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Title: In dialogue with feminisms : four novels of Assia Djebar
Author: Ringrose, Priscilla
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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The work of Assia Djebar, the most celebrated contemporary female novelist to emerge from North Africa, has been labelled "feminist" since the publication of her watershed collection of short stories, Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement (1980), which marked her entry onto the international stage. Since then, whether rewriting the blooding history of colonialism, revisiting the thorny history of early Islam, or opening up the cloistered world of Algerian society, Djebar has placed woman at the centre of her enterprise. But what type of feminism does Djebar espouse? This thesis examines four works of Assia Djebar in relation to selected French and Arab feminist theorists, with the intention of analysing what Djebar refers to as her "own kind of feminism". It argues that Djebar's own feminism is in dialogue with a variety of feminisms, from the philosophical constructs of the French feminists, and the newly chartered area of Arab feminist historical scholarship, to the perspectives of mainstream feminist historical scholarship and the controversial works of Christian feminists. This dialogue provides a basis for confronting some of the wide-ranging questions raised by her work. How do French feminists' concerns with woman's relation to language, writing, and sexuality express themselves within Djebar's novels? How can the maternal world by affirmed in the context of a repressive Islamic patriarchal society? Can Djebar reclaim a patriarchal religion such as Islam for women? And can Algerian history be appropriated by and for women? The feminist readings of the four novels examined, which pay particular attention to the approaches of Julia Kristeva, Hélena Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Leila Ahmed expose the type of linguistic and political strategies which Dejbar employs in her affirmation of women's autonomy and in her challenge to patriarchal norms, as she rejects the preordinated positions which history, society and religion have allotted to Algerian womanhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available