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.
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