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Nubian Women of West Aswan: Negotiating Tradition and Change, 2nd edition

Anne M. Jennings
Nubian Women of West Aswan: Negotiating Tradition and Change, 2nd edition
ISBN: 978-1-58826-616-3
ISBN: 978-1-58826-641-5
2008/171 pages/LC: 2008033568

"A wonderful 'thick' ethnography, made all the more fascinating by Jennings' expressive narratives, her personalized portrayals, her engaging research adventures, and the unfolding drama of both wanted and unwanted social transformation among the Nubians.” —James Toth, Contemporary Islam

“It is a pleasure to read [this] book.... For those interested in contemporary African ethnography, women's studies, or taking a deeper look at Egypt's own cultural diversity, this paperback should be on your shelf.”—Middle East Journal

"Describes in detail the life cycle of a typical woman, including information on dress, infibulation, giving birth, childhood socialization, courtship, marriage, and death. Descriptions of daily routines, house plans, food preparation, leisure activities, and friendships will bring the people of West Aswan alive to readers.... Will be of use to, and enjoyed by, undergraduate and graduate students in the classroom.”—Judy Brink, International Journal of Middle East Studies

“This is a vivid ethnography, a well-illustrated and detailed account of women's networks and an analysis of their importance.”—Sondra Hale, International Journal of African Historical Studies

“It is gratifying to welcome this Nubian ethnography from a scholar with Jennings's empathetic concerns and privileged identity.”—Robert A. Fernea, MESA Bulletin


In the decade-and-a-half since the first edition of this book was written, there have been dramatic changes both in the town of Aswan and among the devoutly Muslim Nubians of the of West Aswan. Anne Jennings’s revised and updated ethnography reflects those changes and also incorporates new material from archaeological/historical research and new literature on the impact of tourism, the work of Muslim women in the informal sector, and the interdependence of male and female domains.


Anne M. Jennings is a consulting cultural anthropologist.


  • Introduction.
  • The History of the Nubians.
  • The People of West Aswan.
  • Growing Up Female in West Aswan
  • Growing Up Male in West Aswan.
  • Village Networks.
  • Tourism.
  • West Aswan in Transition.
No paperback rights in the Middle East.