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Year 3 Workshop

Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World

A workshop held at the University of Warwick, UK, 8-10 July 2013

Sitt al-banat

The revolutions and mass protests experienced across the Arab world since the end of 2010 have led to a renewed focus on the perennial ‘gender question’ in the Middle East. Western media, as well as many activists on the ground, have highlighted the large presence of women and the roles that they have played in the ‘Arab Spring’. On the other hand, some activists as well as scholars have highlighted the threat posed to women’s legal rights by the transitions away from nominally secular dictatorships towards Islamist-dominated elected governments. The aim of this workshop was to go beyond this polarised debate of women’s agency vs. women’s rights in the so-called Arab spring. We discussed the multiple and often contradictory ways in which gender norms, relations, subjectivities and representations are being reconstructed in relation to processes of revolution and resistance across the Arab world. Abstracts of all the papers presented at this workshop are available here.

Workshop Programme

Monday 8 July

Roundtable discussion: Women, Revolution and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World

Chair: Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick

Tues 9 July

Contesting Gender Norms, Relations and Women’s Rights through Revolution and Resistance

Chair: Shirin Rai, University of Warwick

Shereen AbuelNaga, Cairo University, Egypt: Re-constructing Gender in Post-Revolution Egypt

Dina Wahba, Independent researcher, Egypt: Gendering the Egyptian Revolution

Nof Nasser Eddin, University of Warwick: Negotiating Patriarchy in East Amman

Gender, Protest, Resistance and Subjectivity

Chair: Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS

Hoda Elsadda, Cairo University, Egypt: 'For politics to take place, the body must appear': The emergence of new gendered imaginaries in the aftermath of Arab revolutions.

Frances Hasso, Duke University, USA: Gendered and Other Spatializations of ‘Thawrat al-LuLu’ in Bahrain

Lena Meari, Birzeit University, Palestine: Sumud: A Challenge to Colonial Sexual Power Techniques in Colonized Palestine

Gendered Representations in and through Revolution and Resistance

Chair: Sophie Richter-Devroe, University of Exeter

Maha El Said, Cairo University, Egypt: She Resists: Body Politics Between Radical and Subaltern

Abeer AlNajjar, Anoud AbuSalim, American University, Sharjah, UAE: Framing and Gendering the Revolutionary Body

Islam and Women’s Activism

Chair: Khursheed Wadia, University of Warwick

Nadia El Kholy, Cairo University, Egypt: Shifting Borders, Gender Separatism and the Arab Spring: the Case of Egypt

Merve Kutuk, SOAS, University of London, UK: Seeking Counter-hegemonic Discourse in Pious Muslim Women’s Justice-based Political Activism in Turkey

Erika Biagini, Dublin City University, Ireland: Creating New Spaces for Women’s Political Activism? The Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood

Alessia Belli, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy: Women Activists in the Arab Awakenings and Beyond: Dilemmas and Opportunities

Wednesday 10 July

Women’s Political Participation, Engagement and Activism

Chair: Ruth Pearson, Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds

Sahar al-Naas, University of Exeter, UK: Libyan Women’s Political Representation in the Post-Qadaffi Era

Mounira Soliman, Cairo University, Egypt: The Political is Artistic: Women and the Revolution

Hala Sami, Cairo University, Egypt: Going Back To the Roots: Egyptian Women Mobilise For a Continuing Revolution

Solava Ibrahim, University of Manchester, UK: Grassroots Activism and Resistance in Pre- and Post-revolutionary Egypt