Olga Verlato is a PhD Candidate in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies working on modern Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Her dissertation, “The Languages of Egypt,” reconstructs the history of multilingualism and language ideology from the late Ottoman period to the early twentieth century, focusing on education and journalism. It examines how evolving notions and uses of languages (chiefly Arabic, Italian, French, English, and with reference to Ottoman-Turkish) affected the development of Egypt’s state institutions, the strategies of imperial rule, and the agendas of anti-colonial nationalists.
With the support of the IFAO in Cairo and the NYU Global Research Initiative, Olga has conducted archival research in Egypt, Italy, France, and the UK. Recently, she has published on the history of elementary education and Italian schools in the Suez Canal and Delta regions in the late nineteenth century, and on social infrastructures and mobility through the study of Egyptian popular songs.
Olga is also a part-time MA student of Arabic Language Pedagogy at Middlebury College, and Middle East editor at the Borderlines Journal. At NYU, she has been a teaching assistant for courses on Islamic Societies and Israel/Palestine. Finally, through a collaboration with the Cairo Institute of Arts and Sciences, she has taught a history course on language politics and identity in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.