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WOMEN WRITING DIASPORA:SEXUALITY, REVOLUTION & EXILE IN THE MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICAARTSL 100gPROFESSOR KARINA EILERAASFALL 2014Office: 413 Taper Hall (THH)Office Hours: TH 12-2 PM & by appointmentEmail:[email protected]Course Classroom: VKC 211Course Schedule: T, TH 5-6:20 PMCOURSE DESCRIPTION:Women in the Middle East and North Africa have played an active role in nationalist movementsand anti-colonial revolution in the late 20thcentury. Yet a recurring theme of contemporaryfeminist literature, theory, and art from this region involves a critique of nationalist movementsthat have compromised women’s rights and promoted divided loyalties among women.We will begin by asking how analytical categories including the “Middle East” and “MuslimWomen” advance particular forms of knowledge production in the West. Taking as a point ofdeparture the myriad voices that have “spoken for” women in the Middle East, this course willforeground women’s personal narratives and critical perspectives on “Western” feminism;nationalism; colonization; veiling; revolution; human rights; religious identity and Islamicrevivalism; and empire, especially as expressed in literary memoir, critical theory andhistoriography, and film. We will focus on transnational feminist perspectives from the diaspora,paying particular attention to the experiences of women who have immigrated to North Americaand Europe in the wake of war and revolution, and who identify themselves as existing in themargins between nations.By studying women’s memoir and autobiography alongside theoretical discussions ofnationalism, revolution, and visual culture, we will try to understand how gender and sexualityintersect with international politics, ethnic and class conflict, colonialism, religion, andglobalization to shape women’s experiences of belonging, war, nostalgia, and exile. We will alsoask how feminist artists and writers have responded to neo-Orientalist fantasy; violence; culturalmemory, and dislocation in the aftermath of 9/11 by fashioning novel aesthetic and politicalstrategies with which to contest citizenship, re-vision community, and articulate hybrid identities.We will focus on women’s experiences in Iran, Egypt, and the Francophone Maghreb, especiallyAlgeria and Morocco. In conclusion, we will evaluate media coverage of the ongoing Arabrevolutions with respect to sexuality; gender, ethnic, national and religious identities; the politicsof solidarity; Islamism; and the role of social media in the production and dissemination ofcultures of dissent.1
REQUIRED TEXTS:1.Books:Leila Ahmed,A Border Passage: From Cairo to AmericaFatima Mernissi,Dreams of TrespassMalek Alloula,The Colonial HaremMarjane Satrapi,The CompletePersepolisPardis Mahdavi,Gridlock: Labor, Migration and Human Trafficking in DubaiFereshteh Nouraie-Simone, ed.,On Shifting Ground: Muslim Women in theGlobal EraRecommended:Shereen El Feki,Sex & the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab WorldPardis Mahdavi,