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Iraqi Women in Diaspora: Negotiating Feminism, Faith, and the Politics of Generation Across the Diaspora

The CEU Campus
Thursday, September 15, 2016, 10:00 am

This lecture introduces new research conducted for my book manuscript on the transnational migrations and reimagined lives of multi-generational Iraqi women in diaspora. With a focus on the larger methodological challenges of recreating home and reconstructing memory, the project seeks to understand how refugee and migrant women from Iraq remember across generations, and also how place and space matter in the process of creating historical narratives. The lecture will explore two key and intersecting lenses through which to view the generational negotiations of these displaced women: faith and feminism, and sensory memory and foodways. Based on oral histories conducted with Iraqi women now primarily resettled in the Toronto and Detroit areas, my talk will trace modes of communicating identity, including a new trend in grassroots piety amongst ‘youth’ in North America, and in the use of food and etiquette to open up intimate feminized spaces in the interview.


Nadia Jones-Gailani is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University in Budapest, and was previously a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of South Florida. Her research and teaching interests are focused on histories of migration, and in particular with female migrants and refugees displaced from the Middle East and now settled in North America. She completed her graduate research under the supervision of Franca Iacovetta at the University of Toronto, and currently has her book manuscript, Iraqi Women in Diaspora, under review with the University of Toronto Press’s Gender and Women series.


Iraqi Women in Diaspora: A Transnational Study of Women’s Life Histories in Amman, Detroit, and Toronto, Unpublished manuscript under review. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 263 pages.

“Kahwa and Kleiche: Cookbooks, Coffee and Conversation with Displaced Iraqi Women in North America.” Global Food History, (under review).2013.

“Third Parties in ‘Third Spaces’: The Multifaceted Role of Translator in Oral History Interviews with Iraqi Diasporic Women.” Oral History Off the Record: Towards an Ethnography of Practice, Palgrave Studies in Oral History, edited by Stacey Zembrzycki and Anna Sheftel, 169-183. Palgrave Macmillan: Toronto and London.