Abstract

The moulid—a popular festival in Egypt that celebrates venerated figures—has become an object of sanitization and ritualization by the state and state religion. The moulid has become an opposite figure of modernity. It has become meaningful as a familiar irrational messy thing that confuses rational knowledge about the moulid. Rather than abstracting the meaning of the moulid as something senseless, the thesis illuminates how messiness generates meaningful knowledge. The thesis immanently plunges in the moulid to trace how through materials, objects, and bodies the festival comes into being. In telling a material story through participant observation and in taking Ingold’s dwelling perspective, the thesis questions how nonhuman stories can make the stories of humans leak to arrive at a singular new material anthropology of the moulid. By attending to mimetic things, the thesis unearths the modern claim on the emancipatory nature of reason. The thesis defamiliarizes the modern human mapping that univocally categorizes the moulid by exploring how the moulid defies any norm referent in its multivocality. One of its senses shows how the moulid has become an inhabitable ground for the creation of public art, without the thesis assuming public space to be a given. The thesis conceptualizes the moulid as a landscape that explores its potentialities to articulate an otherwise to modern capitalism in order to express an immanent ethics of joyful hope amidst a necropolitical temporality.

School

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Graduation Date

Spring 5-31-2020

Submission Date

5-31-2020

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Sabea, Hanan

Committee Member 2

Khayyat, Munira

Extent

310 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Rights

The American University in Cairo grants authors of theses and dissertations a maximum embargo period of two years from the date of submission, upon request. After the embargo elapses, these documents are made available publicly. If you are the author of this thesis or dissertation, and would like to request an exceptional extension of the embargo period, please write to thesisadmin@aucegypt.edu

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item

Available for download on Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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