Literacies and the Emergence of Modern Egypt
hosted by Graham Pitts
During the late nineteenth century, Egyptian society witnessed the rise of new debates and practices concerning reading and writing in the Arabic language. In this episode, Hoda Yousef explores the discources surrounding literacy in Egypt, which is the subject of her first book entitled Composing Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2016). This work examines how different actors from Islamic modernists and feminists to journalists and officials sought to produce particular kinds of Egyptians through language politics. Dr. Yousef demonstrates that emergent practices of reading and writing had impacts well beyond the conventionally-defined literate circles. Even for those who did not read and write, the written word became an important part of daily life. Through the medium of public exchange created by the writing, different segments of Egyptian society could engage in discussions regarding nation, home, and belonging.
|Hoda Yousef is Assistant Professor of History at Denison University. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of language, literacy, education, and gender in modern Egypt.|
Graham Auman Pitts is a PhD Candidate in Georgetown University's History department, where he studies the environmental history of the modern Middle East. He is currently finishing a dissertation entitled "Fallow Fields: Famine and the Making of Lebanon (1914-1952)," which probes the intersections of ecology, capital, and colonialism.
Episode No. 247
Release Date: 11 July 2016
Recording Location: Georgetown University
Editing and production by Chris Gratien
Sound excerpts: Baglamamin Dugumu - Necmiye Ararat and Muzaffer; Istanbul'dan Ayva Gelir Nar Gelir - Azize Tozem and Sari Recep; Harmandali - Recep Efendi, Cemal Efendi; Abdel Wahab-Balash--Nile records # 117-B
Images and bibliography courtesy of Hoda Yousef
|This was a very typical "group" petition sent by a community to the central state in 1915. (Source: Dar al-Watha'iq al-Qawmiyya, Cairo)|
|This is a printed petition from 1925, consciously addressed not only to "those in power," but also to "public opinion" (Source: Dar al-Watha'iq al-Qawmiyya, Cairo)|
Hoda A. Yousef
Stanford University Press, 2016
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