The Global Mediterranean Workshop:
Nile Samurai: Ragai Wanis and Egypt’s Global 1960s


This seminar explores Egypt’s cultural connections with Japan in the 1960s. It discusses exchanges between these two ends of Asia through a case study of the late Egyptian artist Ragai Wanis (1938-2023), who studied and worked in Japan for five years in the mid-1960s. Drawing on a range of sources-Wanis’s published memoirs, his paintings, and his photographs-a vibrant period of transregional entanglements will be revealed. Ultimately, by examining individual stories like Wanis’s, the talk offers an alternative narrative for the Arab 1960s, shifting the focus away from political dimensions and pan-Arab solidarities to highlight how Egypt explored different ways of relating to the world during this period.

Date / Time Wed 22 May 2024 17:30–19:30
Venue Room 301 (ILCAA) + Online meeting
Registration (Please register through the link below by May 21st.)
Admission Free
Language English
Organizers NIHU Global Area Studies Program: The Global Mediterranean at ILCAA; TUFiSCo
Contact emi-gto★ (Emi Goto)
Please change ★ to @.


17:30-17:40 Introduction (Emi Goto, TUFS)
17:40-18:25 “Nile Samurai: Ragai Wanis and Egypt’s Global 1960s” (Nicholas Mangialardi, Williams College)
18:25-18:40 Comment (Yui Kanda, TUFS)
18:40-19:30 Discussion


Dr. Nicholas Mangialardi is a scholar of Arabic literature and music whose research focuses on modern Egypt. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies at Williams College (USA). His publications have appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Arab Studies Journal, and the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication. His recent work explores cultural exchanges between modern Egypt and Japan through the lens of literature and popular culture.

Dr. Yui KANDA is an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Her expertise lies in the study of history of Islamic works of art, particularly ceramics, metalwork, and manuscripts from the late medieval to the early modern period in the Middle East and South Asia. Her latest publication, “Iranian Blue-and-White Ceramic Vessels and Tombstones Inscribed with Persian Verses, C. 1450–1725,” appears in The Routledge Companion to Global Renaissance Art, edited by Stephen J. Campbell and Stephanie Porras (New York: Routledge).