"Woman Must Write Woman": Jahanamiya as a Forum for Cultural Critique Restricted; Files Only

Niazy, Ahd Hany (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/k0698839p?locale=en
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Abstract

This thesis examines the role of women's writing in relation to cultural criticism and change. The thesis uses Jahanamiya, which is an online literary journal that exclusively publishes writing by Saudi Arabian women, as a case study. By presenting and analyzing works from the journal, the thesis strives to examine the relationship of women's writing to cultural criticism in present-day Saudi Arabia. Jahanamiya was created in 2015 as a feminist platform for Saudi Arabian women to share their stories with one another, as well as to break local and global stereotypes and expectations of them in that process. The thesis presents select pieces from the journal, analyzing their significance and relation to cultural criticism by way of various narrative theories, such as feminist narratology. The work of renowned feminist writers, such as Adrienne Riche and Hélène Cixous (who is referenced in the title of the thesis), is also of central importance in the analysis of women's writing conducted in the work. The writing of women like Cixous and Rich asserts that women's writing - in and of itself - is radical and transformative to culture(s). Questions about the role of storytelling in shaping culture and in reshaping said culture over time arise from this work, as well as questions about the capacity of women's writing to instigate cultural change by way of expressing cultural criticism. As a whole, this thesis uses the writing of women coming from a very particular context to address the larger transcultural and multigenerational question: what is the role of women's writing in society?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Title Page………………………………………………………………………………. i

Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………..ii

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………. 4

Chapter 1: Finding a Place from Which to Speak: The Story of Wadjda……………...17

Chapter 2: Uncomfortable Spaces: Untying the Knot of Culture and Tradition …...….26

Chapter 3: Flights of Imagination: Finding New Ways of Seeing Self and Other……..45

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………..66

Works Cited…….…………………………………………………………………..….72

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