Gender in contemporary Saudi novels

Almuthaybiri, Adel (2020). Gender in contemporary Saudi novels. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This is a ground-breaking, in-depth study of four post-9/11 Saudi novels, two by male authors and two by female, in a framework that considers the Saudi context. Theoretical feminist approaches and close textual analyses highlight narrative techniques and strategies used to represent Saudi women, explore their questions and issues, and contradict essentialist Westernised (mis)representations.
9/11 instigated a period of socio-political and literary revolution in Saudi Arabia (KSA) and prompted greater freedom of expression in relation to women; the Saudi novel drew much attention, grew rapidly and dealt with sensitive issues previously unaddressed openly in KSA, such as conservatism, patriarchy and gender discrimination. However, understanding of gender, portrayal of women's issues, and use of the novel to negotiate gender issues and resist patriarchy in an Islamic feminist context has received scant attention.
This study corrects this, contributing to Arabic literary, cultural and gender studies; finding that in the unique Saudi context novels offer platforms for feminist discourse that resist prevailing discourses and undermine and evade patriarchy. The quest for gender equality and social justice is represented as indigenous, not Western-imposed, religion becomes an instrument of improvement of women’s condition and status, women’s homogeneous image is dismantled: they become complex, heterogenous individuals.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Funders: Other
Other Funders: the University in Taif, the Saudi Cultural Bureau in London
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)


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