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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 contemporary feminist literature, theory, and art from this region involves a critique of nationalist movements that have compromised women’s rights and promoted divided loyalties among women. We will begin by asking how analytical categories including the “Middle East” and “Muslim Women” advance particular forms of knowledge production in the West. Taking as a point of departure the myriad voices that have “spoken for” women in the Middle East, this course will foreground women’s personal narratives and critical perspectives on “Western” feminism; nationalism; colonization; veiling; revolution; human rights; religious identity and Islamic revivalism; and empire, especially as expressed in literary memoir, critical theory and historiography, 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 America and Europe in the wake of war and revolution, and who identify themselves as existing in the margins between nations. By studying women’s memoir and autobiography alongside theoretical discussions of nationalism, revolution, and visual culture, we will try to understand how gender and sexuality intersect with international politics, ethnic and class conflict, colonialism, religion, and globalization 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 political strategies 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 Arab revolutions with respect to sexuality; gender, ethnic, national and religious identities; the politics of solidarity; Islamism; and the role of social media in the production and dissemination of cultures 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 CompletePersepolis Pardis Mahdavi, Gridlock: Labor, Migration and Human Trafficking in DubaiFereshteh Nouraie-Simone, ed., On Shifting Ground: Muslim Women in the Global EraRecommended:Shereen El Feki,Sex & the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab WorldPardis Mahdavi,