University of Exeter Press

Gulf Women’s Lives

Voice, Space, Place

    • 214 Pages

    This edited volume investigates how Gulf women negotiate spaces of dissent through their writing. The focus on women’s narratives offers critical perspectives on how women in the Gulf construct themselves as gendered selves and authors, how they exist within public and private spaces, and how voice and agency are part of their conversations in various spheres. In the process, the book engages readers in theoretical reflections and conversations with literary works, media, the law, disability studies, and oral narratives from the Gulf.

    This timely volume fills in a serious gap in research and contributes to countering stereotypes and prejudices about Muslim and Arab women, specifically those located in the Arabian Gulf. The chapters gathered here challenge narratives of submissiveness, powerlessness, and victimization in order to uncover women’s social, cultural, and political contributions in their countries of origin or residence.

    The editors and contributors are specialists of the area, with the majority of them being from the Gulf. They include scholars and students, practitioners and entrepreneurs, all writing from a position of insight that stems from long-term engagement with the region. This offers a wide range of voices and perspectives that enrich the volume with a variety of topics, methodologies, and formats. This multidisciplinarity makes for the book’s broad appeal to the general reading public as well as specialists, practitioners, members of the press and civil society, as well as policymakers. This volume will also be a valuable resource to international audiences with an interest in the region.

    Gulf Women’s Lives provides a genuine reflection of the ongoing feminist movements and feminist writings throughout the Gulf states, positioning itself as a credible reference in an area of study that is yet to receive full recognition. It serves as both a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary exploration, offering a powerful account of voices that exemplify the maturation of literary and scholarly production of women in the Gulf region.

    Amal Mohammed Al-Malki, Qatari feminist and scholar author of 'Arab Women in Arab News: Old Stereotypes and New Media' (Bloomsbury, 2012)

    This absorbing volume explores women's lives in the Gulf by elevating their voices, engaging public spaces, and traversing new places, both historical and liminal.  Through personal chronicles, literary analysis, and political inquiry, the authors persistently ask what "new ways of seeing the world their narratives open up." The result is a more generous context for reflecting on Khaleeji identity, re-centered on the diverse lived experience of women.

    Kristin Smith Diwan, The Arab Gulf State Institute, Washington DC

    Emanuela Buscemi is a sociologist and International Relations specialist whose areas of research include women and gender narratives, social (non)movements, agency and activism in the Arabian Gulf and Latin America.

    Shahd Alshammari teaches literature and is the author of Head Above Water (Neem tree Press, Feminist Press, 2022). Her research interests include Disability Studies, autoethnography, and women’s illness narratives.

    Ildiko Kaposi is a social scientist whose work focuses on issues of democracy from the perspective of media and communication.