BOOK TALKS: ‘Tahrir’s Youth,’ ‘Digging the Past’ and ‘High Desert’

Rusha Latif headshot, UC Davis, and "Tahir's Youth" book cover

Latif, a first-generation Egyptian American, traveled to Cairo in 2011 to conduct ethnographic research on the uprising that brought about the spectacular collapse of the Mubarak regime. She follows the trajectory of the movement from the perspective of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, a key front forged in Tahrir Square during the early days of the revolt. Drawing on firsthand testimonies and her own direct experience, she offers insight into the motives, hopes, strategies, successes, failures and disillusionments of the movement's leaders.

Using primary sources, including in-depth interviews with the youth leaders of the January 25 Revolution, Latif’s work offers indispensable insights into the mobilization strategies and trajectories of the youth groups that resisted three successive regimes between 2011 and 2013. Her book powerfully explains how youth activism has forever changed Egyptian politics. ― Amr Hamzawy, Stanford University, editor of Struggles for Political Change in the Arab World

Frances Dolan, UC Davis faculty, and "Digging the Past" book cover
  • Digging the Past: How and Why to Imagine Seventeenth-Century Agriculture (University of Pennsylvania Press, July 17, 2020)
  • WHAT: Book talk sponsored by the UC Davis Humanities Institute and International House Davis
  • WITH: The author, Frances E. Dolan, distinguished professor of English
  • WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in person (with wine and cheese reception at 5:30, book chat from 6 to 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: International House, 10 College Park, Davis

Digging into writings and figurations and more on 17th-century agriculture, Fran Dolan shows in her new book how agricultural practices of that era are relevant to today. Or, as she put it in a recent blog post, “how the 17th century continues to shape both hands-on practice and popular anglophone ways of imagining and describing what farming should be and do.”

She makes us welcome the difficult task of thinking harder about everything from plows to manure — and not as odd or quaint digressions, but as things surprisingly central to early modern and current conceptions of culture. — Leah Knight, author of “Reading Green in Early Modern England”

Read earlier Dateline coverage: “‘Alternative Agriculture’” as Imagined Centuries Ago (Aug. 26, 2020)

André Naffis-Sahely, UC Davis faculty, and "High Desert" book cover
  • High Desert (BloodaxeBooks, June 23, 2022)
  • WHAT: Book talk presented by the Creative Writing Program
  • WITH: The author, André Naffis-Sahely, lecturer, Department of English, in conversation with Maceo Montoya, professor of Chicana and Chicano studies and creative writing; and Katie Peterson, professor and director of the Creative Writing Program, who will give a poetry reading.
  • WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in person
  • WHERE: Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (Art Workshop of the New Dawn), or TANA, a program of the Department of Chicano and Chicano Studies. TANA is at 1224 Lemen Ave., Woodland

Naffis-Sahely’s second poetry collection, described by the publisher as “a psychedelic journal of end times and an ode to the American Southwest.” He explores such key events as the First Red Scare, the Tulsa Race Massacre and the West Coast’s wildfire epidemic, offering reflections on class, race and nationalism that chart the region’s hidden histories from the Spanish Colonial Era to the recent pandemic. The poems in High Desert also revel in their rootlessness, as the author shifts his gaze outside of the U.S., traveling from Venice and Florence to Chittagong and St. Petersburg, tackling our turbulent times and problems in searing, extraordinary poems of witness and vision.

André Naffis-Sahely’s compelling and deeply researched second collection begins in California but blossoms into a globally engaged meditation on history, migration, inclusion and justice. Drawing on found text from diaries to academic manuscripts and traversing across North America, Europe and Asia, ‘High Desert’ is at once humble and unafraid. — Maggie Wong, Poetry Book Society Bulletin (summer 2022)

The UC Davis Books Blog, a project of News and Media Relations, announces newly published books by faculty and staff authors, and awards and events related to books by faculty and staff authors. Contact the books blog by email.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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