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Anthropological Impressions of the Middle East: New Web Student Journal

December 2, 2011

Anthropologies — a web journal published by the graduate students at the University of Kentucky’s Anthropology Department–has released a special issue on the Middle East.

It’s an elegant little journal of short, impressionistic essays, ranging about 1000-1500 words.

Only two of the articles are on Egypt. One is mine, the other is by Christine Smith, a graduate student I met when I went to UK to give a talk in October. Christine offers a nice essay on the role(s) of graffiti in the uprisings. She writes:

The built environment of Cairo is marked by the country’s colonial history and by the country’s current political and economic orientations toward the United States and Europe. Buildings within downtown Cairo represent French architecture; malls and several restaurants echo Western leisure ideals, and the city is marked by advertisements and billboards for expensive consumer items. Juxtaposed against this, Informal housing units and the architecture from Cairo’s Ottoman, Fatimid and Pharonic past is patch-worked through the city. Within this mix, graffiti allows Cairenes currently living in the city the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the landscape and presents an opportunity for them to be connected and invested in the built environment in a new way.

Other articles focus on doing fieldwork in Iraq, Turkish nationalism, and poetry inspired by fieldwork on a Tunisian island. There are several essays on Israel: land disputes, race, and archaeology in the Negev desert.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Introduction: Anthropologies of the Middle East
Ryan Anderson

My Field Site is Soaked With Blood
Diane E. King

Toward an Ethnography of Contingency in the Egyptian Uprisings
Mark Allen Peterson

Nationalism in the Built Environment: Imagining the Turkish Nation at the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Lydia Roll

Problems with Prawer: Recent Developments in Negev Land Conflict
Emily McKee

Studying ‘race’ and blackness among Ethiopian Jews in Israel: A commentary
Gabriella Djerrahian

Politics and Art: Graffiti Art in Cairo, Egypt
Christine Smith

A Tale of Tell Halif
Tim Frank

Strangeness, Marvel, and Representation
Nomi Stone

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