Edited by Hoda Elsadda
Challenges, opportunities, and methodological issues in the creation of oral history archives in the Arab world
Oral history archives have always been at the forefront of liberatory social movements in general, and of feminist movement in particular. Until the end of the twentieth century in the Arab world, archives of women’s oral narratives were almost non-existent with the exception of small documentation efforts tied to individual research. However, since 2011, there has been a marked increase in the documentation of projects.
In this context, the Women and Memory Forum organized a conference in 2015 about the challenges of creating gender sensitive oral history archives in times of change. The papers in this collection shed light on documentation initiatives in Arab countries in transitional and conflict situations, in addition to international experiences. They engage with questions around archives and power, the challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies to the making and preserving of archives, ethical concerns in the construction of archives, women’s archives and the production of alternative knowledge, as well as conceptual and methodological issues in oral history.
CONTRIBUTORS: Faiha Abdulhadi, Sondra Hale, Manal Hamzeh, Maissan Hassan, Nahawand El Kaderi Issa, Diana Magdy, Jean Said Makdisi, Noor Nieftagodien, Rafif Saidawy, Lucine Taminian, Stephen Urgola
1. Introduction by Hoda Elsadda and Hanan Sabea
Part One: Times of Change: Redrawing Boundaries of Knowledge, Memory, and History
2. Recuperating Women’s Memory as Knowledge: Sudan’s Conflict Zones by Sondra Hale
3. Women’s Activism and Contending Narratives of Liberation in South Africa by Noor Nieftagodien
4. The Production of Alternative Knowledge: Political Participation of Palestinian Women since the 1930s: A Case Study by Faiha Abdulhadi
Part Two: Intersections: Alternative Fields of History
5. Memory, Memoir and Oral History by Jean Said Makdisi
6. The Novel as a Repository for Oral and Women’s History by Rafif Saidawy
7. Palestinian Memory in Light of New Technology: Opportunities and Challenges by Nahawand El Kaderi Issa
Part Three: Ethical and Methodological Questions
8. Documenting the Oral History of Iraqis in Times of Conflict: Challenges, Ethics, and Standards of Practice by Lucine Taminian
9. Testimonio as Methodology: Archiving, Translating, and Theorizing Egyptian Women’s Experiences of Gendered: Violence in the January 25th Revolution by Manal Hamzeh
Part Four: Praxis: Entanglements in Two Projects Documenting Gender and Revolution
10. Narrating Gender in Egypt’s Public Sphere: The Archive of Women’s Oral History by Maissan Hassan and Diana Magdy
11. University on the Square: Documenting Egypt’s 21st-Century Revolution Project by Stephen Urgola
About the Contributors
Hoda Elsadda is professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University.
Hanan Sabea is associate professor of anthropology at the American University in Cairo.
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