Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
2022 to 2023
Engineering Egypt: Science, Culture, and Nation in the Age of Empire
“Engineering Egypt: Science Culture, and Nation in the Age of Empire” explores how the history of hydraulic engineering and knowledge production in Egypt shaped the values, institutions, and practices of science in Europe between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. The challenging of textual authority through direct observation, the union of the classical and Baconian sciences, the colonial career of thermodynamics, and the beginnings of climatology are stories which my research narrates from the perspective of Egypt. By looking to the transnational and imperial networks that shaped these seminal moments in the history of science, “Engineering Egypt” contributes to a growing body of literature that seeks to diversify the history of science and technology. In doing so, this research uncovers the forgotten connections between Ottoman officials and European natural philosophers, French revolutionary engineers and Egyptian imperialist dynasties, and an ancient tradition of Arabic natural history and modern methods of hydraulic measurement.