Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Comparative Literature and Literary Theory

First Advisor

Jed Esty


Marketplaces of the Modern examines representations of Egypt as a marketplace in Egyptian and Anglophone literature, arguing that unresolved narrative tensions over the commodification of laboring bodies, cultural artifacts, and raw goods reflect the troubled history of capitalist imperialism in the twentieth century. Attending to aestheticizations of Egypt’s productive powers, the project tracks a shift from an earlier discourse that saw Egypt as a marketplace for commodities to a concern with the commodification of culture later in the century. It engages debates on transnationalism and globalization emphasizing the necessity of recuperating the material dimensions of culture while contributing to studies of Arabic and “Postcolonial” literatures by examining under-represented archives of South-South solidarity.