Lucia Carminati

Associate Professor - Historie
Image of Lucia Carminati
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22856826
Room NT 511
Available hours By appointment
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Niels Treschows hus 0851 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1008 Blindern 0315 Oslo

Academic interests

I am a historian of migration and the modern Middle East. I research the social and cultural history of Egypt in the 19th and 20th centuries with a special focus on migratory routes and mobility at large, imperial interests, and infrastructural transformations. My ongoing research projects include studies of the history of public health on the Suez Isthmus; a historical analysis of migrants' correspondence; an inquiry into the history of migrant women, children, and gender in and around the Suez Canal worksites.

Courses taught


Assistant Professor (2020-2022), History Department, Texas Tech University 

Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2020), Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Ph.D. History (2018), Department of History, University of Arizona

MA International Relations (2009), Università degli Studi di Milano

BA Intercultural Mediation (2006), Università degli Studi di Milano  

Grants & Awards


Forthcoming: Seeking Bread and Fortune in Port Said: Labor Migration and the Making of the Suez Canal, 1859-1906, University of California Press. 

Forthcoming: “Of Machines and Men: The Uneasy Synergy of Mechanization and Migrant Labor on the Suez Canal Worksites, 1859-1864,” in Oxford Handbook of Modern Egypt, by Beth Baron and Jeffrey Culang. Oxford: Oxford University Press,

“Dietro alle quinte del Canale di Suez: movimenti migratori e scontri diplomatici.” In Aida. Figlia di Due Mondi, by Enrico Ferraris, 94-99. Modena: Cosimo Panini Editore, 2022. 

“Afifa’s Migration. Syrian Prostitutes and the ‘White Slave Trade’ in Port Said,” Gendered Transnationalisms in the Middle East & North Africa Roundtable, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 17-3 (October 2021): 473-478.

“‘She Will Eat Your Shirt.’ Foreign Migrant Women as Brothel Keepers in Port Said and Along the Suez Canal: Prostitution as Business and Survival, 1880-1914,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 30-2 (May 2021): 161-194. 

“Suez: A Hollow Canal in Need of Peopling. Currents and Stoppages in the Historiography, 1859-1956,” History Compass 19-5 (May 2021). 

With Mohamed Gamal-Eldin, “Provincializing Egyptian Historiography: De-Centered Geographies, Methodologies, and Sources,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 53-1 (January 2021): 107-111.   

“Dividing and Ruling a Mediterranean Port-City. The Many Boundaries within Late Nineteenth Century Port Said.” In Multi-ethnic Cities in the Mediterranean World. Controversial Heritage and Divided Memories, from the Nineteenth Through the Twentieth Centuries, volume 2, by Marco Folin and Heleni Porfyriou, 30-44. New York: Routledge, 2021. 

“‘Improvising and Very Humble.’ Those ‘Italians’ Throughout Egypt That Statisticians and Historians Have Neglected.” In On the Margins of History. Italian Subalterns Between Emigration and Colonialism in the Italian Colony in Egypt (1861–1937), by Costantino Paonessa, 31-52. Louvain: Université catholique de Louvain presse, 2021. 

“Port Said and Ismailia as Desert Marvels: Delusion and Frustration on the Isthmus of Suez, 1859-1869.” Journal of Urban History 46-3 (May 2020): 622–47.  

“Dead Ends in and out of the Archive: An Ethnography of Dār Al Wathā’iq Al Qawmiyya, the Egyptian National Archive.” Rethinking History 23-1 (January 2019): 34-51. 

“Alexandria, 1898: Nodes, Networks, and Scales in Late Nineteenth-Century Egypt.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 59-1 (January 2017): 127-153.   

“Zaynab al-Ghazali’s Women, Marriages, and Contradictions: Her Life as an Archive.” Al-Raida. The Pioneering Arab Journal on Gender Issues 148-149-150, (Winter/Spring/Summer 2015): 70-79. 

Digital Projects 
“Italians Consider the International Problem of Trafficking in Women, 1928-1936.” In Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820, by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin. Binghamton; Alexandria: Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at the State University of New York; Alexander Street Press, 2016. 

TED-Ed Animated video-lesson: “How the Suez Canal Changed the World”, May 3 2022.  

The Suez Canal: Ambition, Colonial Greed, Revolution and the Ditch that Reshaped Global Trade.” Interview with ABC Radio National, Rear Vision, 25 April 2021. Presenter/Producer: Annabelle Quince. 

The Fascinating History of the Suez Canal.” Interview with The Conversation-Africa, Pasha Podcast no. 104, 21 April 2021. Editor: Ozayr Patel. 

The Toll and Toil It Took to Cleave the Suez Canal Through the Egyptian Desert.” The Conversation, 7 April 2021.   

Q&A with filmmaker-translator Ernesto Pagano about Taxi and Islam in Naples.” Mada Masr, Cairo-based news website, 21 August 2016.  



Published Aug. 5, 2022 12:30 PM - Last modified Oct. 10, 2022 10:35 PM