HIST 309
Arab Women Memoirs: Writing Feminist History Fall 2014
Division II
Cross-listed WGSS 251 / ARAB 252 / COMP 252 / HIST 309
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course reviews selected autobiographical writings by Arab women writers from the wave of independence in the 20th century to the contemporary Arab uprisings, passing through all the transformations that globalization and the technosphere have instigated. We will examine the role that first-voice narrative plays in shaping literature, history and thought, while providing a space to reclaim cultural, social and political agency. Focusing on the different articulations of self-representation, our discussion will address how these women reflect on the shifting discourses of identities, gender, nationalism, religion, feminism, sexuality, politics, borders and their histories. Questions we will address include: How did these memoirs contribute to the development of Arab feminist consciousness? In addition to the memoirs, we will look at women’s blogs and watch films that focus on first-person narrative to discuss related topics, such as, visual testimonies, virtual political participation and feminist resistance in the technosphere. Required texts may include: Fadwa Tuqan (A Mountainous Journey: An Autobiography), Fatima Mernissi (Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood), Leila Ahmed (A Border Passage: From Cairo to America–a Woman’s Journey), Fadia Faqir and Shirley Eber (In the House of Silence: Autobiographical Essays by Arab Women Writers), and Jumanah Haddad (I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman), as well as critical essays and selections from autobiographical writings that reflect the diversity of Arab women in the Middle East and the diaspora.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 1023
Grading: OPG
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, several short response papers, three short papers (3-5 pages), and a final paper (7-10 pages)
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division II
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ARAB or COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST or WGSS
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 251 Division II ARAB 252 Division I COMP 252 Division I HIST 309 Division II
Attributes: ARAB Arabic Studies Electives
INST Middle Eastern Studies Electives

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