Project for a number of « Genesis »
Flows between the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea unveil a crossroad of diverse cultural, social, and religious experiences. Continuous conversations between neighboring regions facilitated the interplay between assimilation and reshaping of ideas, displaying a reality of turmoil and permanent evolution. In this sense, the Mediterranean appears as a lively workshop, where feminism is continuously reshaped by a plurality of cultures. Studies by Margot Badran on Egypt (1995), Mounira Charrad (2001) and Zakia Daoud (1993) on Maghreb, Julie Peteet on Palestine (1991), amongst many others, contributed to the de-construction of an alleged homogeneity within the “Arab-Islamic” world, highlighting the interplay between politics and gender. As these authors demonstrated, different political agendas have produced different outcomes.
Meanwhile, the need to transcend national borders and to re-write the history of feminists movements is part of the contemporary historical thought, as it is discussed by Leila Rupp (1997), Edith Saurer, Margareth Lanzinger, Elysabeth Frysak (2006), and Bonnie Smith (2000, 2005 and 2008). In this vibrant discussion, Francophone scholarship appears more sensitive to the adoption of a Mediterranean perspective for the history of feminisms, as indicated by several recent works : Séverine Rey, Hélène Martin, Elisabeth Bäschlin, Ghaïss Jasser (2008) and Belkacem Benzenine (2011).
On the backdrop of a consolidated historiography, this special issue intends to address may important questions. How did feminist movements reveal themselves in the encounter with other constituents, including the female, within the Mediterranean societies ? After a long-lasting season, where feminism defined itself mainly within secular ideological frames, we are witnessing the repositioning of religion in the public space, and the re-appropriation of the religious discourse by certain feminist actors. How can we approach this process from a historical perspective ? How do feminisms in the Mediterranean, with their cultural specificities, question the “feminism one-size” or “féminisme pret à porter” (Fawzia Zouari, 2001), and Western postulates about modernity, development, democracy, and equality ? Does feminist history mirror the interplay between identities and differences, continuities and fractures, which denotes the Mediterranean space ?, Which kind of power relationships, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion can we find in the Mediterranean history if we assume a gender perspective ? Indeed, does a new idea of “Mediterranean Space” emerge from feminist historiographies and movements ?
The journal “Genesis” invites to present contributions for the monographic number Feminisms in the Mediterranean. This is an outcome of the workshop held in Bologna the 14 of December 2011, “Feminisms in the Mediterranean”, which is part of the “Permanent Workshop on Global Feminisms”, promoted in collaboration by SIS (Italian Society of Women Historians) and SiSSCo (Society for the Study of Contemporary History). The aim is to consider historiographical approaches, categories, political strategies, with particular reference to the different Mediterranean cultural realities. Insofar, we are taking into consideration Europe, North Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, in the modern and contemporary age. We encourage contributions, preferably through case studies, related, but not limited to :
theories of feminism :
methodological terminological and translation issues
history of feminist movements
feminisms and nationalisms
feminisms and revolutions
feminism in the literature and arts
Contributors are invited to send an abstract (max 300 words), by the 15th of April 2012 with a title and a short bio-bibliographical note, to the editors Lucia Sorbera and Leila el-Houssi, and to the editorial board of Genesis at the following e-mail addresses : firstname.lastname@example.org, Leila el-Houssi email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Articles accepted for publication (max. 60.000 characters, spaces and foot-notes included) should be sent ultimately until the 15th of June 2012 and will be subject to double-blind peer review.
We will take into consideration articles in Italian, English, and French.
The authors, when they use a language which is not their first language, should have their text already proofread by a mother tongue reader before sending it.