Hanan Hammad’s Industrial Sexuality is about the lives of proletarianized peasants who worked for the Misr Spinning and Weaving Company (MSWC) in al-Mahalla al-Kubra from the 1920s through World War II. The book is a unique resource for courses on gender and sexuality and the formation of the modern state in the Middle East and North Africa. Rarely have workers, not necessarily participants in organized labor movements, had their stories told with such detail and care. Through an analysis of archival records that includes court cases, official MSWC documents, and memoirs, Hammad weaves a historical account of how industrial work formed the modern Egyptian subject.

Chapter 1 investigates the making of industrial masculinities. While the state legitimated aggressive masculinity for middle-class men, it condemned as antinationalist male factory worker aggression in response to abuse and exploitation. The stress...

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