Hist 295 Aciman Out of Egypt

Guidelines for final essay on Aciman’s Out of Egypt

While you are welcome to incorporate your own reactions to the memoir, the essay should primarily give you an opportunity to discuss some of the memoir's themes in relation to the materials we have looked at/will look at together.


In other words, try to use the memoir as a primary source to elaborate on some of the broader topics of the class. 

As you read or re-read the book pay attention to the ways in which Aciman describes Sephardi society in Alexandria. You can use some of these questions to keep track of themes as you read:

·         What is the position of Sephardi Jews in Egyptian society? How is the relationship between the Acimans and Alexandria described?

·         What elements of Sephardi culture does Aciman focus on? Does Sephardi culture come across as homogeneous in the book?

·         How are the older and younger generations described, what are their relations like, and what does this tell us about Sephardi culture?

·         What role do religion and European culture play within the family?

·         How is the relationship between Jews, Muslims and Christians described? What is the impact of broader political events on the family (and by extent, on all Egyptian Jews)?

Make sure that you refer directly (either quoting or paraphrasing) to the material to back up your argument. In either case, please use parenthetical quotations throughout the essay.


Field of study: 
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