Egypt: Modern Cairo, Urban Development, and Social Change
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Coursework for the Egypt: Modern Cairo, Urban Development, and Social Change program includes an in-depth examination of the processes and outcomes of unprecedented social change in the region, with a focus on Greater Cairo, and within the critically important field of urban studies. The program also offers instruction in urban field methodologies, Arabic language, and local cultures. Through the thematic course, students will consider relevant theories and ideologies in the field of urban studies, examine specific case studies of urban development, and undertake complementary excursions. In the Research Methods and Ethics course, students will receive instruction in culturally appropriate, ethical field methodologies in preparation for the Independent Study Project. Arabic language instruction will bolster students' ability to communicate, conduct field research, and delve deeply into the culture and thematic focus of the program.
Post-Revolutionary Modern Cairo - syllabus (PDF)
(MENA 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in English, with required readings. The course includes a historical view of urbanization and urban development in Egypt; an introduction to the competing ideologies within the field of urbanization and development; an overview of policies and management strategies for urban development in the Greater Cairo Region; and a focus on the role of Cairo in contemporary revolutionary movements in the region, broadly, and Egypt, specifically. Students will be encouraged to critically assess the impact of global economic systems on cities across the region and, specifically, to interrogate the intertwined dynamics of globalization, urbanization, development, and social movements within Greater Cairo. This course will include modules on Urbanization and Development in the Greater Cairo Region; Urban Planning, Governance, and Management in Egypt's Cities; Urbanization and the Environment in Egypt; and Social Change and Urban Space in Cairo and beyond – with a view toward the mutually constitutive processes of urbanization and revolutionary social change. Each module has its own required readings and field visits.
Lecturers typically include urban planning and development studies faculty from local universities, government officials, NGO leaders, and members of community groups.
Intensive Language Study: Beginning Modern Standard Arabic - syllabus (PDF)
(ARAB 1000-1500 / 6 credits / 90 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic - syllabus (PDF)
(ARAB 2000-2500 / 6 credits / 90 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Advanced Modern Standard Arabic - syllabus (PDF)
(ARAB 3000-3500 / 6 credits / 90 class hours)
Classroom and field instruction in Modern Standard Arabic will emphasize speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students will be placed in intensive beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes based on in-country evaluation, including a test of oral proficiency. There will be additional language practice in everyday situations and during field visits. A component on Egyptian Colloquial Arabic is also part of the course.
Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This course addresses the themes of historical, architectural, economic, social, cultural, and infrastructural dynamics of urbanization and development in Egypt through a presentation of research methods and their applicability to pertinent research questions. The course specifically emphasizes the regional, national, and local causes and consequences of dense human settlement amid environmental precariousness, with a focus on how to design relevant research questions and implement appropriate methodologies to conduct applicable study.
In addition to presenting how to design research focused on urban development and social change, the course introduces students to the multidisciplinary tools and methods of urban field study, with a focus on ethics, qualitative research methods, and specific quantitative techniques used by demographers and others for field research The course will help students develop the skills they need for the Independent Study Project. Topics include cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing skills in observation and interviewing; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; and maintaining a work journal.
Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
ISPs are conducted in Cairo or another approved location in Egypt appropriate to the project. Sample topic areas include urban policy and population growth; waste management and the fight against poverty; public transportation and pollution; Tahrir Square and the production of social revolution; social uprising and the birth of New Egypt; places of worship and religious tolerance; the Coptic neighborhood and tourist industry; ancient Egypt and modern museums; and cultural centers and the construction of urban identities.
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About the Evaluations (PDF)