Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS, University of London

28 March, 2017

My paper attempts to intervene in feminist debates about how to approach and analyse sexual and wider gender-based violence in Iraq specifically and the Middle East more generally. Recognizing the significance of positionality, I argue against dichotomous positions and for the need to look at both macro structural configurations of power pertaining to imperialism, neo-liberalism and globalization on the one hand, and localised expressions of patriarchy, religious interpretations and practises and cultural norms on the other hand. Finally, my paper will reflect on the question of what a transnational feminist solidarity might look like in relation to sexual violence by ISIS.

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies in the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction. She has worked in Bosnia, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan as well as the UK and the US.

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 (co-edited with Nicola Pratt; (Zed Books, 2009); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books); New Approaches to Migration (ed., Routledge, 2002, with Khalid Koser); Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (The American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press).

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