2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

The Evolution of Early Twentieth-Century Egyptian Women as Portrayed in The Cairo Trilogy
Megan A. Schoor* and Sara Besserman
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor

The early twentieth century was the height of Egypt's modernization. Many cultural changes took effect during this time period, including the expansion of rights for women, the transformation of family life, as well as the feminist movement that provoked all of these events. Sara Besserman and I will be discussing these historical changes in Egypt's culture and relate it to Naguib Mahfouz's portrayal of this time period in his work The Cairo Trilogy. By focusing on the main characters (especially the females) and their perspectives on the country's transformation, we feel that Mahfouz's traditional middle-class family exposes many of the dramatic changes that occurred in 1920s Egypt. By researching these aspects of Egyptian culture, the reader can better understand the impact of the gender segregation and new-found freedoms seen in 1920s Egypt and The Cairo Trilogy.

Keywords: cairo, women, egypt, feminism, family, marriage, 1920s


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 34-3
Location: OP 2113
Time: 1:45

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