From the Ottoman Past to Modern Times
This talk explores how food rituals among Egypt’s Coptic Christians helped delineate and preserve the community’s identity, from the Ottoman period to modern times. Copts are Egypt’s and the Middle East’s largest Christian community and their food practices—like those of other Christians in the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkans—proscribed fasting and festive celebrations, regulated life’s daily rhythms, and strengthened communal bonds in the face of major challenges. The discussion focuses on variable (and at times contested) food rituals surrounding meat-eating, as well as the consumption of bread, alcohol, and coffee.
Febe Armanios, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Axinn Center for the Humanities at Middlebury College
Sponsors: Class of 1960s Scholars and Arabic Studies Department