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Anthropologists Write About Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt a Year after January 25th

February 8, 2012

What do the anthropologists have to say about the Egyptian uprisings?

Having shared a number of collections of articles on Egypt’s ongoing struggles by political scientists, geographers and communications scholars, I am happy to report that the anthropologists are finally weighing in, and it was worth the wait.

The Cultural Anthropology web site has just released an on-line set of seventeen short essays (which they call a “Hot Spot”) entitled “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt a Year after January 25th.

Editors Julia Elyachar of the University of California, Irvine and Jessica Winegar of Northwestern University have put together a wonderful set of brief, thought provoking essays.

In her brief introduction to the web site, Winegar writes:

The Egyptian revolution neither began nor ended in those 18 days before Mubarak stepped down.  As anthropologists struggled, like many Egyptians and academic observers, to make sense of an overwhelming set of events, they drew on their fieldwork experiences from past decades to show how the revolution was rooted in long-standing day-to-day struggles for food, jobs, security, and dignity, as well as in years of organizing and activism among various groups–most notably labor and Islamic collectives.

Jessica is the author of an amazing book on Egyptian artists Creative Reckonings: The Politics of Art and Culture in Contemporary Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2006), which won the Middle East Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Book Award

The table of contents reads like a Who’s Who of anthropologists (and a few fellow travelers) working in Egypt over the past several years, and ranges from seasoned scholars who’ve been working there for decades to graduate students engaged in current fieldwork. See for yourself:

Writing the Revolution: Dilemmas of Ethnographic Writing after the January 25th revolution in Egypt
Julia Elyachar, University of California, Irvine

Building the New Egypt: Islamic Televangelists, Revolutionary Ethics, and ‘Productive’ Citizenship
Yasmin Moll, New York University

A “Time out of Time”: Tahrir, the Political and the Imaginary in the context of the January 25th Revolution in Egypt
Hanan Sabea, American University in Cairo

The Ambivalence of Martyrs and the Counter-revolution
Walter Armbrust, University of Oxford

The Politics/Pragmatics/Theoretics of Writing

Academic Tourists Sight-Seeing the Arab Spring
Mona Abaza, American University in Cairo

Reflections on the Egyptian Revolution
Reem Saad, American University in Cairo

Conversation on the Egyptian Revolution
Yasmin Moll, New York University

Writing Anthropology of and for the Revolution
Samuli Schielke, Zentrum Moderner Orient

Jadaliyya: A New  Form of Producing and Presenting Knowledge in/of the Middle East (interview with Julia Elyachar)
Bassam Hadad, George Mason University

The Revolution from Beirut, Tehran, and the Way Home

“Do we need the army’s helping hand?” Le Monde Diplomatique, English Edition. October 14, 2011.
Niloofar Haeri, Johns Hopkins University

Watching Cairo from Beirut
Joanne Randa Nucho, University of California, Irvine

Fieldnotes, Airplane Ride Back
Sherine Hamdy, Brown University

Views from the Street

Public Christianity in a Revolutionary Egypt

Anthony Shenoda, Scripps College

The Real Tragedy Behind the Fire of Institut d’Egypte
Khaled Fahmy, American University in Cairo

The Battle of Cairo’s Muhammad Mahmoud Street
Lucie Ryzova, University of Oxford

From Outside Cairo: A Graffiti Campaign to Denounce the SCAF
Eric Knecht

New Texts Out Now: Karima Khalil, Messages from Tahrir
Karima Khalil

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 1:52 pm

    This is handy, my friend will like it

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