Transgression, Translation and Transformation: Female Arab Writers' Engagement with the West
As with any other identity, the experience and persona of the Middle Eastern woman does not converge easily into a simple or typical mould – nor should it. However, the danger in popular culture is that it is all too easy to be drawn toward a simplistic picture. It can be argued that 'the oppressed Muslim woman in need of rescue' has become widespread in the West for decades. Yet, little has been written about this controversial matter. It can be argued that this widespread Western view is merely a misreading of reality. The present proposal provides an insight into how the hopes, concerns, and cultural identity of the Middle Eastern woman can be better understood in the West and worldwide.
The current research seeks to hear the individual voice on the western gaze. There are today many female Middle Eastern writers who have turned the gaze upon themselves, writing on their own circumstances, their struggle, their dilemma, and their solution to the problem.
Divided into five chapters, the literary works examined collectively show women’s engagement with an ancient history, a dangerous present, and an uncertain future in which they will have to draft their own unique and hybrid identities. The protagonists in these literary works constantly move into contested and controversial territories. They tend to move through and beyond the concept of “writing back” from the position of a subjugated and culturally intact subaltern. It is from this place of inescapable hybridity that they ultimately take the lead in a creative process of forming a new hybrid vocabulary of experience and meaning.
ISBN 9783862887927. LINCOM Cultural Studies 16. 132pp. 2017.