Researching Modern Coptic History: A Guide to the Archives in the US and Egypt

In an effort to support our colleagues researching Copts across disciplines, we have generated a list of archives in the United States and Egypt that are open to scholars. This general overview in no way claims to be an exhaustive list of archival repositories on modern Coptic history, but rather an introduction to some significant collections for researchers interested in consulting primary sources.

Interview with Dr. Angie Heo: “Defamiliarizing the Familiar”

How did you get started in the anthropological profession?  What drew you to the subject matter of your first book? Back when I was a freshman in college, I was trying to figure out what major suited me, and a senior in my dorm gave me a helpful piece of advice. She suggested that I … Continue reading Interview with Dr. Angie Heo: “Defamiliarizing the Familiar”

Dr. Gaétan Du Roy: “Everyday Interactions”

I try to explain that Copts are not Western Christians lost in the Middle East, or living relics of “one of the oldest Church in the World.” At the same time, I don’t want to minimize the violence and discrimination Copts suffer. It is an exercise at equilibrium which is sometimes difficult.

Christmas Misfits: Ethnographic Notes on the Coptic ‘Waguihs’

By bringing the ‘extreme’ case of Waguih Ghali to the forefront, I would like to think out loud about the other ‘Waguihs’ who are not able to defining some of their relationships and interactions with the Coptic tradition of khidma. I wish to point to the stories of Coptic Christians who accept the fact that their lives- or at least some aspects of their everyday relationships- do not reflect how they are identified. Yet their stories wrongly contribute to the insistence on a hegemonic identification process.

Assessing Coptic Reform Through the International Christian Student Movement

Drawing on themes outlined in Candace Lukasik’s recent review of the Copts in Modernity Conference, this brief essay seeks to expand the conceptualizations of Coptic reform in the modern period. Examining a Coptic organization’s growth following their non-cooperation with Protestant expectations represents an interesting alternative to dominant teleological narratives of aligning Coptic ‘renaissance’ to a Western missionary or colonial source. The story of Al-Asdiqa’ allows us to consider how such groups may have co-opted the language of modernity to define reform on their terms.