Oct 8, 2017

Arab Feminism in Periods of Transition

Episode 335


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In this episode, we uncover histories of feminist writing and activism in the Modern Middle East, asking how women's textual production and activism changed over the twentieth century and looking at new directions in research on the history of women and feminism in the region. In the first half of the episode, Marilyn Booth introduces us to feminist writer and biographer Zeinab Fawwaz, who transformed women's writing in 1890s Egypt. We show how central questions of gender, marriage, and girls' education were to discussions about society and nation after the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and through the first decades of the twentieth century. In the second half of the episode, Nova Robinson discusses her research on Nour Hammada, a women's activist from interwar Lebanon who argued for an "Eastern" or "Arab" women's rights framework. At the end, we come together to think about the new avenues of inquiry shaping Middle East history and the history of women and gender in the region.