Nationalism and postcolonial feminism: A literary approach to Palestinian women’s resistance
Curry, Brianna N.
AdvisorGordon, Deborah A.
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In this thesis, I examine Palestinian women writers and their contributions to resistance writing. I argue that contemporary Palestinian women's writings significantly contribute to social justice movements concerned with “resistance.” This thesis defines resistance as a continual political movement that calls upon the oppressed people to unite and fight against social injustices and imperialism. While coming out of Palestinian women's writing, this definition is not limited to just the struggle for Palestinian justice but may be applicable across the current movement for social justice. I also argue that women’s contributions to resistance writing are greatly underrepresented by scholars who analyze and produce publications on the topic of resistance literature, primarily focusing their analyses on men’s writings and how they contribute to the movement. This thesis expands on the notion that Third World feminist consciousness was able to advance and thrive with nationalism. In doing so, I argue against Western assumptions that feminism cannot coincide with nationalism in a society that practices patriarchal traditions. Resistance literature written by women not only reinforces the idea of liberation and nationalism as seen in writings by their male counterparts, but it expands and reconfigures this literary form by combining their patriarchal oppressions and feminist perspectives with their anti-colonial agendas. I analyze the literary works of two Palestinian women novelists, Sahar Khalifeh and Susan Abulhawa, and how their novels promote nationalism and feminism, campaigning for displaced Palestinians affected by colonial-induced conflict. By highlighting these key issues Palestinians faced during the diaspora, both authors successfully advocate for women's empowerment and the Palestinian people's liberation.
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Liberal Studies Program