Undergraduate Course: Reading Arab Feminist Texts: Key Debates on Women's Rights in the Arab World (IMES10093)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course provides a survey of key Arab feminist texts produced by writers, thinkers, and activists during the 20th and 21st centuries. As this is a language-based course, these texts will be read in the original Arabic alongside secondary sources that illuminate the central debates these texts engage with.
This is a language-based discursive course designed to enable students to examine key Arab feminist texts and to consider these within broader social, cultural, and political contexts. It aims to historicise and explore the development of central debates on women's rights in the Arab world, including such issues as women's education, access to the public sphere, sexuality, the veil, and secular/religious feminisms. A selection of key texts by writers, thinkers, and activists from across the Arab world (such as Nawal El-Saadawi, Fatima Mernissi, and others) will be read and translated from the Arabic by students throughout the semester. These texts may be autobiographical, creative, documentary, or theoretical in nature. Alongside this translation exercise, students will read relevant secondary texts that both contextualise and illustrate the arguments of the primary texts. Some of the primary texts will also be available in English. The course draws on and develops students' linguistic abilities while simultaneously introducing important milestones and tensions in the struggle for women's rights in the Arab world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| 0
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students must be proficient in Arabic and should contact the Course Organiser prior to enrolling in this course to check the level of their linguistic abilities.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33,
Summative Assessment Hours 3,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
1800 word essay: 30%
2500 word 48 hour time-limited assignment: 60%
||Ongoing feedback in online class discussions
Summative feedback for presentations, midterm essays, and final assignments
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||3:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Read and translate Arabic feminist texts into English.
- Critically engage with a variety of Arab feminist texts by situating them within their broader cultural, political, and historical contexts.
- Synthesise primary and secondary texts to map the development of key debates on women's rights in the Arab world.
- Evaluate current discussions of women's rights in the Arab world and continued feminist struggles in light of these earlier developments.
|Preliminary reading list:|
Badran, Margot and Cooke, Miriam (eds.), Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing, (1990), Virago Press: London.
Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Jean Said Makdishi, Noha Bayoumi, and Rafif Rida (eds.), Arab Feminisms: Gender and Equality in the Middle East. I.B. Tauris: London and New York.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students will benefit from the development of several applied skills and generic cognitive skills at the SCQF level 10 such as being able to critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex problems and issues related to women's rights and gender equality in the Arab world, as well as critically reviewing and consolidating knowledge and skills as applied to the texts under study within this course. Students' communication skills will also develop through oral presentations and written assessment. These skills are transferable to professional settings. Due to the interdisciplinary composition of this course, students will also cultivate subject-specific skills, as outlined in the Area Studies subject benchmark statement. Specifically, students will develop their skills in a language other than English (Arabic in this case) and an ability to deploy these language skills, at an appropriate level, within a research context.
|Keywords||Arab women,feminism,Arabic,women┐s rights,gender equality
|Course organiser||Dr Ebtihal Mahadeen
Tel: (0131 6)50 4463
|Course secretary||Ms Monique Brough
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618