• "The Story of Zahra and Its Critics: Feminism and Agency at War," Arabic Literature for the Classroom

    Author(s):
    Elizabeth M. Holt (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    2019 MLA Convention
    Subject(s):
    Arabic literature, Feminism, Theories of subjectivity, Critical pedagogy, Agency
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Rape, Lebanese civil war
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/astn-qc25
    Abstract:
    ABSTRACT Theorizations of the female subject in Arabic literary criticism have long charted debates within Western feminism. This chapter invites a reading of Hanan al-Shaykh's novel The Story of Zahra that would attend rather to the quiet narrative aporia surrounding a reticent Zahra, the challenge her will to be "look[ed] at [as] a woman in peacetime" presents to liberal feminist literary criticism in English, and what that all might have to do with the narrative conditions of war in Arabic. This chapter is intended for use in the classroom, to be read by students and their teachers in courses on women's writing, the Arabic novel, war literature, translation, and American feminism; and invites students and teachers to take The Story of Zahra as an opportunity for closer reading. The Story of Zahra offers a case study in which the hesitations of a piece of fiction both warn against the imposition of a reader's politics of feminism, and yet seem persistently also to stage those very critical tendencies.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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