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Composing EgyptReading, Writing, and the Emergence of a Modern Nation, 1870-1930$
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Hoda A. Yousef

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804797115

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804797115.001.0001

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The Discourse and Practice of Everyday Literacies

The Discourse and Practice of Everyday Literacies

(p.25) 1 The Discourse and Practice of Everyday Literacies
Composing Egypt

Hoda A. Yousef

Stanford University Press

This chapter surveys how literacies were talked about and used between 1860 and 1930. Over this period, the idea of literacy was becoming more reified as a social ideal that represented progress, advancement, and optimism, particularly for those invested in the idea of a modern Egypt: nationalists, women activists, and bureaucrats, as well as Coptic and Muslim reformers. Those already educated were encouraged to participate in ever more beneficial forms of literacy, and the visibility of literacies—in life, print, and politics—made it central to what it meant to be engaged in the social issues of the day. Meanwhile, practices of literacies were diversifying and reaching more people across the educational spectrum, particularly through the press and the postal system. Egyptians who were not “officially” literate were able to engage in communal practices of reading aloud, letter writing, and the like, to a quantitatively and qualitatively new extent.

Keywords:   eformers, nationalists, Muslim, Islamic, Coptic, postal system, newspapers, press, journals

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