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Diasporic Iranian Women Life Writing: An Analysis Using a Transnational Feminist Lens


Diasporic Iranian Women Life Writing: An Analysis Using a Transnational Feminist Lens

Abla, Farida (2020) Diasporic Iranian Women Life Writing: An Analysis Using a Transnational Feminist Lens. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis examines fourteen diasporic life writing in English by Iranian women who mainly reside in North America (the United States and Canada), with a particular interest in how and why they write about their lives. The women authors bring to the fore questions of home, nation, identity and belonging in narratives where the public and the political are deeply intertwined with the personal. The thesis provides an analysis of the authors’ responses to the events that impacted their lives, their use of English, and their dynamic process of identity construction, as manifested in their narratives. Recognizing the growing circulation of life writing by Iranian women in the United States, the study also investigates how these life writing deconstruct and/or reinforce Western stereotypes about Iranian women.
I argue that the authors successfully cross borders and boundaries by adopting the life writing genre, an interdisciplinary feminist medium, in their quest to share knowledge about their experiences in their home country, Iran, as well as their lives in Diaspora. And by doing so, it is an act of transnationalization of their narratives and a call for human as well as women’s rights. I also assert that their life writing not only reflect the feminist slogan the personal is political but show as well that the political is personal in the life of these women authors who probe the region’s history and its geopolitical trajectory.
Furthermore, the study confirms that these life writing came in waves in response to socio-political as well as historical events in Iran and the host country such as, the Islamic Revolution (1979), the 9/11 tragedy (2001), the Iraq War (2003), and the 2009 Iranian presidential elections. Moreover, the findings show that these life writing articulate what Homi Bhabha refers to as “hybrid” and “ambivalent” identities. The women authors—living in what Brah (1996) calls a “diaspora space” —carve complex, multifold identities that draw upon Iranian cultural values and practices, as well as those of the host countries. They also construct hybridized spaces—that defy strict categorization—both for themselves as well as other women in the diaspora.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Abla, Farida
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:27 October 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Mahrouse, Gada
Keywords:Transnational Feminism, Life Writing, Iranian Women Diaspora, Autobiography, Memoir
ID Code:987809
Deposited By: FARIDA ABLA
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 20:43
Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 20:43
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