Women of the Middle East: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women of the Middle East

1st Edition

Edited by Fatma Muge Gocek


1,586 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780415823128
pub: 2015-11-26

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The academic study of women in the Middle East grew from traditional branches of learning such as history, anthropology, politics, and literary studies. More recently, it has incorporated cutting-edge areas of academic endeavour, including critical theory and new thinking on sexuality, labour, health, media, and material culture. As research in and around the area flourishes as never before, this new collection from Routledge meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of scholarly literature.

In four volumes, Women of the Middle East draws together the key research, both canonical and contemporary, to provide users with a comprehensive survey of all the major issues relating to women in one of the world’s most challenging and contested regions.

Women of the Middle East is fully indexed and each of the four volumes has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the learned editor, which places the major works in their historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Deconstructing Orientalism Through Contextualization

1. Sondra Hale—2005. ‘Edward Said—Accidental Feminist: Orientalism and Middle East Women’s Studies’, Amerasia Journal, 31/1: 1–5.

2. Lila Abu-Lughod—2001. ‘"Orientalism" and Middle East Feminist Studies’, Feminist Studies, 27/1: 101–13.

3. Judith E. Tucker—1983. ‘Problems in the Historiography of Women in the Middle East: The Case of Nineteenth-Century Egypt’, IJMES, 15/3: 321–36.

4. Aziza Khazzoom—2006. ‘Orientalism at the Gates: Immigration, the East/West Divide, and Elite Iraqi Jewish Women in Israel in the1950s’, Signs, 32/1: 197–220.

5. Soraya Al Torki—1994. ‘At Home in the Field’, Etnofoor, 7/1: 53–71.

6. Nadje Al-Ali—2008. ‘Iraqi Women and Gender Relations: Redefining Difference’, BJMES, 35/3: 405–18.

7. Sophia Pandya—2010. ‘Women’s Shi’i Ma’atim in Bahrain’, JMEWS, 6/2: 31–58.

Part 2: Taking on the Oriental Tropes

A: Religion and Islam

8. Lila Abu-Lughod—2002. ‘Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and its Others’, American Anthropologist, 104/3: 783–90.

9. Miriam Cooke—2008. ‘Religion, Gender, and the Muslimwoman: Deploying the Muslim Woman’, Journal of the Feminist Studies of Religion, 24: 91–9.

10. Miriam Cooke—2008. ‘Rejoinder to "Muslimwoman" Responses’, Journal of the Feminist Studies of Religion, 24: 116–19.

11. Eleanor A. Doumato—1991. ‘Hearing Other Voices: Christian Women and the Coming of Islam’, IJMES, 23/2: 177–99.

12. Arezou Azad—2013. ‘Female Mystics in Medieval Islam: The Quiet Legacy’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 56: 53–88.

13. Marion Holmes Katz—2008. ‘Women’s "Mawlid" Performances in Sanaa and the Construction of "Popular Islam"’, IJMES, 40/3: 467–84.

B: Harem and Veiling

14. Leila Ahmed—1982. ‘Western Ethnocentrism and Perceptions of the Harem’, Feminist Studies, 8: 521–34.

15. Nadia Maria El Cheik—2005. ‘Revisiting the Abbasid Harems’, JMEWS, 1/3: 1–19.

16. Haleh Afshar—2008. ‘Can I See your Hair? Choice, Agency and Attitudes: The Dilemma of Faith and Feminism for Muslim Women who Cover’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31/2: 411–27.

17. Minoo Derayeh—2011. ‘The Myths of Creation and Hijab: Iranian Women, Liberated or Oppressed?’, Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alem-e Niswan, 18/2: 1–21.

18. Banu Gökarıksel and A. J. Secor—2012. "‘Even I Was Tempted": The Moral Ambivalence and Ethical Practice of Veiling-Fashion in Turkey’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102/4: 847–62.

19. Rebecca Gould—2014. ‘Hijab as Commodity Form: Veiling, Unveiling, and Misveiling in Contemporary Iran’, Feminist Theory, 15/3: 221–40.

20. Valeria Seigelshifer and Tova Hartman—2011. ‘From Tichels to Hair Bands: Modern Orthodox Women and the Practice of Head Covering’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 34/5: 349–59.


Part 1: Making Meaning in Society at Large

21. Ahmed Ragab—2010. ‘Epistemic Authority of Women in the Medieval Middle East’, Hawwa, 8/2: 181–216.

22. Omaima Abou-Bakr—2013. ‘Rings of Memory: "Writing Muslim Women" and the Question of Authorial Voice’, Muslim World, 103: 320–33.

23. Akram Khater—2008. ‘"God Has Called Me to Be Free": Aleppan Nuns and the Transformation of Catholicism in 18th-Century Bilad Al-Sham’, IJMES, 40/3: 421–43.

Part 2: Making Meaning at Particular Spaces

A: Fine Arts

24. Veronica Doubleday—1999. ‘The Frame Drum in the Middle East: Women, Musical Instruments and Power’, Ethnomusicology, 43/1: 101–34.

25. Valerie Behiery—2012. ‘Alternative Narratives of the Veil in Contemporary Art’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32/1: 130–46.

26. Nehad Selaiha and S. Enany—2010. ‘Women Playwrights in Egypt’, Theatre Journal, 62/4: 627–43.

27. Minoo Derayeh—2010. ‘Depiction of Women in Iranian Cinema, 1970s to Present’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 33/3: 151–8.

28. Susan N. Platt—2003. ‘Public Politics and Domestic Rituals: Contemporary Art by Women in Turkey, 1980–2000’, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 24/1: 19–37.

B: Fiction

29. Michelle Hartman—2011. ‘An Arab Woman Poet as a Crossover Artist? Reconsidering the Ambivalent Legacy of Al-Khansa’, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 30/1: 15–36.

30. Radwa Ashour, M. Berrada, F. J. Ghazoul, and A. Rachid—2009. ‘Arab Women Writers’, Southwest Review, 94/1: 9–18, 116–18.

31. Kamran Talatoff—1997. ‘Iranian Women’s Literature: From Pre-Revolutionary Social Discourse to Post-Revolutionary’, IJMES, 29/4: 531–58.

32. Şıma Begüm İmşır—2014. ‘Hide and Seek: On the Trail of [Turkish] Women Writers’, Journal of Research in Gender Studies, 4/1: 376–88.

33. Miriam Cooke—2007. ‘Baghdad Burning: Women Write War in Iraq’, World Literature Today, 81/6: 23–6.

C: Non-fiction

34. Magda M. Al-Nowaihi—2001. ‘Resisting Silence in Arab Women’s Autobiographies’, IJMES, 33/4: 477–502.

35. Rosemary Sayigh—2007. ‘Product and Producer of Palestinian History: Stereotypes of "Self" in Camp Women’s Life Stories’, JMEWS, 3/1: 86–105.

36. Babak Fozooni—2008. ‘Iranian Women and Football’, Cultural Studies, 22/1: 114–33.

37. Sigal Nagar-Ron and P. Motzafi-Haller—2011. ‘"My Life? There is Not Much to Tell": On Voice, Silence and Agency in Interviews with First-Generation Mizrahi Jewish Women Immigrants to Israel’, Qualitative Inquiry, 17/7: 653–63.

38. Shahla Talebi—2011. ‘Who is Behind the Name? A Story of Violence, Loss, and Melancholic Survival in Post-Revolutionary Iran’, JMEWS, 7/1: 39–69.


Part 1: Economic Challenges

A: Work

39. Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud—2012. ‘Palestinian Working Women in Israel: National Oppression and Social Restraints’, JMEWS, 8/2: 78–101.

40. Umut Beşpınar—2010. ‘Questioning Agency and Empowerment: Women’s Work-related Strategies and Social Class in Urban Turkey’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 33/6: 523–32.

B: Development

41. L. Abu-Lughod—2009. ‘Dialectics of Women’s Empowerment: The International Circuitry of the Arab Human Development Report 2005’, IJMES, 41: 83–103.

42. Roksana Bahramitash—2014. ‘Low-income Islamic Women, Poverty and the Solidarity Economy in Iran’, Middle East Critique, 23/3: 363–77.

C: Consumption

43. Mona Russell—2010. ‘Marketing the Modern Egyptian Girl: Whitewashing Soap and Clothes from the Late Nineteenth Century to 1936’, JMEWS, 6/3: 19–57.

44. Noor Al-Qasimi—2010. ‘Immodest Modesty: Accommodating Dissent and the Abaya-as-Fashion in the Arab Gulf States’, JMEWS, 6/1: 46–74.

Part 2: Political Challenges

A: The Hegemonic

45. M. M. Charrad—2007. ‘Contexts, Concepts and Contentions: Gender Legislation in the Middle East’, Hawwa: J. Women Middle East Islamic World, 5/1: 55–72.

46. Amélie Le Renard—2008. ‘"Only for Women": Women, the State and Reform in Saudi Arabia’, MEJ, 62/4: 610–29.

47. Faedah M. Totah—2013. ‘The Memory Keeper: Gender, Nation, and Remembering in Syria’, JMEWS, 9/1: 1–29.

B: The Revolutionary

48. Lina Khatib—2008. ‘Gender, Citizenship and Political Agency in Lebanon’, BJMES, 35/3: 437–51.

49. Jane Astrid Clark and J. Schwedler—2003. ‘Who Opened the Window? Women’s Activism in Islamist Parties’, Comparative Politics, 35/3: 293–312.

50. Hoodfar Homa and Fatemeh Sadeghi—2009. ‘Against all Odds: The Women’s Movement in the Islamic Republic of Iran’, Development, 52/2: 215–23.

51. Al-Ali Nadje—2013. ‘Feminist Dilemmas in (Counter-) Revolutionary Egypt’, Nordic Feminist and Gender Research, 21/4: 312–16.

Part 3: Social Challenges

A: Health

52. Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet—2006. ‘The Politics of Reproduction: Maternalism and Women’s Hygiene in Iran, 1896–1941’, IJMES, 22/1: 21–36.

53. Kathryn M. Yount—2004. ‘Symbolic Gender Politics, Religious Group Identity, and the Decline of Female Genital Cutting in Minya Egypt’, Social Forces, 82/3: 1063–90.

B: Life Course

54. Max Weiss—2007. ‘The Cultural Politics of Shi’i Modernism: Morality and Gender in Early 20th-Century Lebanon’, IJMES, 39/2: 249–70.

55. Homa Hoodfar—1999. ‘In the Absence of Legal Equity: Mahr and Marriage Negotiation in Egyptian Low Income Communities’, The Arab Studies Journal, 6–7/2–1: 98–111.

C: Education

56. Asma Sayeed—2011. ‘Muslim Women’s Religious Education in Early and Classical Islam’, Religion Compass, 5/3: 94–103.

57. Diane Napier and D. Kirk—2009. ‘Issues of Gender, Equality, Education, and National Development in the United Arab Emirates’, International Perspectives on Education and Society, 10: 301–31.


Part 1: Solutions Offered by Prominent Scholars in the Field

58. Valentine Moghadam—2008. ‘How Have Middle East Scholars Contributed to the Broader Field of Gender and Women’s Studies?’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 40/1: 16–18.

59. Elizabeth Fernea—2000. ‘The Challenges for Middle Eastern Women in the 21st Century’, Middle East Journal, 54/2: 185–93.

60. Frances S. Hasso—2005. ‘Problems and Promise in Middle East and North Africa Gender Research’, Feminist Studies, 31/3: 653–78, 685.

61. Marcia C. Inhorn—2014. ‘Roads Less Traveled in Middle East Anthropology—And New Paths in Gender Ethnography’, JMEWS, 10/3: 62–86.

62. Lila Abu-Lughod and Rabab R. El-Mahdi—2011. ‘Beyond the "Woman Question" in the Egyptian Revolution’, Feminist Studies, 37/3: 683–91.

63. Aseel Sawalha—2014. ‘Gendered Space and Middle East Studies’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 46/1: 166–8.

Part 2: A New Possible Framework Of Solutions

A: Feminisms

64. Nawar Al-Hassan Golley—2004. ‘Is Feminism Relevant to Arab Women?’, Third World Quarterly, 25: 521–36.

65. Naomi Weiner-Levy—2011. ‘Patriarchs or Feminists? Relations Between Fathers and Trailblazing Daughters in Druze Society’, Journal of Family Communication, 11/2: 126–47.

66. Riham Bahi—2011. ‘Islamic and Secular Feminisms: Two Discourses Mobilized for Gender Justice’, Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, 3/2: 138–58.

67. Fatima Seedat—2013. ‘Islam, Feminism, and Islamic Feminism: Between Inadequacy and Inevitability’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 29/2: 25–45.

68. Ömer Çaha—2011. ‘The Kurdish Women's Movement: A Third-Wave Feminism within the Turkish Context’, Turkish Studies, 12/3: 435–49.

69. Nadje Al-Ali and N. Pratt—2011. ‘Between Nationalism and Women’s Rights: The Kurdish Women’s Movement in Iraq’, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 4: 339–55.

B: Sexualities

70. Leslie Peirce—2009. ‘Writing Histories of Sexuality in the Middle East’, The American Historical Review, 114/5: 1325–39.

71. Pınar İlkkaracan—2002. ‘Women, Sexuality, and Social Change in the Middle East and the Maghreb’, Social Research, 69/3: 753–79.

72. Afsaneh Najmabadi—2013. ‘Genus of Sex or the Sexing of Jins’, IJMES, 45/2: 211–31.

73. Momin Rahman—2010. ‘Queer as Intersectionality: Theorizing Gay Muslim Identities’, Sociology, 44/5: 944–61.

C: Diasporas

74. Faegheh Shirazi and S. Mitra—2010. ‘Young Muslim Women on the Face Veil (Niqab): A Tool of Resistance in Europe but Rejected in the United States’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 13/1: 43–62.

75. Maria Stehle—2012. ‘Gender, Performance, and the Politics of Space: Germany and the Veil in Popular Culture’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32/1: 89–101.

76. Zahra Hojati—2009. ‘Voices for Justice: Iranian Women Graduate Students Theorize the Source of Oppression in Canadian Society’, Canadian Woman Studies, 27/2–3: 53–62.

77. Christina Ho—2007. ‘Muslim Women’s New Defenders: Women’s Rights, Nationalism and Islamophobia in Contemporary Australia’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 30: 290–8.

D: Technologies

78. Ahmed Al-Rawi—2014. ‘Framing Online Women’s Movements in the Arab World’, Information, Communication & Society, 17/9: 1147–61.

79. Hande Eslen-Ziya—2013. ‘Social Media and Turkish Feminism: New Resources for Social Activism’, Feminist Media Studies, 13/5: 860–70.

80. Nabil Echchaibi, 2013. ‘Muslimah Media Watch: Media Activism and Muslim Choreographies of Social Change’, Journalism, 14/7: 852–67.

81. Courtney Radsch and Sahar Khamis—2013. ‘In Their Own Voice: Technologically Mediated Empowerment and Transformation Among Young Arab Women’, Feminist Media Studies, 13/5: 881–90.

82. Katty Alhayek—2014. ‘Double Marginalization: The Invisibility of Syrian Refugee Women’s Perspectives in Mainstream Online Activism and Global Media’, Feminist Media Studies, 14/4: 696–700.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies