Nadje Al-Ali Protest, Body Politics and Authoritarianism: A Gendered Perspective on Political Developments in the Middle East
Why does gender matter when looking at developments in the Middle East? The lecture will develop the argument that gender is not a side issue but central to understanding recent developments in the region. Focusing on Iraq, Egypt and Turkey as three different sites of conflict and violence, but also addressing developments in other parts of the Middle East, the talk will explore the significance of body politics for wider political developments. It will also show how feminist activism in the region is particularly challenged to not only address gender-based inequalities and forms of injustices but also wider forms of political authoritarianism.
Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on women and gender in the Middle East as well as transnational migration and diaspora mobilization. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books) and Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000). Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press) won the 2014 Arab-American book prize for non-fiction. Currently, she is working on a research project about the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Professor Al-Ali is a member of the Feminist Review Collective.