ATH426 Field Research in Egypt

Page history last edited by Mark 12 years, 7 months ago

In Summer 2010, ten students accompanied Dr. Mark Allen Peterson and his family to Egypt as part of a Miami University field research workshop called "Dynamics of Social Change in Egypt" offered by the Department of Anthropology. As the students traveled from the Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids to medieval Mosques to Red Sea Resorts,and interacted with scholars, students, market vendors and Bedouin artisans, they were required to keep detailed field notes and to use readings in the anthropology of Egypt to reflect on what they experienced and what they learned.


The students organized their reflections into three categories: Tourism, Gender and the Commodification of History.


How much can you pack into 21 days? From Cairo to Luxor to Alexandria to Nuweiba and Sharm el-Sheikh, we tried to at least touch down in all the major regions of Egypt. And from Pharaonic to Greco-Roman to Coptic to Islamic to Colonial to contemporary "global" we tried to skim the surface of Egypt's changing cultural landscapes. Click here to read a day-by-day account of the trip.

Tourism is one of Egypt's leading industries. People come to Egypt seeking experiences of antiquity, of night clubs, and of sunny beaches; and a vast industry has emerged to make sure they get to experience whichever Egypt what they want. Click here to read what the students learned from their experiences.
The gender group chose to focus on aspects of gender that surprised them. They found these as they reflected on field notes about veiling, a dance at Siwa Oasis, and the ways tourist resorts treated women and men differently. Click here to see how students interpreted their gendered encounters in Egypt.
History is everywhere in Egypt. In addition to historical architecture from the Pharaonic to the Colonial eras, there are countless appropriations and representations of historical Egypt in everything from modern architecture to theme parks to candy bar wrappers. Click here to read the students' explorations of how history is commodified, and co-modified, as people use the past to accomplish ends here in the present. 



Read Dr. Peterson's blog about Egypt here.


Buy Dr. Peterson's new book about Egypt here.




Copyright 2010

Department of Anthropology

Miami University

Oxford, OH 45056



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