British travelers and Egyptian ‘dancing girls:’ locating imperialism, gender, and sexuality in the politics of representation, 1834-1870

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-04
Identifier: 
etd10347
Keywords: 
‘awâlim
Ghawâzî
Egypt
Britain
Imperialism
Politics of representation
Abstract: 

This project examines representations of two categories of Egyptian female entertainers, the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî. By situating Egypt’s ‘dancing girls’ in relation to the socio-cultural context of nineteenth-century Britain, it seeks to determine how gendered dynamics of power were culturally constructed and negotiated around these women. Such an approach breaks from previous historiographical contributions to the topic of Egyptian female entertainers by considering the wider implications of imperial power, gender, and sexuality within the politics of their representation. Chapter Two analyzes the cultural significance of the 1834 banishment of the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî from Cairo, and proposes alternative historical perspectives. Chapter Three explores parallels drawn by British travelogue authors between Egypt’s female entertainers and bourgeois archetypes of masculinity and prostitution. Finally, Chapter Four contemplates the impact of Egyptian ‘dancing girls’ upon British society and interprets the typecasting of the ‘awâlim and ghawâzî as indicative of underlying insecurities relating to imperialism and desire.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
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Senior supervisor: 
Thomas Kuehn
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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