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Egypt's Culture WarsPolitics and Practice$
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Samia Mehrez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163746

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163746.001.0001

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Literature and Literalism The Al-Khubz al-Hafi Crisis Reconsidered

Literature and Literalism The Al-Khubz al-Hafi Crisis Reconsidered

(p.229) 12 Literature and Literalism The Al-Khubz al-Hafi Crisis Reconsidered
Egypt's Culture Wars

Samia Mehrez

American University in Cairo Press

December 1998 found the author at the heart of a major crisis surrounding the teaching of the Moroccan writer Mohamed Choukri's controversial autobiographical text Al–Khubz al–hafi (For Bread Alone) in one of her literature classes at the American University in Cairo. The crisis that began on campus as part of a debate over academic freedom and freedom of expression soon took on national, regional, and international proportions when the parents of two students sent an unsigned letter to the AUC administration calling for her dismissal and threatening to take her and the university to court. This chapter is a personal testimony on the Al–Khubz al–hafi crisis that lasted for almost six months. It is also an attempt to produce a participant objectification of the academic field inspired by Pierre Bourdieu's work in Homo Academicus where he uses his own position within the academy in order to read the academic field.

Keywords:   AUC, Mohamed Choukri, Pierre Bourdieu, Homo Academicus, Egyptian culture

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