vol 27 - 2001

This issue of Feminist Studies offers two distinct clusters of work: on Middle Eastern women and on U.S. feminism. But it also discusses themes that cross these regional divides and extend to China and Latin America as well. These shared concerns include the ways that history and national politics shape, constrain, distort, and nurture feminist politics; the intersections of memoir and biography with larger cultural and social developments; and the role of the visual arts in expressing, framing, and furthering radical visions. Several authors trace the complicated trajectory of radical, revolutionary, and feminist visions and politics within and across national and personal histories. The art and poetry included here also speak forcefully to the complex interplay among culture, politics, history, and memory.

As Edward Said has demonstrated, one of the founding idioms of Western representations of the East has been orientalism. Several of the articles in this issue build on Said's insights. Charlotte Weber, for example, examines the tensions between feminism and orientalism in the International Alliance of Women, an organization founded in 1904 and devoted to uniting women throughout the world around issues of suffrage and equal citizenship. The assumptions of the Western feminist leadership of the IAW about the "backwardness" of Arab women produced a complex mixture of openness and condescension in their attitude to Arab women's movements. Although they sometimes recognized that customs they considered oppressive, such as the veil, were not mandated by Islamic doctrine, they were nonetheless unable to imagine the possibility of a feminism founded on Islam. They rarely felt that they could learn anything from Arab women, seeing them rather as in need of liberation from what they saw as their oppressive national and social customs. As a result, when in the 1920s and 1930s Arab women united around the cause of Palestinian nationalism, the fragile relationships that had been formed between Western and Eastern feminists were compromised by the IAW's failure to understand that for Arab women, female emancipation was linked to emancipation from imperialist domination.


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Wang Zheng
Call Me Qingnian but Not Funü: A Maoist Youth in Retrospect

Gail White
Listen to streaming audio

Hoda Elsadda
Discourses on Women's Biographies and Cultural Identity: Twentieth-Century Representations of the Life of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr

Ayse Parla
The "Honor" of the State: Virginity Examinations in Turkey (Feminist Studies Award Winner)

Norma Claire Moruzzi
Women in Iran: Notes on Film and from the Field

Lila Abu-Lughod
Orientalism and Middle East Feminist Studies

Huda Lutfi
Art Essay

Charlotte Weber
Unveiling Scheherazade: Feminist Orientalism in the International Alliance of Women, 1911-1950

Valerie Wohlfeld
Rose (Poetry)

Patricia Aufderheide
Memoirs of the Feminist Film Movement (Review Essay)

Dana Heller
Shooting Solanas: Radical Feminist History
and the Technology of Failure

Kathy Rudy
Radical Feminism, Lesbian Separatism, and Queer Theory

Claudia Mangel

Rosalyn Baxandall
Re-Visioning the Women's Liberation Movement's Narrative:
Early Second Wave African American Feminists

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