With over 81 million inhabitants, Egypt is the largest of the Arab states in population, and the homeland of the largest group of Arab Americans in the state of New Jersey. Studies of Egyptian culture, history, and politics form a significant aspect of faculty research at Rutgers, as part of a broader interdisciplinary study of the Middle East. Students and faculty interested in Egypt draw primarily from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.
A number of Rutgers faculty are engaged in research on Egypt that cover topics including the politics of translation practice in colonial and postcolonial contexts, and the connection between translation, modernity, and popular fiction in early twentieth century Egypt. Rutgers scholars are also engaged in research on the comparative cultural, intellectual, and social history of the modern Middle East (with specific reference to Egypt and Iran) combining interdisciplinary, transnational, and comparative theoretical and methodological approaches including women’s and gender studies, media and performance studies, and cultural studies. Additionally, Rutgers faculty are engaged in collaborative research projects with colleagues at Egyptian institutions. For example, Elsayed A. Elsayed (Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering (SOE)) is engaged in a joint project with American University in Cairo on innovative approaches for the design of lightweight and low-cost furniture. Lisa Carol Klein (Materials Science and Engineering, SOE) is collaborating on research on laser dopants in glass with scholars at Cairo University. Randy Gaugler of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) is collaborating with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture on biology and biocontrol of scarab beetles attacking crops.
The CMES has also hosted distinguished Egyptian scholars, such as Minister of Social Solidarity, Gouda Abdel-Khalek (Cairo University), and Karima Korayem (al-Azhar University). While pursuing his research at Rutgers, Professor Abdel-Khalek also taught a course, “The Middle East and the World Economy” under the auspices of the Economics Department and the Middle Eastern Studies Program.
Undergraduate students wishing to study in Egypt may participate in a semester or yearlong program in Cairo.