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Review of Raouf Abbas’s and Assem El-Dessouky’s The Large Landowning Class and the Peasantry in Egypt, 1837-1952

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-05
Document type: 
Other

Writing the History of the Modern Copts: From Victims and Symbols to Actors

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-04
Abstract: 

Scholars of Egyptian history and politics face a dearth of analytical studies of the modern Coptic Church and community. This state of affairs is due to various factors of a methodological, theoretical, and practical nature. In practical terms, both the Egyptian state and the Coptic Orthodox Church have discouraged exploration of Coptic identity given the political taboo of sectarianism. In theoretical terms, Edward Said's Orientalism led to concerns among scholars about overemphasizing faith in their analyses of Middle Eastern history and politics. In methodological terms, modern Coptic historiography remains hobbled by an ‘enlightenment paradigm’ which discounts the political potential and action of subaltern and clerical forces within the community. This article urges a concern with the ways in which these subaltern and clerical forces shaped the Coptic ‘discursive tradition’ in the course of the twentieth century, as a means by which to restore Copts to modern Egyptian historiography, not as victims or symbols, but as actors in their own right.

Document type: 
Article

Exposure to the eyes of God: monitorial schools and Evangelicals in early nineteenth-century England

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-06
Abstract: 

Through a close analysis of the links between nineteenth-century Protestant missionary thought and the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) this article suggests that to distinguish Enlightenment educational and social reform from evangelism is mistaken. Emblematic of the social reform projects which emerged in England as responses to the challenges of the French Revolution and rapid urbanisation, the BFSS was the outgrowth of Joseph Lancaster’s efforts at spreading the method of education he pioneered, the monitorial system, throughout the British Isles and, ultimately, the world. Despite the strong association between the BFSS and various utilitarian thinkers, evangelicals of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century England came to view the Society and the monitorial system as means by which to integrate all the peoples of the world into the Lord’s dominion. Becoming part of that dominion entailed subjecting oneself to constant moral scrutiny, and monitorial schools were regarded as a means by which to ensure such self-examination. In short, missionaries seized upon monitorial schools because their aims were parallel to those of educational reformers in the metropole. Where home reformers aimed at the normalisation of the body of English political subjects, the development of the English social body, missionary reformers aimed at the normalisation of the body of God’s children.

Document type: 
Article

Textbook Maneuvers: Evangelicals and Educational Reform in Nineteenth-Century Egypt

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006-01
Abstract: 

This dissertation aims to expose the connections between textuality, morality, and political power in nineteenth-century Egypt. The thesis of the dissertation is that the principal aim of nineteenth-century educationalists in Egypt was to eliminate an oral culture in which the speakers of words, rather than texts, were bearers of authority. By eliminating that oral culture, educationalists aspired to depersonalize authority — that is, influence the behavior of subaltern Egyptians on a mass scale, without regard to particular circumstances or contexts. To this end, the dissertation offers a detailed interrogation of particular moments in Egyptian educational history. These are moments of contestation as to both the methods and the purposes of education — contestation between Anglican and Presbyterian missionaries, Ottoman and Egyptian officials, Coptic priests and Muslim reformers, and landowners of both faiths on the one hand, and the subaltern inhabitants of the Nile Valley on the other. While focusing heavily upon the educationalists involved in movements for educational reform in nineteenth- century Egypt, such as John Lieder and Joseph Hekekyan, the dissertation ventures further than past works in this vein, exploring how subalterns resisted the technologies of power deployed by ‘modern,’ ‘educated’ elites, and how such elites molded the technologies to meet the challenge of resistance in local contexts.

Document type: 
Thesis