The Nile: River of History and Conflict

Terje Tvedt, University of Bergen, Norway

Terje Tvedt, a Norwegian professor in global history, political science and geography, presented a lecture on The Nile: River of history and conflict, on Wednesday 15 March, in Bauer Wuster Hall, to an audience students, faculty, and researchers drawn from across the campus. Professor Tvedt has published numerous books on general water-society issues and on the river Nile in particular. Among them are a bibliography on the Nile in three volumes, “The River Nile in the Age of the British”, “Water and Society. Changing Perceptions on Societal and Historical Developments” (2020), and “The Nile. History’s Greatest River” (2021, translated into German, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Italian, Serbian and Arabic). He has also made several TV-documentaries shown by among others National Geographic, Discovery Channels, Documentary Channel and Netflix. For the films, see his YouTube channel.

Tvedt’s lecture on the Nile was a multidisciplinary overview of the geography, hydrology and historical role of the river now running through 11 countries with about half a billion inhabitants, and through the heart of cities such as Cairo and Khartoum. The focus was on the background to current hydropolitics, especially the tense conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia regarding the Renaissance dam on the Blue Nile. Tvedt also discussed the role of Southern Sudan in Nile geopolitics. The talk was sponsored by the Sather Center, Global Metropolitan Studies, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, and Center for African Studies, UC Berkeley. A video of the talk (beginning after the first several minutes) is available online here.

A recording of the lecture (unfortunately missing the first five minutes of the lecture) is available below: