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Title: Affecting change : young women's groups, the nation-state and the politics of gender in pre- and post-revolutionary Cairo
Author: Dessi', Valeria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 5996
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the gendered production of political and social transformations in contemporary Egypt through an analysis of political affects. It suggests that the relationship between feminism, the state and change in contemporary Egypt cannot be understood or critiqued purely on a discursive level. As a form of governing, the management of affects draws on the everyday politics of gender and sexuality in order to regulate political and social change. The political management of terror, love and safety in Cairo appropriated and capitalized upon deepening reproductive anxieties, generational aspirations and urban transformations in an unstable context. This research looks at women's rights activism and young feminists that emerged in Cairo between the late Mubarak regime and the current El Sisi regime to examine the feminist disruption of affective management in the deteriorating context of neocolonial repression and masculinist restoration. I chart the intensification of political consciousness and the unfolding of feminist practices that engage with knowledge production and gender-based violence in contrast with the authoritarian patriarchy of the state. The chapters draw on fieldwork conducted between 2012 and 2013 in Cairo as a crucial site of political turmoil, feminist intervention and violent state remaking. Amid the articulation of existing hierarchies of domination and new forms of control, women's activism and feminist groups challenged the Egyptian regime's affective monopoly on gender roles, in both nationmaking and everyday life. Bodily suffering, erased memories, acts of courage - together with the advocacy of reform, interventions on the ground, and denunciations of a wide range of forms of inequality and oppression - were central to personal and political transformation. Opposing the state projects and gendered fantasies that organized violence and nationalism, Egyptian feminists subverted gender models, and revealed the contested and complex work of negotiation that shapes gender subjectivities and brings political, social and cultural change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral