Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, City University of New York (CUNY) / Graduate Center

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, City University of New York (CUNY) / Graduate Center
Heritage in Flux: The Shifting Politics of Historic Preservation in “Islamic Cairo” and Egypt’s Political Upheaval

"Islamic Cairo," a neighborhood of several square kilometers located in the heart of Egypt's capital, is home to an impressive architectural legacy that dates back more than 1000 years. Over the course of the past four decades, and in particular since the area's inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979, these buildings have been the target of a range of restoration initiatives sponsored by state agencies, international organizations, and local groups. My research is an examination of the conflicts and mobilizations stemming from–and generated through–this preservation work in the wake of the January 25th Revolution in Egypt. More precisely, this project is concerned with how the category of heritage–as articulated in the discourses, ideologies, and practices of heritage management–is entangled in Egypt's ongoing political upheaval. Through ethnographic and archival research, I will explore how the idiom of heritage is being reconceived and mobilized via Islamic Cairo's built environment by a range of actors intimately involved with its production and protection during a time of protracted political turmoil.