Jeanne d’Arc, Egyptian Nationalist: Community, Identity, and Difference

Marilyn Booth

in May Her Likes Be Multiplied

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780520224193
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925212 | DOI:
Jeanne d’Arc, Egyptian Nationalist: Community, Identity, and Difference

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From Hatshepsut to Safiyya Zaghlūl, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Betsy Taqlā to Jeanne d'Arc, biographical subjects “East” and “West” are united textually by “love of nation.” Ironically, putting “nation” first meant celebrating “national” loyalties of Western subjects without attending to their implications for global power relations. Such a silence mirrored women's magazines' self-distancing from “politics.” For a publicly visible Syrian in Egypt such as Taqlā, it was most comfortable to collapse watan and “East” to define patriotism as pride in “the East.” Of the hundreds of “Famous Women” profiled in women's magazines in Egypt before 1940, Jeanne d'Arc appeared most frequently of all. This chapter examines the motifs and rhetoric that constructed a Jeanne suitable for local consumption, emphases which furthered liberal nationalist agendas on the politics of religious identity and gender simultaneously. It discusses how the politics of gender and nation intersected with the fact of Jeanne's Westernness: for biographers in Egypt territorialized and domesticated this icon of Western nationalism, feminism, and subnational resistances to national hegemonies.

Keywords: Jeanne d'Arc; biographical subjects; East; West; nationalism; politics; Famous Women; biographies; Egypt; gender

Chapter.  15747 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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