Memory, Voice, and Identity : Muslim Women’s Writing from across the Middle East book cover
1st Edition

Memory, Voice, and Identity
Muslim Women’s Writing from across the Middle East

ISBN 9780367569761
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
278 Pages

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Book Description

Muslim women have been stereotyped by Western academia as oppressed and voiceless. This volume problematizes this Western academic representation. Muslim Women Writers from the Middle East from Out al-Kouloub al-Dimerdashiyyah (1899–1968) and Latifa al-Zayat (1923–1996) from Egypt, to current diasporic writers such as Tamara Chalabi from Iraq, Mohja Kahf from Syria, and even trendy writers such as Alexandra Chreiteh, challenge the received notion of Middle Eastern women as subjugated and secluded. The younger largely Muslim women scholars collected in this book present cutting edge theoretical perspectives on these Muslim women writers. This book includes essays from the conflict-ridden countries such as Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and the resultant diaspora. The strengths of Muslim women writers are captured by the scholars included herein. The approach is feminist, post-colonial, and disruptive of Western stereotypical academic tropes.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:

Memory of Latifa al-Zayyat between Influence and Ambivalence 

Magda Mansour Hasabelnaby 

Chapter 2:

Rebuilding Baghdad: Placing Memoir in the Archive in Marina Benjamin’s Last Days in Babylon (2007) and Tamara Chalabi’s Late for Tea at the Deer Palace (2010)  

Arththi Sathananthar 

Chapter 3:

Once Upon a Time in Jerusalem: Re-memory and the Storied Geography of Subalterns’ Telling of their S/Place 

Riham Debian 

Chapter 4:

"Don’t Get in my Face Like Ashiq Peri": The Legacy of Azerbaijan’s most Famous Woman Bard 

Anna C. Oldfield

Chapter 5:

"Exilic Consciousness": Memoirs of Iranian Women Émigrés

Feroza Jussawalla

Chapter 6:

Feminist Ethnography, Revisionary Historiography and the Subaltern in Assia Djebar’s Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade 

Naila Sahar 

Section 2: Body and Politics


Chapter 7:

Spheres of Piety: Politicization of Muslim Women in Turkish Novels

Funda Güven

Chapter 8:

Muslim Face, White Mask: Out al-Kouloub al-Dimerdashiyyah’s Ramza as a Mimic (Wo)man

Doaa Omran

Chapter 9:

Same-sex Relations in Modern Arabic Fiction between Empowerment and Impossibility: A case study of Samar Yazbek’s Cinnamon 

Rima Sadek 

Chapter 10:

Writing Veiled Bodies Anew: A Study of Maya al-Haj’s Burkini: Iʿtirāfāt□Muḥajjaba.  

Asmaa Gamal Salem Awad 


Section 3: Identity and Crossing Boundaries


Chapter 11:

"A Girl is Like a Bottle of Coke": Emptied and Recycled Identities in Always Coca-Cola 

Lava Asaad  

Chapter 12:

Shaping a Female Identity: Feminism & National Identity in Suad al-Sabah’s Poetry  

Asmaa Ahmed Youssef Moawad

Chapter 13:

"An Islam of her Own": A Critical Reading of Leila Aboulela’s Minaret

Wafaa H. Sorour

Chapter 14:

Mobility, Survival, and the Female Body in Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits 

Amel Abbady 


Section 4: Moving to Wider Spheres


Chapter 15:

An Intersectional Feminist Reading of The Dove’s Necklace and Hend and the Soldiers 

Najlaa R. Aldeeb 

Chapter 16:

Language and Identity in Postcolonial Mauritanian Muslim Women’s Writing

Fatima Sidiya

Chapter 17:

Documenting Refugee Crisis and Post-migration Living Difficulties in Ebtissam Shakoush’s In the Camps and Social Media Representations: A Postcolonial Perspective 

Heba Gaber Abd Elaziz 


Section 5: Returning to the Scheherazade Within


Chapter 18:

Djebar and Scheherazade: On Muslim Women, Past and Present 

Brigitte Stepanov

Chapter 19:

Cultural Trauma and Scheherazade’s Gastro-national/Transnational Discourse in Tamara al-Refai’s Writings 

Pervine Elrefaei 

Chapter 20:

Revolutionizing Scheherazade: Deconstructing the Exotic and Oppressed Muslim Odalisque in Mohja Kahf’s Poetry

Amany El-Sawy

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Feroza Jussawalla has taught at the University of Texas at El Paso and is Full Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. She is the author of Family Quarrels: Towards a Criticism of Indian Writing in English (1984), co-editor of Interviews with Writers of the Postcolonial World, (1992), and ed., Conversations with V.S. Naipaul (1997), and Emerging South Asian Women Writers (2017).

Doaa Omran did her Master’s and PhD at the University of New Mexico (2019). She wrote her ground-breaking dissertation titled Female Hero Mega-Archetypes in the Medieval European Romance on Quranic and Biblical female characters as mega-archetypes in Medieval literature. She is currently a visiting lecturer at the same university where she received her Master’s and doctorate. She received her BA in English language and literature at Alexandria University, Egypt. Her awards include: a Fulbright Scholarship (2007), the Women of Color award at UNM (2012), Dean of Graduate Studies Dissertation Award (2016) and first place in the Larry Morris Memorial Scholarship (2018). Her essay "Anachronism and Anatopism in the French Vulgate Cycle and the Forging of English Identity through Othering Muslims/Saracens" is included in Albrecht Classen’s edited volume Travel, Time, and Space in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Time: Explorations of World Perceptions and Processes of Identity Formation (2018).