Coptic Canadian History Project

Scholars Discuss Coptic Studies: Episode 2

Welcome to the second episode of “Scholars Discuss Coptic Studies.” This audio blog series aims to bring together junior and established scholars from across North America and to offer insight on the ongoing research involving Coptic populations around the world.

In this episode, Michael Akladios (PhD candidate in History, York University) interviews Joseph Youssef (PhD candidate in Anthropology, University of Toronto). Joseph kindly shares his history and his experiences with us, as an Egyptian immigrant to Toronto and an anthropologist of Coptic monasticism in Egypt and its diasporas. His fascinating research sheds light on the pitfalls of mythologizing and romanticizing monks. Rather, as he argues, we must understand their humanity and appreciate how modernization continues to affect their spiritual lives.

We hope you enjoy the conversation and the photographs below:

Deir el-Surian (Syrian Monastery), Wadi El Natrun Desert, Egypt. (Photo: Michael Akladios, 2017)
Deir Anba Bishoy (St. Bishoy Monastery), Wadi El Natrun, Egypt. (Photo: Michael Akladios, 2017)
St. Mary and St. Moses Abbey, Corpus Christi, Texas. (Photo: Joseph Youssef, 2017)
Procession at St. Anthony Monastery, Yermo, California. (Photo: Joseph Youssef, 2013)

Thank you for joining us and please stay tuned for future episodes.


The CCHP is always looking for people to contribute to our digital initiatives. Please contact theCCHP@gmail.com if you would like to join or support the Project.