1st Edition

Women in the Modern History of Libya Exploring Transnational Trajectories

Edited By Barbara Spadaro, Katrina Yeaw Copyright 2020
    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    Women in the Modern History of Libya features histories of Libyan women exploring the diversity of cultures, languages and memories of Libya from the age of the Empires to the present.

    The chapters explore a series of institutional and private archives inside and outside Libya, illuminating historical trajectories marginalised by colonialism, nationalism and identity politics. They provide engaging and critical exploration of the archives of the Ottoman cities, of the colonial forces of Italy, Britain and the US, and of the Libyan resistance – the Mawsūʻat riwāyāt al-jihād (Oral Narratives of the Jihād) collection at the Libyan Studies Center of Tripoli – as well as of the private records in the homes of Jewish and Amazigh Libyans across the world. Developing the tools of women’s and gender studies and engaging with the multiple languages of Libya, contributors raise a series of critical questions on the writing of history and on the representation of Libyan people in the past and the present.

    Illuminating the sheer diversity of histories, memories and languages of Libya, Women in the Modern History of Libya will be of great interest to scholars of North Africa; women’s and gender history; memory in history; cultural studies; and colonialism. The chapters were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of North African Studies.

    Introduction: Gender and transnational histories of Libya

    Barbara Spadaro and Katrina Yeaw

    1. Centre and periphery: variations in gendered space among Libyan Jews in the late Ottoman period

    Rachel Simon

    2. Finding women and gender in the sources: toward a historical anthropology of Ottoman Tripoli

    Nora Lafi

    3. Gender, violence and resistance under Italian rule in Cyrenaica, 1923–1934

    Katrina Yeaw

    4. Remembering the ‘Italian’ Jewish homes of Libya: gender and transcultural memory (1967–2013)

    Barbara Spadaro

    5. Our star: Amazigh music and the production of intimacy in 2011 Libya

    Leila Tayeb


    Barbara Spadaro is Lecturer in Italian History and Culture at the University of Liverpool, UK. Her principal areas of research are the history of Italians from North Africa, colonial and postcolonial migration and transcultural memory. She has published articles and a monograph on the history of women in the Italian empire, ideas of Italian whiteness and the Jewish diaspora from Libya.

    Katrina Yeaw is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA. Her research interests include gender, race, colonialism, violence, memory, law, resistance and collaboration, and colonial and postcolonial literature.