Heteroglossia: Interpretation and the Experiences of Coptic Immigrants from Egypt in North America, 1955–1975


  • Michael Akladios York University


Scholarship on Coptic Orthodox Christians, built on textual sources left behind by elites and institutions, has focused largely on the unwavering persistence of an insular faith community. Instead, oral history can focus on the material engagements of immigrants to central Canada and the northeastern United States in its analysis. In doing so, the histories of Egyptian migrants reveal how some people carved out a space for autobiographies within collective communal narratives. Adopting a methodology that privileges the heteroglossia—varied and opposing voices—of migrating actors, the author insists that a transnational and reflexive analysis is necessary to appreciate the everyday lives and motivations of Copts from Egypt in North America.

Author Biography

Michael Akladios, York University

Michael Akladios received his PhD in history from York University. He is the founder and manager of the Coptic Canadian History Project (CCHP), a community archival and public history organization affiliated with the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections (CTASC).