SCE Community Lecture Series 8

Monday, May 23, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Ewart Memorial Hall, AUC Tahrir Square
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School of Continuing Education
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As part of the School of Continuing Education's (SCE) Community Lecture series, Reem Bassiouney, associate professor of applied linguistics, will deliver a lecture titled, "Religion and Identity in Modern Egyptian Public Discourse."
 
In modern Egypt, language is used as the linchpin for an Egyptian identity that is perceived to be a coherent and holistic one. Public discourse tackles the thorny issue of religious differences between Christians and Muslims by using two strategies: foregrounding and backgrounding. That is, in mainstream public discourse, religious differences are undermined and religion as an inclusive general belief system is highlighted. Egyptian public discourse attempts to convey the following two messages to the Egyptian target audience: 1) “We” speak the same language or code, so we belong to the same community of practice and are, therefore, the same people, regardless of our religious affiliations; and 2) Religion is important in identity formation, but social, ethnic or historical similarities between Christians and Muslims are more salient in identity formation. Data used to verify these two claims include online articles, movies and patriotic songs.  

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