This book, the first full-length study of its kind, dares to probe the biggest taboo in contemporary Arab culture with scholarly intent and integrity - female homosexuality.
Habib argues that female homosexuality has a long history in Arabic literature and scholarship, beginning in the ninth century, and she traces the destruction of Medieval discourses on female homosexuality and the replacement of these with a new religious orthodoxy that is no longer permissive of a variety of sexual behaviours.
Habib also engages with recent "gay" historiography in the West and challenges institutionalized constructionist notions of sexuality.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Introducing Studies on Female Homosexuality and Contemporary Critical Theory 1. Introduction: Contemporary Views of Female Homosexuality in the Middle East 2. Constructing and Deconstructing Sexuality: New Paradigms for "Gay" Historiography Part 2: The History and Representation of Female Homosexuality in the Middle Ages 3. An Overview of Medieval Literature Concerning Female Homosexuality 4. A Close Reading of Ahmad Ibn Yusuf Tifashi's Nuzhat al Albab: Toward Re-Envisioning the Islamic Middle East Part 3: The History and Representation of Female Homosexuality in the Contemporary Middle East 5. Contemporary Representations of Female Homosexuality in Arabic Literature and Criticism 6. Some Like it Luke-Warm: A Brief History of the Representation of (Homo)Sexuality in Egyptian Film Part 4: Conclusion and References 7. Conclusion: Homosexuals, the People of Lot and the Future of Arabic Homosexuality 8. Notes
Samar Habib is a scholar, editor, and novelist. Her literary novel, A Tree Like Rain was published in Sydney in 2005, and she is currently the chief editor of an international online journal, Nebula. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Sydney.