Industrial Sexuality: Gender, Urbanization and Social Transformation in Egypt
Arab American National Museum
2017 Arab American Book Awards
Honorable Mention – Non-Fiction
Industrial Sexuality: Gender, Urbanization, and Social Transformation in Egypt
By Hanan Hammad
(Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2016)
Reconstructing the ordinary urban experiences of workers in al-Mahalla al-Kubra, home of the largest and most successful Egyptian textile factory, Industrial Sexuality investigates how the industrial urbanization of Egypt transformed masculine and feminine identities, sexualities, and public morality. Basing her account on archival sources that no researcher has previously used, Hanan Hammad describes how coercive industrial organization and hierarchy concentrated thousands of men, women, and children at work and at home under the authority of unfamiliar men, thus intensifying sexual harassment, child molestation, prostitution, and public exposure of private heterosexual and homosexual relationships. By juxtaposing these social experiences of daily life with national modernist discourses, Hammad demonstrates that ordinary industrial workers, handloom weavers, street vendors, lower-class landladies, and prostitutes played a key role in shaping the Egyptian experience of modernity.
Hanan Hammad is Associate Professor and Director of Middle East Studies at Texas Christian University.