Western Representations of the Muslim Woman: From Termagant to Odalisque

Framsida
University of Texas Press, 1999 - 219 sidor
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Veiled, secluded, submissive, oppressed—the "odalisque" image has held sway over Western representations of Muslim women since the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. Yet during medieval and Renaissance times, European writers portrayed Muslim women in exactly the opposite way, as forceful queens of wanton and intimidating sexuality.

In this illuminating study, Mohja Kahf traces the process through which the "termagant" became an "odalisque" in Western representations of Muslim women. Drawing examples from medieval chanson de geste and romance, Renaissance drama, Enlightenment prose, and Romantic poetry, she links the changing images of Muslim women to changes in European relations with the Islamic world, as well as to changing gender dynamics within Western societies.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS IX
Two THE MUSLIM WOMAN IN MEDIEVAL TEXTS
Four THE MUSLIM WOMAN FROM ENLIGHTENMENT
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Om författaren (1999)

Born in Damascus, Syria, Mohja Kahf came to the U.S. as a child. Kahf is an associate professor of comparative literature at Rutgers. Her first book of literary scholarship is Western Representations of the Muslim Woman: From Termagant to Odalisque (University of Texas Press, 1999). She is also the author of a book of poetry, E-mails from Sheherazad (University Press of Florida 2003). Kahf is a member of the national group RAWI (Radius of Arab American Writers).

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