We Are For Egypt: The History, Culture, and Legacy of Egyptian Southern Illinois


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships




Southern Illinois has been known as “Egypt” and “Little Egypt” for nearly 200 years. Throughout the turbulent nineteenth century, Egyptian Illinoisans strengthened their regional cohesiveness in spite of and in response to internal and external political and social upheavals. Distinct from the rest of Illinois in dialect, superstitions, folk tales, and musical traditions, traces of this Egyptian identity still resonate in Southern Illinois today. “We Are For Egypt” is an interdisciplinary project that integrates underrepresented voices into an inclusive history of the region, generates a handbook for educators to incorporate local history into their curricula, and produces musical recordings that bridge the past and present artistic heritage of Egyptian Illinois.