In many places like Los Angeles, California and Toronto, Canada, Coptic churches have greatly thrived, with cathedral size churches coming up within close drives of one another. In these contexts, churches are sometimes literally framed as pieces of heaven on earth.
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.
In general, my study of Coptic identity is always framed in relation to questions of national belonging and the homeland, because I believe that you can’t understand Copts without understanding Egypt and vice versa.
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”
The conference demonstrated the productivity of gathering together across different ethnic and religious identities to study the histories our communities are preserving, interpreting, and sharing every day.
In this recorded public history lecture, Michael Akladios speaks of Copts in Egypt and contrasts the democratic promise of the early twentieth century with the rise of discrimination and harassment, leading eventually to persistent persecution of numerical, linguistic, racial, and/or religious minorities by a dominant majority that is institutionalized by the state.
Through intimate oral histories, Coptic Queer Stories helps uncover how migration affects culture, and how community may be inspired or restrained by tradition. I believe these unheard and unique perspectives only make Coptic cultures richer, and perhaps healthier, as we move toward inclusivity.
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.
I think the Coptic identity is a dynamic and transforming concept, and that it is our job—as historians—to show how it has changed in response to different events, challenges, and opportunities.
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.