Public Pharaohs: The Influence of Pharaonic Nationalism in Egypt During the 1920s and 1930s

Date of Award

Winter 1-18-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Karen Kern

Second Advisor

Elidor Mehilli

Academic Program Adviser

Jonathan Rosenberg


After Egyptian independence in 1922 public interaction with the press became a key component in the growing popularity of territorial-based nationalisms. Pharaonism was an important component of territorialism that looked to the future while encouraging Egyptians to learn about the ancient legacy of their nation. Through an analysis of both current scholarship about public literacies and works contemporary to the period under study, I will show that Pharaonism held a firm grasp on the people’s vision for their nation’s future. It was formulated by the intellectual class, the effendiyya, and understood by the masses that the future was reliant on a reclamation of Egypt’s ancient glory.

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