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Title: Contemporary Iraqi women's fiction of war
Author: Abdullah, Angham
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 6923
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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In this thesis I examine selected works by contemporary Iraqi women novelists written during three periods of wars: the Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988), the First Gulf War (1990-1991) and the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. I argue that the unceasing chain of wars portrayed in the open-ended narratives I analyze unsettles mainstream conceptions of women as victims at the home front and men as brave fighters at the battle front. Instead women are constructed as survivors, working to preserve the memory of Iraq and its history, gesturing towards a possible rebirth of Baghdad. The stories the writers provide entail a testimonial account where a record of historical happenings is presented to the reader in fictional form. My thesis has five chapters: an introduction, three analysis chapters and a conclusion. In each analysis chapter, I examine two narratives from each of the three war periods. For this I draw on Caruth’s, Freud’s, Felman’s and Laub’s and LaCapra’s trauma theories, on Ann Whitehead’s ideas about the way trauma is narrated in fiction and on Ikram Maṣmudi’s treatment of the Derridean concept of the unexperienced experience of death. My research constructs a link between the three stages of war in Iraq and addresses the ramifications of these periods for the work of Iraqi women writers. This research enables an understanding of the historical referentiality of fiction, of the way gender roles are challenged and war is construed and resisted from a female perspective.
Supervisor: Griffin, Gabriele Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available