Urban Studies in Modern Egypt

Sep 28, 2023 - Oct 3, 2023 at -

These events have passed. A recording of the first panel and subsequent Q&A can be found here: Urban Studies of Modern Egypt, Part I. A recording of the second panel and subsequent Q&A can be found here: Urban Studies of Modern Egypt, Part II.

The Modern Egyptian Studies Forum (MESF) will launch the new academic year with a two-part event focusing on urban studies of modern Egypt.

Egypt’s urban environment, especially Cairo and Alexandria, is one of the most studied environments in the world, and new research keeps appearing in this field. Recent studies span several disciplines and tackle topics ranging from sensorial experiences and architectural history, to social networks, the politics of waste management, and more. This two-part event will take stock of emerging research and reflect on new directions in the field. It will also consider recent shifts in methods and sources and their potential for moving the conversation about Egyptian cities and urban life forward.

The first panel, on September 28 at 11am EST, will feature Gaétan du Roy, author of Les zabbālīn du Muqattam: Ethnohistoire d’une hétérotopie au Caire (979-2021) (Brill, 2022); Annalise DeVries, author of Maadi: The Making and Unmaking of a Cairo Suburb, 1878-1962 (American University in Cairo Press, 2021); and Alon Tam, author of “Between ‘Ḥarat al-Yahud’ and ‘Paris on the Nile’: Social Mobility and Urban Culture among Jews in Twentieth-Century Cairo” (Jewish Social Studies 28/2, Spring/Summer 2023). The speakers will reflect on the study of neighborhoods and communities in the Egyptian city.

The second panel, on October 3 at 11am EST, will feature Ziad Fahmy, author of Street Sounds: Listening to Everyday Life in Modern Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2020); Mina Ibrahim, author of Identity, Marginalisation, Activism, and Victimhood in Egypt: Misfits in the Coptic Christian Community (Palgrave Macmillan Cham, 2022), and founder of Shubra's Archive for History and Social Science (SARD); and Lucia Carminati, author of Seeking Bread and Fortune in Port Said: Labor Migration and the Making of the Suez Canal, 1859–1906 (University of California Press, 2023).

The Modern Egyptian Studies Forum is an online event series and scholarly community dedicated to the study of modern Egypt. Events organized by the Forum have included book talks, thematic conversations, and discussions on archival access, pedagogy, and publishing. It welcomes scholars at various career stages, from graduate students to emeritus professors. For recordings of recent events see Events. Its sponsor is the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at the University of Pennsylvania.

As always, if there is someone that you think should join us in this event, please write to Weston Bland (wbland@sas.upenn.edu). We will be happy to invite them, if we have not done so already.