[P4808] Gender and Mobility in Arab Women's Writings

Created by Rima Sadek
Monday, 11/20/17 10:30am


This panel considers Arab women’s mobility and movement across various cultures, nations, and spaces as explored in and through contemporary Arab women's writings. There is a long, rich history of Arab women writers addressing their own mobility within and across private and public spheres in Arab-Islamic culture. While such complex and diverse movements and discussions continue, recent wars and political and economic crises have driven a lot of Arab women, including writers, to move physically from their countries of origins, relocating to foreign spaces they seek to make their new homes. Many have settled in Western countries, which has prompted a renewed interest in “the Arab woman” in the West. This migration has refocused conversations on Arab women’s mobility to consider questions of cultural adaptation, identity crisis, otherness, exile, and gender equality. New theoretical frameworks, like transnational feminism, that take into account the differing ways in which oppression and marginalization are employed, open up conversations and allow for more nuanced approaches to the issue of Arab women’s mobility and movement in a postcolonial world.

Incorporating papers that draw on methods from diverse fields such as gender studies, Arabic literature, comparative literature, postcolonial studies, and related areas, this interdisciplinary panel examines the issues of mobility and movement as explored in and through Arab women’s literature produced within the past thirty years. There is a particular emphasis on papers that focus on Arab women writers who dwell outside of their countries of origin, whether in Arab or non-Arab cultures, and that address the complexity, nuances, and challenges of women's mobility and their own personal migration. Some questions this panel considers are: How have Arab women defined and/ or expressed mobility in their own writings, whether scholarly, literary, or in another genre? How has the mobility of Arab women and/ or their writings been framed by others? What are the effects of mobility and movement on Arab women's identities and their literary productions? What are some of the ways Arab women living in Western countries have compared and contrasted patterns of gender inequality and marginalization between the "Arab world" and the "Western world"? How have current refugee and migration crises affected discussions about mobility, and how have refugees themselves participated in these discussions?






Johanna Sellman

(The Ohio State University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

Nancy Linthicum

(University of Michigan)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Rima Sadek

(University of South Carolina)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Wael Salam

(University of Jordan)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Manar Shabouk

(Syracuse University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;