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Popularizing Egyptian Nationalism: Colloquial Culture and Media Capitalism, 1870-1919
AuthorFahmy, Ziad Adel
Smith, Charles D
Committee ChairClancy-Smith, Julia
Smith, Charles D
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn Egypt, during the late nineteenth-early twentieth century, older, fragmented, and more localized forms of identity were rapidly replaced with new alternative concepts of community, which for the first time, had the capacity to collectively encompass the majority of Egyptians. The existing historiography however, places Egyptian nationalism exclusively within the realm of elite politics. Thus, this dissertation seeks to investigate the agency of ordinary Egyptians in constructing and negotiating national identity. The principal reason why the Egyptian urban masses are not well represented in the literature is the almost complete neglect of colloquial Egyptian sources. Indeed, I would contend that writing a history of modern Egypt without taking into account colloquial Egyptian sources is, by default, a top-down history and will at best provide only a partial understanding of Egyptian society.This study has several simultaneous objectives. The first is to highlight and feature the role and importance of previously neglected colloquial Egyptian sources--be they oral or textual--in examining modern Egyptian history. This, I argue, is crucial to any attempt at capturing the voice of "ordinary" Egyptians. The second objective is to document the influence of a developing colloquial Egyptian mass culture as a vehicle and forum through which, among other things, "hidden transcripts" of resistance and critiques of colonial and elite authority took place. And lastly, through the lens of colloquial mass culture, this study traces the development of collective Egyptian identity, and the strengthening of Egyptian national communality from the 1870s to the 1919 Revolution.