Chapter

The 1919 Revolution and Nationalist Constructions of the Lives and Works of Pioneering Women Writers

Mervat F. Hatem

in Re-Envisioning Egypt 1919-1952

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9789774249006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617971006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774249006.003.0015
The 1919 Revolution and Nationalist Constructions of the Lives and Works of Pioneering Women Writers

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This chapter examines the biographical writing of Mayy Ziyada, whose writings on Malak Hifni Nasif and 'A'isha Taymur sought to remind a mobilized public of women's contributions to the nation. Still, Ziyada reinforced ambivalent attitudes to women, since her biographies apportioned a derivative role to women in Egyptian national history. By critically reconsidering Ziyada's output and the activities of her chosen subjects, this chapter alerts readers to the problematic incorporation of women into the Egyptian nation, through the devaluation of gender difference and a stress on national homogeneity. Her contribution is important in its own right, but it also highlights the importance of viewing other geographical contexts in the Middle East and beyond through a similar analytical and methodological prism.

Keywords: Mayy Ziyada; Malak Hifni Nasif; 'A'isha Taymur; Egyptian national history; Egyptian nation

Chapter.  10847 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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