Cultural Changes in Egypt at the turn of the Millennium

Marie-Therese Abdelmessih's picture
Call for Papers
September 13, 2017 to December 20, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

At the turn of the millennium, drastic local and global economic and cultural changes have had their impact on the cultural production in Egypt. The Call for papers inviting contributions covering Cultural Changes in Egypt at the Turn of the Millennium, a Special issue of CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture looks at these changes in all forms of visual, verbal, digital and aural cultural productions. The objective is to find how creativity has ceased to be considered as mere speculative detachment, becoming a mode of engagement, disrupting conventional divisions between creator and collective authorship and transgressing disciplinary boundaries. It is also in our interest to map worldwide repercussions of these local cultural productions.

Since the early nineties uncertainty has prevailed as a result of a series of political and economic crises. The “political” in cultural production came to signify the subversion of all fixities in meaning, previously marketed by state policies and social mores. The need to deal with contradictory everyday situations, brought about what has come to be known as “the new writing.” Dissent created a space where subalterns and intellectuals can meet up with all forms of subalterniety. With the growing interest in the history from below, creative productions dealing with minority and gender issues flourished, challenging exclusions of mainstream narratives, as well as the canonical heritage.

The spread of technotculture spurred new modes of experimentation. Bloggers turned into fiction writers, while bookbound hypertexts burgeoned with the prevalence of the digital environment. Graphic poetry and fiction, multimodal products intermediating text and image generated a new readership. Creative productions transgressed all boundaries dividing genres, the use of digital technology gave a boost to theater and film that had been greatly impacted by the decline of state subsidies. Underground filmmakers and theater-makers displaying greater freedom in technique and content developed new media spaces to screen and stage their works.

Intermediality immersing/implicating readers, viewers and spectators allowed for contesting narratives, expanding vistas on multiple pasts and the present, as verified by creative cultural products released in new media. Receptions, adaptations, and interchanges ensuing among Egyptian creators and their peers in the Arab region and the global South remains largely unexplored.  

We seek a diverse range of original papers from scholars of literary and cultural studies as well as related fields such as gender studies, visual studies in film, digital and print media. Comparative and transdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

Please send your 250-300 words proposal in English with a brief CV to Marie Thérèse Abdelmessih ( by December 20, 2017.

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture  is a peer-reviewed, full-text, and open-access quarterly in the humanities and social sciences. It is affiliated with the Purdue UP print and ebooks monograph series of Books in Comparative and Cultural Studies.

Contact Info: 

Marie Thérèse Abdelmessih is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cairo (CU) University and Kuwait University (KU), and Director of the MA Program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, College of Graduate Studies, (KU). She is member of the International Advisory Board of CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, and member of the Executive Committee, International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA), and the Editorial Board of the Arab Journal of Humanities (AJH) affiliated with Kuwait UP.