Gender, Modernity and Liberty: Middle Eastern and Western Women's Writings: A Critical Sourcebook

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This book presents a dialogue between Western and Middle Eastern women that is often presumed never to have happened. Not only were women from the Middle East imagined to be shut up in a harem all day without access to education, ideas or the outside world, but the extent to which Western women travelers were able to engage with women in the regions they visited has often been overlooked. This pioneering collection provides substantial extracts from Ottoman, Egyptian and British and American writers - each with a biographical and literary introduction - that trace the development of an intellectual, personal and critical dialogue between women over a period of accelerated social change marked by Arab nationalism and Egypt's move to independence, and the establishment of the Turkish Republic at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The ways in which the role of woman as either guardian of tradition or in the vanguard of change was

hotly contested in both countries and by all sides of the political spectrum is explained in an editors' introduction and photo-essay that set up the common themes of the collection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781860649561
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/9/2006
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Reina Lewis is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London. She is author of Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Ottoman Harem and Gendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity and Representation. She is editor, with Sara Mills, of Feminist Postcolonial Theory. Nancy Micklewright is a Program Officer at the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles. She previously taught Islamic art and architecture and the history of photography at the University of Victoria, Canada, and is author of A Victorian Traveler in the Middle East: The Photography and Travel Writing of Annie Lady Brassey.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : writing change : Middle Eastern and western women in dialogue 1
Photo essay : viewing each other : visual dialogues 31
1 The city of the sultan; and the domestic manners of the Turks in 1836 65
2 The Englishwoman in Egypt : letters from Cairo 77
3 The 'English governess' in Egypt : harem life in Egypt and Constantinople 89
4 Turkish harems and Circassian homes 101
5 Thirty years in the harem; or, the autobiography of Melek-Hanum, wife of H. H. Kibrizli-Mehmet-Pasha; (1873) six years in Europe : sequel to thirty years in the Harem : the autobiographical notes of Melek-Hanum, wife of H. H. Kibrizli-Mehmet-Pasha 110
6 A voyage in the 'sunbeam', our home on the ocean for eleven months; (1880) sunshine and storm in the East, or cruises to Cyprus and Constantinople; (1883) unpublished journal 123
7 Haremlik : some pages from the life of Turkish women 134
8 A Turkish woman's European impressions 142
9 The women of Egypt 156
10 An Englishwoman in a Turkish harem 164
11 The imperial harem of the sultans : daily life at the Ciragan palace during late 19th century, memoirs of Leyla (Saz) Hanimefendi 176
12 Harem years : the memoirs of an Egyptian feminist (1879-1924) 188
13 Memoirs of Halide Edib 198
14 Moslem women enter a new world 209
15 Arabesque 221
16 Three centuries : family chronicles of Turkey and Egypt 235
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