Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap

Seeking Bread and Fortune in Port Said. Labor Migration and the Making of the Suez Canal, 1859–1906.

Lucia Carminati (UiO) presents her new book about Labor Migration and the Making of the Suez Canal.

Bokomslag av boken "Seeking Bread And Fortune In  Port Said 1859-1906"
University of California Press


Lucia Carminati is professor of History in the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. She is a social and cultural historian of migration and the modern Middle East. In particular, she researches Egypt in the 19th and 20th centuries with a special focus on migratory routes and mobility at large, imperial interests, and infrastructural transformations. Other than in her recently published monograph (University of California Press, 2023), her research appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Journal of the History of Sexuality, History Compass, Journal of Urban History, Rethinking History, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. In 2023, she finalized a project via the British Library's Endangered Archives Programme that will make 70,000 periodical pages of 19th- and 20th-century collections from Cairo available on the British Library website. She describes this project in a recent multi-lingual blog post.  


Book description from the press website:

Seeking Bread and Fortune in Port Said probes migrant labor's role in shaping the history of the Suez Canal and modern Egypt. It maps the everyday life of Port Said's residents between 1859, when the town was founded as the Suez Canal's northern harbor, and 1906, when a railway connected it to the rest of Egypt. Through groundbreaking research, Lucia Carminati provides a ground-level perspective on the key processes touching late nineteenth-century Egypt: heightened domestic mobility and immigration, intensified urbanization, changing urban governance, and growing foreign encroachment. By privileging migrants' prosaic lives, Seeking Bread and Fortune in Port Said shows how unevenness and inequality laid the groundwork for the Suez Canal's making.