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Women’s and Feminist Literature in the Contemporary Middle East

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1974
Section 001
Instructor Mélanie Heydari
Days F
Time 12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM, GLOBAL



Since the last decades of the twentieth century there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women writers from the Middle East. This course provides a window into this rich and largely neglected branch of world literature. Students will encounter the breadth and creativity of contemporary Middle Eastern women’s writing by reading a range of twentieth– and twenty-first–century novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry, and by viewing films that are from or about Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. How do Middle Eastern women authors address women’s oppression —both social and physical—and enunciate issues such as the tension between tradition and modernity, sexuality, identity and class from a female perspective? What literary traditions and models do they draw on? How different are those texts written in English or French for a global audience, as opposed to those written in Persian or Arabic? What are the effects of reading them in translation? Authors will include Simin Daneshvar, Zoya Pirzad, Marjane Satrapi, Azar Nafisi, Hanan al-Shaykh, Alia Mamdouh and Nawal El Saadawi.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)