Still a useful category to analyze Middle East political history? A view from Egypt (1919–2019)

Authored by: Lucia Sorbera

Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138047631
eBook ISBN: 9781315170688
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter develops two key ideas of feminist historiography: the notion of “gender” as a useful category of historical analysis, first theorized by Joanne Scott, and the conceptualization of intersubjectivity as a site where memory intersects history, first conceived by Luisa Passerini. It does it by situating the history of Egyptian feminism in its specific context, through the analysis of a selection of oral histories and of written documents that sheds-light on one century of women’s advocacy for political prisoners in Egypt (1919–2019). Indeed, this chapter demonstrates not only that the use of gender continues to be useful for the study of Egyptian and Middle East political history, but also that the study of Egyptian and Middle East feminisms and their multiple genealogies can produce new theorizations of gender.

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