Women in Middle Eastern History: Shifting Boundaries in Sex and Gender / Edition 1

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This history of Middle Eastern women is the first to survey gender relations in the Middle East from the earliest Islamic period to the present. Outstanding scholars analyze a rich array of sources ranging from histories, biographical dictionaries, law books, prescriptive treatises, and archival records, to the Traditions (hadith) of the Prophet and imaginative works like the Thousand and One Nights, to modern writings by Middle Eastern women and by Western writers. They show that gender boundaries in the Middle East have been neither fixed nor immutable: changes in family patterns, religious rituals, socio-economic necessity, myth and ideology - and not least, women's attitudes - have expanded or circumscribed women's roles and behavior through the ages.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Combining scholarship and theory, these essays are loosely organized to concentrate on the early Islamic centuries, the Mamluk period (1250-1517) and the modern age (essentially the 18th century through the 1980s). The authors generally focus on the subject of ``gender boundaries'' in order to demonstrate the changing position of women in Middle Eastern society. Because the region is culturally diverse and the span of time considered is vast, the collection remains miscellaneous, providing detailed studies of endowment deeds in late medieval Egypt and textile manufacturing in the Bursa factories during the 19th century but leaving enormous gaps. Much of the writing is awkward and overburdened with jargon. One bright spot is Paula Sanders's ``Gendering the Ungendered Body: Hermaphrodites in Medieval Islamic Law,'' a marvelous study of medieval Muslim jurists' struggle to incorporate the hermaphrodite in a world where the boundaries between male and female were strictly delineated. Keddie is the author of Roots of Revolution ; Baron teaches history at New York City College. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300056976
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1993
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 358
  • Sales rank: 1,283,990
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Organization of the Volume
1 Introduction: Deciphering Middle Eastern Women's History 1
2 Islam and Patriarchy: A Comparative Perspective 23
I The First Islamic Centuries
3 Political Action and Public Example: Aisha and the Battle of the Camel 45
4 Early Islam and the Position of Women: The Problem of Interpretation 58
5 Gendering the Ungendered Body: Hermaphrodites in Medieval Islamic Law 74
II The Mamluk Period
6 Manners and Customs of Fourteenth-Century Cairene Women: Female Anarchy versus Male Shari Order in Muslim Prescriptive Treatises 99
7 Class Solidarity versus Gender Gain: Women as Custodians of Property in Later Medieval Egypt 122
8 Women and Islamic Education in the Mamluk Period 143
III Modern Turkey and Iran
9 Ottoman Women, Households, and Textile Manufacturing, 1800-1914 161
10 The Impact of Legal and Educational Reforms on Turkish Women 177
11 The Dynamics of Women's Spheres of Action in Rural Iran 195
12 Political Roles of Aliabad Women: The Public-Private Dichotomy Transcended 215
IV The Modern Arab World
13 Ties That Bound: Women and Family in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Nablus 233
14 The House of Zainab: Female Authority and Saintly Succession in Colonial Algeria 254
15 The Making and Breaking of Marital Bonds in Modern Egypt 275
16 Artists and Entrepreneurs: Female Singers in Cairo during the 1920s 292
17 Biography and Women's History: On Interpreting Doria Shafik 310
List of Contributors 335
Index 337
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