and Curtius, Youssef found his critique of orientalism ambivalent.[28] According to Caravetta, Youssef critiqued the fact that Edward Said, very much like Auerbach and Curtius, could not help but comprehend ‘realism’ as an ‘intra-literary’ phenomenon. Youssef held that literature, in so far as it is a human product, and in so far as it works or functions in an interactive way, is a process which takes place inside society, however.[29]

Armando Gnisci saw in Youssef’s Myth of European Literature an important theoretical contribution to a “poetics of decolonization” that challenges dominant Western literary concepts of literature and the Western literary canon.[30]

Youssef's reflections on Arab Comparative and General Literature were widely noted and they were accorded a considerable reception, as they appeared in English, in Italian, and in Irish.[31] Likewise, a summary of his research and his methodological considerations with regard to “Literary and Social Transformations” (pertaining to the relationship of European and Arabic Literatures) were noted also outside the English-speaking world.[32] And so was his analysis concerning the (lacking) balance of translation from Western into Non-Western languages and conversely, from languages rooted in the so-called Third World into English and other main languages of the Northern hemisphere.[33]

Intervention in the Arab, Egyptian, and international debate about globalization and cultural hegemonism[edit]

In 2001, the critic Mahmoud El-Wardani called Youssef’s new book “From Sociocultural Interference to Cross-cultural Interaction” [M. Youssef, Min Al-Tadakhul ila Al-Tafa'ul Al-Hadari. Al-Hilal Book, Dar Al-Hilal, 2001] a “valuable book” that “deals with the challenges globalization posits for Third World countries. The main concern of the book is how people of the Third World could be not merely consumers of knowledge but also producers. It is divided into three sections; the first dealing with theoretical approaches to the dialectics of the self and the other in the present time, the second attempts an application of the theory elaborated in the first section on selected works of literature and art. The final section engages in critical debates with a number of well-known figures in Arab culture.”[34]

As an article in Al-Ahram Weekly notes, “Youssef describes his life's work as a single, protracted attempt at establishing, in the Western academic mentality, the existence of a contemporary Arab culture -- in the widest sense of the word. And it is on the vitality, creativity and "objective difference" of such a culture, he insists, that every successful step on the way to demystifying Orientalist preconceptions about the Arab world has depended.”[35]

Al-Ahram Weekly repeatedly noted Youssef's critique of the hegemony of Western media, including televised and printed cartoons of the Walt Disney type.[36] In this context, Youssef's essay “Arab Fairy-Tales in Disney-Times” deserved attention.[37]

According to Youssef, “the West's subtle psychological barriers complicate the process of intercultural exchange," a staff writer of Al Ahram Weekly noted.[38]

Youssef was also rather critical of the cultural bureaucracy of the Mubarak regime and of the Arab League's cultural bureaucracies when the Arab World was Guest of Honor at the International Frankfurt Book Fair in 2004.[39] He has generally been critical of dictatorships, including that of Mubarak. His commitment to democracy motivates him to comment regularly on the state of affairs in Egypt in the Arab version of the Egypt Independent, i.e. in Al-Masry Al-Youm.[40] Some of his articles in Al-Masry al-Youm aroused controversies in the Arab-Egyptian media, for instance in the weekly journal al-Qahira. Here, one of the most renowned Egyptian and Arab columnists, al-Sayed Yasin, commented for instance on Oct. 9, 2012 in his weekly column entitled Meditations on M. Youssef's article What is Reading and What is Illiteracy? (published in Al-Masry al-Youm, Sept. 28, 2012). Al-Masry al-Youm refers to him (in Arabic) as “Magdi Youssef · Top Commenter · Professor of Comparative Literature and Methodology of Research at Cairo University.”

According to an interviewer, one of his goals as a scholar is to “help place Arab culture on an equal footing with the West.”[41]

Reflecting on the shortcomings of the Arab League’s cultural program during the 2004 Frankfurt Book fair, “comparative literature professor Magdi Youssef's, stress[ed] scholarly issues” – most notably “the programme's failure to take account of Arab achievements in the natural sciences, an omission that [in Youssef’s view] confirms the [false] notion that Arabs have made no contribution to material knowledge for centuries.”[42]

The Congress of the IAIS in 2009 (organized by Youssef) that took place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris has sought to correct this perception, as scholars from various disciplines, both from the West and the Arab world, evaluated the Arab contribution to “world culture” in a wide range of fields that include the natural and social sciences as well as literature and the arts (e.g. the architecture of Rasem Badran and of the late Hassan Fathi).[43]

Editorial activities[edit]

Youssef is listed as an adviser to the editorial board of Sotour (a monthly literary and cultural review based in Cairo and London). He is also an adviser to the editorial board of the Yearbook of Comparative Literature (published by Cairo University). He is currently the general editor of the book series: Towards a Really Rational World Culture, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in the U.K. This series aim at presenting the contributions of the so far marginalized socio-cultures to World Culture thus to make for a real cultural exchange worldwide, instead of the prevailing one-sided globalized Western 'World culture'.[44]

Published works (A selection of books and key articles)[edit]

  • Magdi Youssef, Brecht in Aegypten: Versuch einer literatursoziologischen Deutung, Bochum (Brockmeyer Universitaetsverlag) 1976. [Brecht's Theater in Egypt: A Socio-literary Interpretation.]
  • Magdi Youssef, The Socio-Cultural Interaction Processes between the Arab World and the West in Modern Times, in: Intercultural Studies, Bochum, 1983, pp. 11–47.
  • Magdi Youssef (Bochum), “Sociology of the Emergence and Development of European Forms of Theatre in Modern Arabic Literatures,” in: Actes du VIIIe Congrès de L'Association Internationale de Littérature Comparée: Littératures de diverses cultures au vingtième siècle. (International Comparative Literature Association. Congress), ed. by Béla Köpeczi, György Mihály Vajda – 1980, pp. 207ff.
  • Magdi Youssef, al-Tadakhul al-Hadari wa'l Istiqlal al-Fikri (Socio-Cultural Interference and Intellectual Independence), Cairo 1993. (In Arabic).
  • Magdi Youssef, “Brecht’s Theatre and Social Change in Egypt (1954-71),” in: Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University Press, No. 63, May 1994, pp. 59–73. Republished in the first issue of:www.arabstages.org
  • Magdi Youssef, “Towards a Multi-Centric Literary Canon: The Arab Contribution, in: Language and Literature Today”, in: Proceedings of the 19th Triennial Congress of the International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures, pp. 496–498 (abstract), in: Language and literature today: proceedings of the XIXth triennial congress of the International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures ; interdisciplinary approaches to language and literature. Languages and literature in the "global village". (Universidade de Brasília) 1996
  • Magdi Youssef, The Myth of European Literature (extended version), Aachen-Rotterdam (Symposium Press) 1998.
  • Magdi Youssef, “Towards a Real Decentralization of the Literary Canon: The Arab Contribution,” in: Horwath, Peter; Hendrickson, William L; Valdivieso, L. Teresa; Thor, Eric P. (eds): Humanism and the Good Life, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Congress of the World Federation of Humanists, New York (Peter Lang) 1998, pp. 381–389.
  • Magdi Youssef, Min al-Tadakhul ila at-Tafa'ul al-Hadari(From Socio-Cultural Interference to Cross-Cultural Interaction), Cairo (Kitab al-Hilal) 2001. (In Arabic).
  • Magdi Youssef, Ma'arik Naqdiyya (Critical Debates), Cairo 2007. 2nd edition.(In Arabic).
  • Magdi Youssef, “From A Philological To A Social-Scientific Approach With Regard To Comparative Literary Research”, in: Coutinho, Eduardo F. (ed.): Beyond Binarisms. Proceedings of the 18th International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) [Conference, held in Rio de Janeiro 2007], Rio de Janeiro 2009.
  • Magdi Youssef, " Decolonizing World Literature", in: D'haen, Theo, Jannis Goerland and Roger Sell (eds.): Major versus Minor ?- Languages and Literature in a Globalized World. John Benjamin's Publishing Company: Amsterdam and Philadelphia, 2015, pp. 125–140.
  • Magdi Youssef, As'ilat al-Manhag al-Naqid ( Questions of a Critical Methodology/Epistemology ), Cairo, 2016, pp 378.
  • Magdi Youssef, (ed.and co-author), The Contemporary Arab Contribution To World Culture: An Arab-Western Dialogue, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018, pp. 225.

Further reading[edit]

  • Armando Gnisci, Una Storia Diversa [A Different History of World Literature], Roma (Meltemi Editore) 2001.
  • Armando Gnisci, “Letteratura Globale e Letteratura dei Mondi”, in: Sinopoli, F. (ed.), La letteratura europea vista dagli altri, Roma (Meltemi Editore) 2003.
  • Peter Horwath et al. (eds), Humanism and the Good Life, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Congress of the World Federation of Humanists, New York (Peter Lang) 1998.
  • Stephane Santerres- Sarkany, Théorie de la littérature, Paris (P.U.F. / Que sais-je ?) 1990
  • Franca Sinopoli (ed.), La letteratura europea vista dagli altri, Roma (Meltemi Editore) 2003.
  • Franca Sinopoli (ed.), Il mito della letteratura europea, Roma (Meltemi Editore) 1999.

See also[edit]

  • Magdi Youssef, "Half A Century of Curiosity", in: Al-Hilal (monthly cultural review, Cairo), Aug. 2000, pp. 192–201

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cf. Franca Sinopoli’s editorial note in her book “European Literature, seen by others” which mentions: “Magdi Youssef insegna Letteratura comparata all’ Università de Il Cairo (Egitto)” (Franca Sinopoli (ed.), La letteratura europea vista dagli altri, Roma (Meltemi) 2003, p.67).
  2. ^ Mahmoud El-Wardani, “At A Glance” (book reviews), in: al Ahram Weekly, Issue No.538, June 14–20, 2001, culture page. - Also accessible in the online edition.
  3. ^ Mahmoud El-Wardani, “At A Glance”, ibidem.
  4. ^ In the Al Ahram Weekly article “Battle of the mind,” Assem El-Dessouqi writes that “real problems begin when a writer automatically discards criticism on the grounds that the critic is merely out to slander him, instead of offering corrections or enhancing readers' knowledge of the subject at hand. […] What a relief, then, to come across Magdi Youssef, a writer who knows that the true value of criticism lies in its capacity to promote original thought and to raise literacy standards. Moreover, having an extensive sociological background and, thus, a thorough familiarity with the jargon, Youssef is alert to misappropriations of sociological terms. As a result, in his new book Critical Battles, Youssef is well placed to address many of criticism's central concerns.” (Assem El-Dessouqi, “Battles of the mind,” in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue 630, 20–26 March 20–26, 2003. Culture page. – Also online. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-12-30. )
  5. ^ Cf. N.N., "No one listened / Science, independence and grassroots art: a German-based Egyptian scholar offers critical insight into the Arab presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair" in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 707, Sept. 9-15, 2004 (Culture page); see also: Mme. Sosostris, “Pack of Cards,” in: Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue No.511, 7–13 December 2000, culture page.
  6. ^ See for instance his “Intervention sur la méthodologie de la recherche,” in: Discours, écriture et société dans le Monde Islamique Contemporain, Actes du Colloque de l’Association pour l’Avancement des Études Islamiques, Collège de France, Paris, 1982, pp.70-71, that he contributed as an active member of the association.
  7. ^ See the Egyptian Who is Who, the Who is Who in the Middle East, and the International Who is Who in Asian Studies (H.K.).
  8. ^ See the biographical note in: Intercultural Studies http://www.intercultural-studies.org/biography/biography.shtml.
  9. ^ The Irish Times mentioned Youssef, for instance, as the leading figure of the writers and artists who protested in 1991 against the impending Gulf War. The Irish Times gave the following list: “Professor Dr Magdi Youssef (Egyptian writer on sabbatical in Dublin), Gabriel Rosenstock (writer), Nuala Ní Dhomnaill (poet), Hugh Maxton (poet), Brendan Kennelly (poet), Robert Ballag (artist), Jennifer Johnston (writer), Kader Asmal (lecturer), Aodh O'Chanain (writer in Irish).” See: “Open Letter to Mr. Bush: No to War / An appeal by writers and artists as the UN deadline looms,” in: The Irish Times, Jan. 15, 1991, p.5. – The reference, in the open letter, to the Arab philosopher and poet Abul-Alaa who, by relying on reason, convinced a commander-in-chief not to destroy his native place called “al-Maara,” suggests that Youssef took the initiative of writing this open letter and asking other writers and artists to join in signing it. The play "Draussen vor der Tür" (Outside the Door" mentioned in the petition, that was written by the German author Wolfgang Borchert in the aftermath of World War 2, and became an icon of anti-war literature, had been translated from German into Arabic by Youssef when he was in his early twenties and performed since by youth companies in four Arab countries, among which the Lebanon in 1994 while being projected on the Lebanese civil war of the time.
  10. ^ . In her book Morgenland und Abendland: Mein west-östliches Leben [Orient and Occident: My West-Eastern Life], Prof. Annemarie Schimmel, remembers walking through a quarter of Cairo with her old collaborator Magdi Youssef, the “früheren Hauptübersetzer für Fikrun wa Fann” (main translator for Fikrun wa Fann ), a journal that she edited. (Annemarie Schimmel, Morgenland und Abendland: Mein west-östliches Leben. Munich (C.H.Beck Verlag) 4th ed. 2003, pp.221f.
  11. ^ See the announcement of Youssef's lectures and seminars in the printed Vorlesungsverzeichnisse (teaching programs of Cologne and Bochum Universities of that period.
  12. ^ Cf. an editorial note appended to an article contributed by Youssef that appeared in: General problems of literary history. / Problèmes généraux de l'histoire littéraire. (Proceedings of the Xth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association Congress), edited by Douwe Wessel Fokkema; Edward C Smith (ICLA), New York (Garland Pub.) 1985.
  13. ^ Cf. Asian journal of economics and social studies: Volume 9, Jan. 1, 1990 (ed. by Prof. R.L. Goel on behalf of the Society for Asian Development, Delhi, India), p.88.
  14. ^ See the state-sponsored Who is Who in Egypt, 1989, first edition, p. 278; see also: Mme. Sosostris, “Pack of Cards,” in: Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue No.511, 7–13 December 2000, culture page.
  15. ^ See the state-sponsored Who is Who in Egypt, 1989, first edition, p.278.
  16. ^ Cf. Mme. Sosostris, ibidem.
  17. ^ See the catalog of Bonn University which lists his Hauptseminar “Arabische Verflechtungen in der Moderne” in 2009.
  18. ^ M. Youssef, Brecht in Aegypten: Versuch einer literatursoziologischen Deutung, Bochum (Brockmeyer Universitaetsverlag) 1976. [Brecht's Theatre in Egypt: A Socio-literary Interpretation.].
  19. ^ Santerres-Sarkany writes: “En Egipto esta clase de teatro tiene un gran pasado. El teatro ‘As Samir’ hacía la parodia, sin duda, de la gente de las localidades de provincias, con motivo de las bodas, a las que se invitaba a los actores para entretener a los demás, pero que no dejaba, además, de denunciar los problemas políticos del momento. Este teatro egipcio utiliza una multitud de lenguajes simbólicos, y lleva al espectador a un movimiento común, global, de la dinámica de la representación, lo que lo hace un participante activo –como recordó juiciosamente Magdi Youssef.” (Stéphane Santerrers-Sarkany, Teoría de la Literatura. México, D.F. (Publicaciones Cruz O., S.A.) 1992, p. 80. - ISBN 968-20-0194-3)
  20. ^ Franzbach, Martin (1976), Review of M. Youssef’s Brecht in Aegypten, in: Germanistik, Internationales Referatenorgan mit bibliographischen Hinweisen, 17. Jahrgang 1976, Heft 3, p. 843.
  21. ^ Reinhold Grimm, “Brecht. A Polemical Assessment”, in: Monatshefte, vol. 69, No.3, 1977, p.346.
  22. ^ In that year [1995], the Daniel Sorano National Theatre production of a play by the late Congolese dramatist Sony Labou Tansi, Le Coup de vieux (Sudden Aging) – an on-stage production that “represent[ed] Sénégal” at the 1995 Carthage Theatre Festival” had been “awarded First Prize” by the jury. See the article entitled “SÉNÉGAL,” in: Don Rubin, Ousmane Diakhaté and Hansel Ndumbe Eyoh (eds.), World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Africa. Abingdon UK and New York NY (Routledge) © 1997; 2001, pp.243 .- ISBN 0-415-22746-1.
  23. ^ Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et littératures modernes, Tempe, AZ (Arizona State University) 1983, p.129.
  24. ^ “[…] Several papers have taken up this suggestion, but very few answers were found to the question how to describe literary communication. Among the papers of our section we find the phenomenological approach (Lois Oppenheim), references to neo-Marxist explanations and ideological analysis in papers by M.-Pierette Malcuzynski, Livia Wittmann, and Magdi Youssef; semiotics of culture in a paper submitted by Jurij M.Lotman […]” (See: General problems of literary history. / Problèmes généraux de l'histoire littéraire. (Proceedings of the Xth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association Congress), edited by Douwe Wessel Fokkema; Edward C Smith (ICLA), New York 1985)
  25. ^ Douwe Fokkema is above all a sinologist. His Ph.D. thesis on “Literary Doctrine in China and Soviet Influence 1956-1960” was published in 1965.
  26. ^ See for instance: Armando Gnisci, Una storia diversa. Roma (Meltemi) 2001.
  27. ^ This information was provided by Google search, searching for “Magdi Youssef AND LinkedIn”. See: http://de.linkedin.com/pub/magdi-youssef/13/277/740. Here several persons named “Magdi Youssed” are listed but only one “Prof. Dr” with the added information “professor emeritus, Cairo University” and “visiting professor: the University of Dublin, Bonn Univer[s]ity etc.”
  28. ^ “Magdi Youssef trova la critica orientalistica di Said “ambivalente”, perché vi riscontra delle involuzioni epistemologiche … (Peter Caravetta: Del postmoderno.Milano (Studi Bompiani / RCS Libri S.p.A.) 2010, p.291. ISBN 978-88-587-0003-7)
  29. ^ [In Italian:] “Youssef mette in rilievo come l’“idea” di letteratura di Auerbach e di Curtius, che avrebbero avuta una sottile influenza su Said, sia basata sul presupposto che la letteratura e la realtà siano due dimensioni separate, e che il “realismo” sia meramente un fenomeno “intraletterario” […]. Per Youssef, invece, “la letteratura in quanto prodotto umano è innazitutto interattiva, è un processo che ha luogo all’interno della società e in quanto interattivo può essere al servizio delle relazioni sociali dominanti, reiterandone le illusioni e le ideologie di stabilità assoluta o essendo funzionale a esse, oppure è veramente critica verso tali omnipresenti illusioni e delusioni dominanti.”[...]” (Peter Caravetta, ibidem, p.291.)
  30. ^ Gnisci refers to a discourse focused on a poetics of decolonization (“il discorso di una poetica della decolonizzazione”), adding, “Lo stesso discorso mi ha portato all'incontro colloquiale con l'egiziano Magdi Youssef, il cubano R. F. Retamar, il coreano Cho Dong Il, la cinese Yue Dayiun, il camerunese Paul Dakeyo, l'haitiano Louis-Philippe Dalembert, il brasiliano Julio Cesar Monteiro Martins, il serbo Predrag Stanojevic e tanti altri “amici” dei vari mondi.” (Armando Gnisci Una storia diversa Roma (Meltemi) 2001, p. 47). - See also the first lines of Gnisci's article “Letteratura Globale e Letteratura dei Mondi,” in: Franca Sinopoli (ed.), La letteratura europea vista dagli altri, Roma (Meltemi Editore).2003, p. 107). – Gnisci's Una storia diversa and a book by Franca Sinopoli were also translated into Arabic. See the programme of the 30th International Cairo Book Fair that lists the “[p]resentation of the Arabic translation of the books European Literature in the View of the Others by Franca Sinopoli & A Different History by Armando Gnisci – in the presence of the authors with Magdi Youssef & Fawzi Issa.” See: Al Ahram Weekly, issue no. 830, Feb. 1-7, 2007, culture page. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/830/cu11.htm.
  31. ^ See: Magdi Youssef, “Arab Comparative and General Literature: A Socio-Cultural Perspective,” in: Leerssen, Joep; Syndram, K.-U. (eds.), Europa Provincia Mundi, Amsterdam-Atlanta (Rodopi) 1992, pp. 105-117; Italian version: “Il Contributo Arabo alla Letteratura Generale e Comparata,” in: I Quaderni di Gaia (Revista di Letteratura Comparata), Roma, April 1994, pp.87-95; abridged Irish translation in: Cohmar (Dublin), September 1994, pp.21-23.
  32. ^ See: Magdi Youssef, “Literary and Social Transformations: The Case of Modern European and Arabic Literatures,” in: Proceedings of the Xth congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, edited by Anna Balakian and James J. Wilhelm. New York (Garland Publishing) 1985, pp.51-7; Portuguese translation: “Transformações literarias e sociais: o caso das literaturas europeias e arabe,” in: Revista de Estudos academicos UNIBERO (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 2000.
  33. ^ See the Brazilian version: M. Youssef, “Balança de traduções e dominaçao linguistica (The balance of translations and linguistic domination). Traduçao direta do arabe para Jubran, S.A.A.C e Jarouche, M., in: Cadernos de Literatura em Tradução (São Paulo, Humanitas) 3/1999, p35-41.
  34. ^ Mahmoud El-Wardani referred to Youssef as “the renowned culture critic.” See: Mahmoud El-Wardani, “At A Glance” (book reviews), in: al Ahram Weekly, Issue No.538, June 14–20, 2001, culture page (also accessible online).
  35. ^ N.N., “No one listened: Science, independence and grassroots art: a German-based Egyptian scholar offers critical insight into the Arab presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair” (an article largely based on interviews with Magdi Youssef) in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 707, Sept. 9-15, 2004, culture page. Also in Al Ahram online.
  36. ^ Cf. for instance Mme. Sosostris, ibidem.
  37. ^ This paper constituted originally a plenary address to the Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures modernes on children's literature, held at Regensburg University in Germany in 1996. It has also been translated into Italian and is frequently quoted in scholarly papers in Italy and elsewhere. See: Magdi Youssef, “I racconti di favole nel mondo arabo contemporaneo,” published on the website of the University Roma 1, Rome, Italy: http://www.disp.let.uniroma1.it/kuma/decolonizziamoci/Magdi_Youssef.html.
  38. ^ N.N., “No one listened: Science, independence and grassroots art: a German-based Egyptian scholar offers critical insight into the Arab presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair” (an article largely based on interviews with Magdi Youssef) in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 707, Sept. 9-15, 2004, culture page. Also in Al Ahram online.
  39. ^ N.N., “No one listened: Science, independence and grassroots art: a German-based Egyptian scholar offers critical insight into the Arab presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair” (an article largely based on interviews with Magdi Youssef) in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 707, Sept. 9-15, 2004, culture page. Also in Al Ahram online.
  40. ^ Articles by Magdi Youssef that appeared in Al-Masry al-Youm include: Jihad min sunع almanya wa 'beit al-Taa'a min beritanya ( Islamic Jihad 'made in Germany' and the 'House of Obedience' from Victorian England ), Al-masry Al-Youm, October 18, 2013, “Alfikr wa'l Irhab (Thoughts and Terror),” Al-Masry al-Youm, Sept. 20, 2013; “Shatat al mithaliyya wa -waqi'iyat al-Hayah” (The Groundlessness [or: Erroneousness] of Idealism and the Realism of Life), July 26, 2013; “Al-Amn am'l Iqtisad awallan?” (What has Priority: National Security or the Economy?), Sept. 6, 2013; “Idarat albilad bayna al-Shoyoukh wa'l Shabab” (The State Administration between the Young and the Old), June 28, 2013; “Hajat al-Jamahir bayna al-Dakhel wa'l Kharij” (Meeting the Needs of the Egyptian Population. Domestic and Outside Factors), July 12, 2013; “Kayfa nafham wad'ana al-Hali” (How can we properly assess our present situation?), May 17, 2013; “Al-usul al-ijtimaa'iyya li'l 'unf wa tiryaquha” (The Social Roots of Terror and the Remedy), March 22, 2013; “al-Iqtisad al-Siyasi 'ilman kashifan” (Political Economy as a Revealing [or: demystifying] Discipline), May 3, 2013; “Fi khalt al-Mafahim: al-Nukhbah am al-Tali'a ?” (On the Confusion of Concepts: The Elite or the Avant-garde?), Dec. 21, 2012; “al-Judhur al-Iqtisadiyya li'l-Thawra 'ala al-ikhwan” (The Economic Roots of the Revolution against the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt), Dec. 7, 2012; “Kayfa nu'aqlin hiwaratina al-Qawmiya” (How Could the National Dialogue be[or: become] Rational?), Jan. 4, 2012; “Misr bayna al-Madi wa'l Mustaqbal” (Egypt Between the Past and the Future), Nov. 9, 2012.
  41. ^ N.N., “No one listened: Science, independence and grassroots art: a German-based Egyptian scholar offers critical insight into the Arab presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair” (an article largely based on interviews with Magdi Youssef) in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 707, Sept. 9-15, 2004, culture page. Also in Al Ahram online.
  42. ^ Youssef Rakha, “Great expectations / Youssef Rakha wraps up the debates surrounding the Arab world's guest-of-honor contribution to the Frankfurt Book Fair opening this week” in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 710, 30 September - 6 October 2004, culture page. Also online.
  43. ^ Youssef […][f]ounded the International Association of Intercultural Studies (IAIS) which is geared towards studying [...] socio-cultural interactions via a host of disciplines ranging from the humanities, the arts to the natural sciences. To this end he organized [...] two major conferences of the IAIS: The Socio-Cultural Interaction Processes Between the West and the Arab World in Modern Times” and a second conference “in 2009 [...] in Paris on: The Contemporary Arab Contribution To World Culture: A Western-Arab Dialogue in a host of disciplines. Magdi Youssef has been short listed for the Egyptian State Award for significant contributions to the Social Sciences. ” This information was provided by Google search, searching for “Magdi Youssef AND LinkedIn”. See: http://de.linkedin.com/pub/magdi-youssef/13/277/740.
  44. ^ See the imprint of these journals. See also the biographical note published online in the journal "Intercultural Studies", http://www.intercultural-studies.org/biography/biography.shtml.

External links[edit]

  • Magdi Youssef, “Le monde arabe est victime d’une déculturation,” in: Al Ahram hebdo, Nov.16, 2004. Also online: [1]
  • Magdi Youssef, “Les implications de la Halqa,” in: Al Ahram hebdo, Apr. 19-25, 2006 [2]
  • Magdi Youssef, “Resistance and escape,” in: Al Ahram Weekly, April 20, 2006. Also online: [3]
  • Magdi Youssef, “Circles to be squared,” in: Al Ahram Weekly, May 11, 2006 [4]
  • Mahmoud El-Wardani referred to Youssef as “the renowned culture critic.” See: Mahmoud El-Wardani, “At A Glance” (book reviews), in: al Ahram Weekly, Issue No.538, June 14–20, 2001. [5]
  • Assem El-Dessouqi, “Battles of the mind,” in: Al Ahram Weekly, Issue 630, 20–26 March 20–26, 2003. [6]
  • N. N, “No one listened: Science, independence and grassroots art: a German-based Egyptian scholar offers critical insight into the Arab presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair,” in: Al Ahram Weekly online, Issue No. 707, Sept. 9-15, 2004. [7]
  • Youssef Rakha, “Great expectations / Youssef Rakha wraps up the debates surrounding the Arab world's guest-of-honor contribution to the Frankfurt Book Fair opening this week” in: Al Ahram Weekly online, Issue No. 710, 30 September - 6 October 2004,
  • [8]
  • reference to Prof. Youssef on the web page of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina [9]
  • Egyptian Network Member List [10]