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Week 6 - The Arabic Speaking world

This week features texts available written by women of the Non-Aligned Movement. We focus on two women writers involved in the National liberation movements in Egypt and Algeria in the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, we look at the prison memoirs of an Egyptian feminist in the 1970s who identifies politically with the NAM movement to explore the movement's afterlives post the national liberation era. Pan-Arabism advocates for consolidating all Arab individuals within a unified nation-state, encompassing the Arab nations across West Asia and North Africa, spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea, commonly known as the Arab world. Notes on absence: Through researching women’s involvement in the non-alignment movement in the “Arab World,” we noticed that the women involved in the Afro-Asian movement express their political lives mainly in memoirs and autobiographical novels. This literature is present, published and circulated mainly in those literary categories. We also chose a few academic pieces that aid in contextualizing the temporality of the Bandung movement and women's involvement in it.  For this week, we chose the following texts. The official pamphlet of the Bandung movement showed women only when discussing a high tea party attended by first ladies. Additionally, the Lotus Prize of Literature issued by the Lotus Afro-Asian journal - the cultural production of the Bandung movement-was only given to Arab men and not a single woman. This opens up a lot of questions and discussions on the meanings of these absences.

Primary text

El Saadawi, N., & Sa'dawi, N. (1994). Memoirs from the Women's Prison. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press

Djebar, A. (2005). Children of the New World : a novel of the Algerian War. Feminist Press.

Al-Zayyat, L. (2004). The open door. American University in Cairo Press. 

Secondary texts

Halim, H. (2012). Lotus, the Afro-Asian Nexus, and Global South Comparatism. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32(3), 563-583.

Holt, E. M. (2013). “Bread or freedom”: The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the CIA, and the Arabic Literary Journal Hiwār (1962-67). Journal of Arabic Literature, 44(1), 83-102. 

Week 6 - The Arabic Speaking world