Middle East Studies
English edition  
June  2016
160 pp.
15X23 cm
ISBN 9789774167478
For sale worldwide


Women in Revolutionary Egypt

Gender and the New Geographics of Identity Shereen Abouelnaga

A compelling inquiry into the remaking of gender and sexuality in post-Mubarak Egypt

The 25 January 2011 uprising and the unprecedented dissent and discord to which it gave rise shattered the notion of homogeneity that had characterized state representations of Egypt and Egyptians since 1952. It allowed for the eruption of identities along multiple lines, including class, ideology, culture, and religion, long suppressed by state control. Concomitantly a profusion of women’s voices arose to further challenge the state-managed feminism that had sought to define and carefully circumscribe women’s social and civic roles in Egypt. Women in Revolutionary Egypt takes the uprising as the point of departure for an exploration of how gender in post-Mubarak Egypt came to be rethought, reimagined, and contested. It examines key areas of tension between national and gender identities, including gender empowerment through art and literature, particularly graffiti and poetry, the disciplining of the body, and the politics of history and memory. Shereen Abouelnaga argues that this new cartography of women’s struggle has to be read in a context that takes into consideration the micropolitics of everyday life as well as the larger processes that work to separate the personal from the political. She shows how a new generation of women is resisting, both discursively and visually, the notion of a fixed or ‘authentic’ notion of Egyptian womanhood in spite of prevailing social structures and in face of all gendered politics of imagined nation.
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Shereen Abouelnaga is professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University. She has written widely in English and Arabic on cultural and literary topics, with a special focus on gender.

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“Shereen Abouelnaga’s book is a beautifully written, original, and insightful contribution that transcends existing analysis of the gendered dimension of protest and revolutionary struggle in Egypt. Against the background of the history of women’s rights activism, and the wider relationship between gender and nationalism, the book explores the complex relationship between gender, art and politics in contemporary Egypt. Body politics and the politics of memory are central to this captivating and fascinating analysis of the complex way gendered power and agency have unfolded in Egypt post 2011.”—Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS, University of London<br><br>

“Much has been written about the 25 January Revolution and its aftermath—and women’s role therein, but Shereen Abouelnaga breaks new ground with her precise use of the concepts of gender and agency.”—Sally Bland, Jordan Times

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